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WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP: DEC. 28

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres

Hudson Fasching scored his first goal of the tournament Sunday and added a late assist as the United States shut out Germany 6-0 at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The hard-driving Fasching remained at right wing on a productive grind line with Dylan Larkin (DET) and Tyler Motte (CHI). The unit continued to demonstrate chemistry, using their size and speed to control the puck and generate pressure around the net throughout the contest. Fasching set a good tone on their very first shift when he made a nice move to the inside and slid a pass to Motte for a great chance at the doorstep.

It wouldn’t take long for Fasching to see his work reflected on the scoresheet, as the powerful winger went to the net with his stick on the ice and jammed home his own rebound to give USA a 2-0 lead at 12:30 of the opening period. The goal was Fasching’s first point of the tournament.

Fasching, who also served on USA’s top penalty killing unit, later picked up a helper on a Larkin marker with 20 seconds left to play.

J.T. Compher (2013, second round) finished with six shots on goal and a plus-one rating while centering the Americans’ fourth forward line between John Hayden (CHI) and Anthony Louis (CHI). Compher submitted a solid all-around effort, supporting his defenders deep in his zone, hustling after loose pucks and showing flashes of his vision to keep the Germans on their heels. Like Fasching, he earned extra minutes killing penalties and later saw time at the half-wall on a third period power play.

Compher had a glorious chance in the middle frame when he dished off to Larkin and skated down the center lane for the return feed, only to get robbed by the glove hand of German goaltender Ilja Sharipov for one of his 48 saves.

Larkin was named Team USA’s Player of the Game with two goals and one assist. Auston Matthews, who will hear his name called early at the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo, scored the first American goal on a nice wraparound play. Sonny Milano (CBJ) and top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel rounded out the USA scoring.

Eichel brought the house down with 5:51 left to play when he used his powerful edgework and long reach to score a pretty wraparound goal to make it a 5-0 game. The Boston University freshman has two points and 10 shots to help the Americans to two straight wins.

With five of a possible six points secured, the U.S. is in second place in Group A, trailing Canada by one point. The Americans continue preliminary round action today versus Slovakia (4 p.m.). After a day off on Sunday, Sam Reinhart and Team Canada face Finland tonight at 8 p.m. Both games can be seen in the U.S. on 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.
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