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Redmond Makes Debut as USA Stays Perfect

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche

The young Americans are off to their best start at the World Championship in nearly two decades.

The United States remained undefeated and took the top spot in Group B on Monday with a 4-2 victory over Russia at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic. USA is now 3-0-0-0 for the first time since the 1997 tournament.

Trevor Lewis, Torey Krug, Mark Arcobello and Brock Nelson scored for Team USA, which has an average age of 24.3 years old and features five players that played college hockey last season.

Krug scored the go-ahead goal at 6:22 of the second period after Anton Belov had tied the contest for Russia (2-0-0-1) three minutes earlier, and the U.S. never looked back.

Acrobello tallied the eventual game-winner midway through the third period.

Russia's Sergei Plotnikov made the final four minutes of the contest a bit more interesting with his first score of the tournament, making it a one-goal outing and putting the pressure on the U.S.'s defense to hold onto the scoreboard advantage.

Nelson sealed the game with an empty-netter with nine seconds left, coming after a mad scramble and a couple solid saves by United States goaltender Jack Campbell at the other end.

Avalanche defenseman Zach Redmond made his debut at the World Championship after being a healthy scratch in the U.S.'s first two games. It was the Traverse City, Mich., native's first international experience with USA Hockey.

Redmond finished with a plus-1 rating in 4:14 of ice time as the team's seventh D-man. He was also called for a holding penalty in the second period.

USA will now have two days off before its next contest on Thursday against Belarus at 8:15 a.m. MT. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.

CANADA (6) VS. CZECH REPUBLIC (3)

Canada scored three straight goals to break a second-period tie and beat the Czech Republic 6-3 to remain undefeated at the World Championship.

A sold-out O2 Arena in Prague exploded in celebration after the Czechs knotted the contest 2-2 on Martin Zatovic's goal with 4:15 left in the middle frame, but Sean Couturier quieted the host nation crowd nearly two minutes later with his first goal of the tournament to put the Canadians back on top. Tyler Seguin and Sidney Crosby scored in the third to stretch Canada's lead to 5-2.

Avalanche players Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan O'Reilly each finished with an assist in the game for Canada. MacKinnon and O'Reilly picked up their helpers after successfully clearing the puck out of the defensive zone and up to Tyler Toffoli for an empty-net goal with 1:29 remaining, sealing the victory.

The Czech Republic had cut Canada's lead to 5-3 with Vladimir Sobotka's tally 55 seconds earlier.

Duchene assisted on the game's opening score by Jordan Eberle at 4:18 of the first period. Barrie assisted on Seguin's power-play tally 2:02 into the third period.

Duchene has points in all three games at Worlds and six overall (two goals, four assists). He is tied for the tournament scoring lead with teammate Taylor Hall (four goals, two assists) and Russia's Yevgeni Dadonov (two goals, four assists).

Colorado defenseman Jan Hejda finished with two penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating in 20:13 of ice time for the Czech Republic (1-0-1-1)

Next up for Canada is a bout against Sweden on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. MT. Canada (3-0-0-0) leads Group A with nine points while Sweden (2-1-0-0) is close behind with eight.

The Czech Republic's next contest is Thursday at 8:15 a.m. MT against France.

FINLAND (5) VS. NORWARY (0)

Finland scored two goals in both the second and third periods to help pull out a 5-0 victory over Norway at CEZ Arena.

The victory is the second straight for Finland (2-0-0-1) after it dropped the opening game on Friday to the United States. Norway fell to 0-0-0-3 in the tournament.

Avalanche prospect Jonas Holos of Norway finished with a game-high 23:48 of ice time. He also added four shots.

Norway's next game is against Slovakia on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. MT.

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