Five Oilers prospects are taking part in the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships in Ufa, Russia. We are providing daily reports and links to interviews and highlights through to the end of the tournament.USA 8 - GERMANY 0
After missing almost an entire season of hockey, Alex Galchenyuk is doing his best to make up for lost time.
The United States forward had a dominating performance in his first World Junior Championship game, scoring a goal and adding two assists as the U.S. defeated Germany 8-0 on Thursday in its tournament opener in Ufa, Russia.
The U.S. got goals from eight players, but the top line of Sean Kuraly centering Galchenyuk and Riley Barber combined for three goals and five assists.
Three defensemen also had goals, and goalies John Gibson and Jon Gillies combined on the shutout. Gillies stopped 19 shots through two periods, with Gillies making seven saves in the third. It was the first shutout for the U.S. at a WJC game since Dec. 30, 2010, when Jack Campbell made 14 saves in a 4-0 defeat of Germany during preliminary-round play at the 2011 WJC in Buffalo.
Their eight-goal margin of victory puts the United States atop the Group B standings. The three points for the win is tied with Canada, but their goal differential gives the Americans the tiebreaker. Canada beat Germany 9-3 on Thursday.
Germany goalie Marvin Cupper, who plays for Shawinigan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, made 38 saves on 46 shots.
The U.S. started at full speed, as Kuraly scored just 19 seconds into the game. Galchenyuk made a nice one-touch pass to Barber off a Mike Reilly stretch pass. Barber got a step on the defense and slid the puck across to Kuraly, who beat Cupper with a slick backhander.
Jacob Trouba's point shot through traffic at 8:30 made it 2-0, and then Galchenyuk scored the game's prettiest goal. Taking the puck off the wall along the left side in the Germany zone, the Montreal Canadiens prospect curled back to the blue line and then had an unobstructed path to the slot. His rocket of a wrist shot beat a helpless Cupper over his glove at 9:54 to make it 3-0.
It was a nice moment for Galchenyuk, who played in just two regular-season games and six playoff games for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League last season after injuring his knee in September 2011. The Canadiens still took him with the third selection of the 2012 NHL Draft, and he's shown this season he was worthy of that pick -- when he left for the WJC, he was tied for the OHL lead with 27 goals in 33 games.
The U.S. kept rolling in the second period, this time needing just 15 seconds for Barber to score to make it 4-0. Galchenyuk set the play up with dogged forechecking that led to a German turnover behind the net. Galchenyuk jumped on the puck and found a cutting Barber for the score.
Shayne Gostisbehere's power-play goal made it 5-0 at 6:33, and just 1:22 later, top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Hartman made it 6-0. Cole Bardreau caught Germany in a bad line change and sent Blake Pietila in alone on the German net. Cupper slid out to stop his shot, but the rebound went right to Hartman, who scored into a nearly empty net at 7:55.
The U.S. got into penalty trouble let in the second, giving Germany a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:39, but Gibson held strong, making four outstanding saves to preserve the shutout.
Germany had another long two-man advantage in the third, but Gillies stopped everything Germany through at him during the 1:21 5-on-3 power play.
J.T. Miller scored off a turnover in the German end at 8:36 of the third to make it 7-0, and Seth Jones -- a candidate to be the first player picked this June -- jumped on a loose puck in the German end and fired a hard shot from the slot at 10:32 to make it 8-0. Jones also had an assist and was a team-best plus-5.
The U.S. has to come right back Friday for a big game against Russia (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US), while Germany next plays Saturday, also against Russia (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US).
In the only other game Thursday, Mike Kunzle scored twice as Switzerland beat Latvia 7-2.
A pair of 2013 NHL Draft prospects playing in North America, Sven Andrighetto (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) and Alessio Bertaggia (Brandon, WHL), each had a goal and an assist.
The win temporarily puts Switzerland at the top of the Group A standings. The Swiss are tied with Finland and Sweden with three points each, but their plus-5 goal differential is the tiebreaker. Switzerland next plays Sweden on Friday, while Latvia next plays on Saturday, also against Sweden.
Oilers prospect Tobias Rieder was a minus-3 with three shots on net. Highlights: Germany vs. USA