• The Kreider Watch
• The Bourque Watch
Rangers prospects Chris Kreider
and Ryan Bourque
continued to play big roles for Team USA on Thursday night, as the Americans shut out Germany 4-0 at Buffalo to improve to 3-0-0 at the World Junior Championship tournament.
Kreider scored his first goal of the tournament on a second-period power play, and Bourque picked up a second-period assist in the U.S. rout.
|Rangers prospect and Team USA alternate captain Ryan Bourque joins linemate Nick Bjugstad in congratulating defenseman Jon Merrill on his second-period goal Thursday night. Bourque picked up an assist on the goal for his second point of the 2011 World Junior Championship tournament. |
The Americans outshot the Germans by a lopsided 48-14 margin, as Kreider led Team USA with a game-high six shots on goal. Bourque added five shots on what proved to be an easy night for U.S. goaltenders Jack Campbell and Andy Iles, who combined on a shutout.
Team USA will play its final Group A round-robin game on Friday night, when it faces Switzerland with a chance to clinch first place in Group A and earn a bye to start the playoff round.
Finland, which is 2-0-1 in this tournament, and Switzerland, at 2-1-0 are the only teams with any chance to prevent the defending gold-medalist U.S. squad from finishing atop Group A. Should the U.S. beat Switzerland regulation, it would clinch the top spot.
Through its three wins over Finland, Slovakia and Germany, Team USA has outscored its opponents by a combined 13-3.
Team USA's domination was evident again on Thursday against Germany. Just after the first period was half over, Team USA jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two goals in a span of less than one minute. With Kreider on the ice as part of the top U.S. power-play unit, San Jose Sharks draftee Charlie Coyle scored the game's first goal at 12:37 of the opening period.
Jerry D'Amigo followed Coyle's goal with an unassisted, even-strength tally at the 13:25 mark, putting the Americans firmly in the driver's seat against the overmatched Germans.
The Americans outshot Germany 23-2 in the first period, and only a heroic effort by German goalie Niklas Treutle kept it a two-goal game.
Bourque, who plays in the QMJHL with the Quebec Remparts, picked up his second assist of the tournament at 7:54 of the second period when defenseman Jon Merrill scored to make it 3-0 at even strength.
Kreider, a sophomore at Boston College, added the game's final goal on a power play at 13:10 of the second. The goal was Kreider's seventh in World Junior competition, including the six he scored for Team USA in last year's gold-medal run.
There was no scoring in the third period, which saw Bourque take a tripping penalty at 16:26. With its loss, winless Germany was eliminated from medal contention.