Team USA won its first game at this year's World Junior Championship tournament on Saturday, crushing Slovakia 6-1 in Leksand, Sweden.
The Americans rolled out to a 5-0 lead before Slovakia broke through for its lone goal at 9:46 of the third period. It was a big win for Team USA, which had lost its opener to Germany in overtime before falling to Canada in its second game.
Pat Kane, an 18-year-old who is eligible for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, had two goals and one assist for Team USA. Kane, a native of Buffalo, currently plays for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Forward Nathan Gerbe of Boston College had three assists for Team USA. Gerbe, a native of Michigan, was selected by Buffalo in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The Slovak team included Rangers prospect Tomas Zaborsky, who moved up to the second line on Saturday. Zaborsky finished the day with three shots on goal, including two in the second period.
In the day's opening game, the Czech Republic team that includes Rangers prospect David Kveton held off Belarus 2-1 for its first win of the tournament. The Czechs scored the winner on a power play at 6:38 of the third period and outshot Belarus 45-17 for the game.
Playing on the Czechs' fourth line, Kveton did not score any points or take any penalties.
Sunday's only other games saw Finland blank Switzerland 4-0 in Group B and Sweden topple Germany in Group A. The host Swedes have won two straight since losing their tournament opener to Team Canada.