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WJC: Gillies strong in USA victory over Czech Republic

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- Calgary Flames 2012 third round pick Jon Gillies was strong for the USA in the Americans 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Wednesday morning.

The netminder made 23 saves in the Americans opening game at the 2014 World Junior Championship. The single goal he allowed, a power play marker off of Michal Plutnar's stick, came in the third period.

While Gillies was left unchallenged for spurts of the game, he came up big for his country when the Czechs had spells of pressure. Two of his best saves came shortly after the Americans made it 2-0 early in the first period. The Czechs came back with a strong forecheck, seemingly woken up by the two power play markers scored against them, and found themselves in tight against the American defence. Gillies made two excellent back-to-back saves, thwarting the Czechs on point blank scoring chances by extending his left leg and getting his glove up.

The USA received goals from Riley Barber (PP), Will Butcher (PP), Huson Fasching, Jaccob Slavin and Vince Hinostroza. The Americans outshot the Czechs 33-24.

The USA's next game is on Saturday when they take on Slovakia at 5:30 AM MST.

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