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Team USA crushes Slovakia 6-1

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Kreider Watch

Bourque Watch

Rangers prospects Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque each had an assist in helping Team USA rout Slovakia 6-1 on Tuesday night at the World Junior Championship tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.

The win lifted the defending gold medalist U.S. squad into first place in the tournament's Group A. The Americans had beaten Finland 3-2 in overtime to open the tournament on Sunday.

Rangers prospect Chris Kreider, who had an assist and plus-1 rating for the game, plays the puck behind the Slovak net during Tuesday night's USA rout of Slovakia at the World Junior Championship.
Team USA outshot Slovakia by a lopsided 57-18 margin on Tuesday. Kreider and Bourque both played big roles in the total domination of the Slovaks, with both seeing considerable power-play time in a game that was filled with American man-advantages.

In addition to their assists, Kreider, the Rangers' 2009 first-round draft pick, finished the night plus-1 with three shots on goal. Bourque, who played in all situations for the Americans, finished with four shots.

The Americans jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Anaheim 2009 first-round pick Kyle Palmieri, a New Jersey native who has played 10 games for the Ducks already this season while spending most of the year with the AHL's Syracuse Crunch.

Palmieri's first goal, scored at 4:31 of the opening period, came off assists from linemates Kreider and Charlie Coyle, a first-round pick of the San Jose Sharks. He scored again on a power play at 8:02 of the first during an extended U.S. power play resulting from a five-minute major and game misconduct to Slovak defenseman Peter Hrasko for a hit to the head of Jerry D'Amigo.

Team USA outshot the overmatched Slovaks 22-1 margin over the opening 20 minutes as Kreider had one shot on goal, while Bourque had two.

Kreider was stationed in the slot when Coyle scored a power-play goal that gave the Americans a 3-0 lead at 3:56 of the second period. Team USA stretched the lead to 4-0 with another man-advantage tally by Chris Brown at 11:47 of the second. Slovakia got one goal back, making it a 4-1 game and spoiling Jack Campbell's shutout bid at the 12:26 mark.

Team USA wasted no time regaining its four-goal lead when Drew Shore made a brilliant move around a Slovak defenseman and scored on a backhand deke at 13:32 of the second.

Bourque picked up his first point of the tournament with an assist on a goal by linemate Emerson Etem just over three minutes later at 16:57. Etem scored on a long wrister  from the top of the left faceoff circle. Bourque had started the play with a pass to Nick Bjugstad, who found Etem from the neutral zone for a 6-1 lead.

Slovak starting goaltender Dominik Riecicky was lifted in favor of Juraj Holly after the Etem goal. Kreider had two shots after 40 minutes, while Bourque had three. Bourque's final shot of the game -- in the third period, came on a spin-o-rama move that freed him up to go one-on-one with Holly.

Slovakia was called for a total of 58 minutes in penalties, including two game misconducts. Team USA was called for its only two penalties with under two minutes remaining in the game.

Jesper Fasth
Elsewhere on Tuesday night, Rangers prospect Jesper Fasth, a 2010 sixth-round pick, scored his first World Junior Championship goal in Sweden's 2-0 victory over Russia. The win kept the Swedes unbeaten and tied with Team Canada atop Group B.

After Sweden took a 1-0 lead at 10:49 of the first period, Fasth made it 2-0 just under four minutes later when he scored at even strength, assisted by Calle Jarnkrok, at 14:11 of the first.

Fasth, who plays for Jonkoping HV-71 in the Swedish Elite League, was on Sweden's top line with Jarnkrok and Johan Larsson on Tuesday. He scored on his only shot of the game and finished the night with a plus-1 rating.

In an earlier game on Tuesday, Rangers prospect Roman Horak and the Czech Republic was routed by Canada, 7-2 at Buffalo. Horak, who skated on the No. 1 line and power-play unit for the Czechs, had two shots on goal. The Czechs scored on their first shot of the game before giving up seven straight goals to the Canadians.
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