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U.S. remains unbeaten at U18 World Championship

by Mike G. Morreale /

The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team remained perfect Sunday after scoring a 4-0 victory over Denmark in preliminary-round action of the 2012 IIHF World U18 Championship at Kajot Arena in Breclav, Czech Republic.

The U.S., which will play Canada Tuesday in the final game of preliminary-round competition in Group A, has outscored the opposition, 13-0, in three tournament games.

"This was a hard fought matchup," said Danton Cole, head coach of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team. "We must continue to play on both ends of the ice to maintain our success."

The three-time and defending champion received goals from Matthew Lane, Seth Jones, Frankie Vatrano and Quentin Shore in the triumph. J.T. Compher chipped in with two assists. Lane scored 1:53 into the first to give the United States a 1-0 edge. Jones gave the U.S. a 2-0 lead 45 seconds into the second.

Jared Rutledge, who will attend the University of Michigan in the fall, made 17 saves in his tournament debut for Team USA. The U.S. outshot Denmark, 57-17, including a 26-7 margin in the second.

Jones, considered by many to be the top defensive prospect of the 2013 NHL Draft, extended his point streak to five points in three games.

The win over Denmark assured the U.S. a playoff berth in Group A.

The U.S. entered the tournament having captured a record eight consecutive medals, including back-to-back gold medals in 2005-06, three straight gold medals from 2009-11, two silver medals (2004, 2007) and one bronze medal (2008). Team USA’s six gold medals are the most of any country in the Men's World U18 Championship history -- the event began in 1999.

The U.S. is in Group A with Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark and Finland. Group B consists of Germany, Latvia, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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