Day four of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship saw two well-oiled machines post blowout victories on the eve of tougher tests for each.
In the day’s early game, the United States continued their mastery with the man advantage en route to getting points from 14 different players in an 8-0 drubbing of Germany.
USA/GERMANY GAME SUMMARY
After Hudson Fasching (LAK) opened the scoring with an even-strength marker at 8:09 of the first period, the Americans rang up six straight power play goals to put the game away. Nicolas Kerdiles (ANA), Will Butcher (COL), Vince Hinostroza (CHI), Riley Barber (WSH), Matt Grzelcyk (BOS) and Steven Santini (NJD) all connected with German skaters in the penalty box, giving the defending gold medalists a tournament-best 11 power play goals on 18 opportunities (61%) through the first three games.
Hinostroza capped the scoring with his second of the game and third of the tournament with 6:14 to play in the third period. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz (PHI) saw his first action of the week, stopping all 15 shots sent his way to earn the shutout.
Top 2014 draft prospect Leon Draisaitl continued to have a tough time in a German sweater. The big-bodied forward was sent to the dressing room with a game misconduct just 10 seconds into the middle frame after getting whistled for a checking from behind penalty. Through three tourney tilts, the 51-point scorer in the WHL has recorded just two assists.
The lopsided victory puts undefeated Team USA in firm control of Pool A heading into their New Year’s Eve matchup with rival Canada (11:30 a.m. ET, NHL Network, NHL.com). The Canadians, who feature 19 NHL draft picks and three others expected to go very high in 2014 and 2015, could be hungry after suffering a shootout loss to the Czech Republic on Saturday. Before the Tuesday showdown with the Americans, Canada must first deal with Slovakia on Monday.
In the late game, Andre Burakowsky (WSH) notched a hat trick as Sweden rolled neighboring Norway 10-0. Much like the Americans earlier, Sweden capitalized on the man advantage with five of their 10 strikes coming on the power play. Marcus Hogberg (OTT) earned the shutout, having to make just 13 saves in his first tournament action.
SWEDEN/NORWAY GAME SUMMARY
Aside from Burakowsky, six other skaters recorded three-point efforts for the swarming Swedes: Elias Lindholm (CAR), Gustav Oloffson (MIN), Sebastian Collberg (MTL), Andre Wennberg (CBJ) and Nick Sorensen (ANA) each posted one goal and two assists, while Filip Forsberg (NSH) added three helpers.
Draft eligible winger Anton Karlsson was held without a point for the third-straight game, and remains one of two Swedish forwards yet to get on the score sheet in preliminary round play.
Sweden, who remains unbeaten in Pool B, gets a day off before Tuesday’s showdown with a powerful Russian squad featuring Buffalo Sabres prospects Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov.
On Monday, all three Sabres prospects participating in the tournament will get a chance to renew acquaintances as Russia squares off with Rasmus Ristolainen and Team Finland (9 a.m.).
In addition to Canada-Slovakia (11:30 a.m., NHL Network), Monday’s action will be rounded off with Switzerland versus Norway, and Germany battling the Czech Republic (7:30 a.m., NHL Network).
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.