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Gaudreau scores three; U.S. opens 6-0 lead on Czechs

by Mike G. Morreale

The United States National Junior Team struck for five goals in the second period to open a 6-0 lead against the Czech Republic on Wednesday in quarterfinal-round action of the medal round at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Riley Barber and John Gaudreau each scored twice and Ryan Hartman also fired in a goal as the United States was working on all cylinders to open a comfortable lead through 40 minutes. Gaudreau's second of the period, a power-play marker off a cross-ice feed from J.T. Miller, was his third of the game -- all with the man advantage.

The United States has scored four power-play goals on six attempts.

Gaudreau connected for his second power-play goal of the game just 28 seconds into the second when he collected a pass from Trouba and jammed home a shot at the right post. Hartman scored off a big rebound in the left circle after Jacob Trouba had taken a big shot that Czech goalie Patrik Bartosak couldn't control.

Hartman's goal forced the Czech Republic coach to replace starter Bartosak with backup Matej Machovsky.

Barber then scored two straight. His first came on the power play, off a splendid assist from Alex Galchenyuk at the 8:44 mark. Galchenyuk took a pass from Trouba and skated down the slot to draw two defenders before feathering a pass to Barber storming into the right circle. Barber's goal was his second of the tournament.

Barber then scored off a breakaway just one second after the United States had successfully killed a power-play chance. Seth Jones sprung Barber into the open ice down his right wing before he skated in and put a backhand under Machovsky.

Goalie John Gibson, who was forced to make two big stops on Tomas Hyka and Tomas Hertl, has 23 saves through two periods.

Gaudreau completed the scoring in the second when he took a feed from Miller at the right post before whipping home his third of the game with just 12.8 second left.

The winner of this quarterfinal-round game will advance to play Canada in the semifinals. Canada, which beat The Americans 2-1 in the preliminary round, won Group B and earned a bye into the semifinal round Thursday.

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