Two of the heroes of January's World Junior Championship gold medalists led the U.S. to a 5-0 win against Canada at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Belarus on Friday.
Goaltender Jack Campbell beat Calvin Pickard in a battle of NHL Central Scouting's top-rated netminders for the 2010 Entry Draft. Campbell, who backstopped the U.S. to the gold medal in Saskatoon and is No. 2 on Central Scouting's list, turned aside all 30 shots he faced.
Jason Zucker, who also won gold with the U.S., had a pair of goals, as did Bryan Rust. Zucker is ranked No. 51 by Central Scouting on its list of North American skaters. Rust is eligible for the 2011 Draft.
The U.S. wasted little time jumping on Pickard, as Zucker and Rust scored twice from in close in a 1:23 span early in the first period.
Zucker scored again in the first to extend the lead to 3-0. Austin Watson had the only goal of the second period, and Rust capped the scoring 6:02 into the third period.
Pickard allowed five goals on 38 shots.
"We had such a great effort tonight by every single guy in the locker room," U.S. coach Kurt Kleinendorst told USA Hockey's Web site. "Under the circumstances, to step up and perform like that for 60 minutes says an awful lot about this team. One of our goals was that we wanted to get better every game and we're doing well with that so far."
The win moves the U.S. to 2-1, one game behind unbeaten Sweden in Pool A. The U.S. lost 4-2 to Sweden on the first day of the tournament.
The U.S. is off until Sunday, when the Americans finish preliminary-round play with a game against host Belarus. Canada faces Sweden on Saturday.
Sweden stayed unbeaten with a 10-2 rout of Switzerland. Team captain Johan Larsson had 2 goals and 3 assists, and John Vestin and Erik Thorell each scored twice to lead the rout. Larsson, ranked No. 34 by Central Scouting among European skaters, leads the tournament with 6 goals and 12 points.
In Group B play, Konsta Makinen broke a 3-3 tie with 6:46 left in the third period to lead Finland to a 5-4 victory against Russia and the Group B title. Finland's Teemu Pulkkinen had his third straight two-goal game. Markus Granlund had a goal and an assist, and Joonas Donskoi had a pair of assists.
Russian captain Evgeni Kuznetsov had a goal and a pair of assists. He's ranked third by Central Scouting among European skaters for the June draft.
Petr Holik had a hat trick as the Czech Republic beat Latvia, 5-4. Maris Dilevka had 2 goals and an assist for Latvia.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org