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Smith, Team USA stay unbeaten at World Juniors

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Predators prospect Jeremy Smith stopped 16-of-18 shots, while Team USA’s offense benefited from four power-play goals in a 4-2 win over Switzerland in the World Junior Championships in Czech Republic on Friday. The win improved USA’s record to 2-0 in the Preliminary Round, tied with Russia for first place in Group B. USA and Russia play on Saturday (Dec. 29).

Predators prospect Jonathon Blum was on the ice for Team USA’s first two goals and initially was awarded an assist on the game’s opening goal before a scoring change cost him the point. Fellow Preds prospects Blake Geoffrion and Ryan Flynn were also scoreless in the game. (For more coverage from Czech Republic, read Blake Geoffrion’s contributions in Blake’s Blog.)

The US never trailed in the game and out-shot the Swiss 51-18. Colin Wilson scored the game’s opening goal on a power-play 5:08 into the first period. Wilson and linemates Jordan Schroeder and James van Riemsdyk combined to score three goals and eight points in the contest.

Bobby Sanguinetti extended the USA lead to 2-0 with a power-play tally 2:57 into the second period. Switzerland got on the board with the game’s only even strength goal 1:20 later and the game remained 2-1 after two periods of play.

Van Riemsdyk scored a five-on-three power-play goal 2:27 into the third period, before Wilson netted his second goal of the game (and third of the tournament) midway through the frame to give the US a 4-1 lead. Switzerland added a power-play tally with 4:15 remaining in the game to close out the scoring.

On paper, Team USA’s schedule appears to get more difficult this weekend with games against Russia tomorrow and Finland on Monday. However, Russia had to come from two goals down to beat Kazakhstan 5-4. The US beat Kazakhstan 5-1 in the tournament opener for both teams. Switzerland extended Finland through 65 minutes, eventually dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the Fins.

Log on to for tournament updates, as well as updates on the progress of the four Predators prospects.

Team USA Schedule and Results
Preliminary Round Games   Group B
Dec. 26 vs. Kazakhstan W, 5-1 (recap)
Dec. 28 vs. Switzerland W, 4-2 (recap)
Dec. 29 vs. Russia 3 p.m. CT
Dec. 31 vs. Finland 11 a.m. CT
Medal Round  
Jan. 2 Quarterfinals* TBD
Jan. 4 Semifinals* TBD
Jan. 5 Championship Game* TBD

* game times and opponents to be determined based on qualifying results from round-robin pool play.

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