Miami’s Austin Czarnik had two assists and generated several quality scoring chances and linemates Kyle Rau and Nick Bjugstad combined for three goals as Team USA won its first WJC match 11-3.
The U.S. led 3-2 after one period as the Danes were able to keep the score close on the strength of two powerplay goals. But, at even strength, they were no match for the Americans who outshot Denmark 44-24 on the night.
In the second, the United States exploded for six goals to end any drama.
Denmark would add one more powerplay marker in the third and Jack Campbell made 21 saves for the victory.
Next up for Team USA is Finland on Wednesday at 3:30pm EDT. The game will be televised on NHL Network.
Overall, I was impressed by the combination of size and speed of the Americans. On the blueline, the Americans are imposing with former Notre Dame commit, Jarred Tinordi leading the troops and standing a stout 6’7″. But, the U.S. goes 6’7″ (Tinordi), 6’5″ (Derek Forbort), 6’4″ (Stephen Johns and Kevin Gravel), 6’3 (Jon Merrill) and 6’2″ (Jacob Trouba). In addition the speed of Jason Zucker, Austin Czarnik and Emerson Etem was devastating as Czarnik in particular was flying all over the ice. Said, Miami’s Trent Vogelhuber on his Twitter feed last night, “Good start for USA’s
@ACzarnik7. Best player under 5’7″ I’ve ever played with. @Andy_Miele and @c_camps11 (Carter Camper) battling it out for the #2 spot.” And, Chris Wideman added, “Watched the USA game tonight and can’t help but thinking @ACzarnik7 was the best forward on the ice.”
I was also impressed by the Americans puck movement and though they’ve just been together a short time, they looked reasonably smooth and fluid. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up against better competition such as Finland (though they were beaten 8-1 yesterday by Team Canada) and the Czech Republic (who face Denmark today). Overall, a good start for Team USA.
– Canadian “fans” were chanting “USA sucks” throughout the game. You stay classy Canada.
– Former BU standout Charlie Coyle registered a hat trick for Team USA.
– Chris Peters had this to say about the game at the UnitedStatesofHockey.com
Earlier this morning, Miami’s Austin Czarnik was named to the final Team USA World Junior Championship roster. Team USA will compete in the IIHF U-20 Championship in Calgary, Alberta starting on December 26.
Czarnik’s 1-1-2 performance in Team USA’s 7-3 victory over Switzerland in exhibition play likely earned him a spot on the final roster.
The United States will face Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic and Canada in group play and hope to medal for what would be an unprecedented third consecutive year in program history.
Last season, the U.S. entered the tournament as the defending gold medalists but were unable to reclaim gold on U.S. soil. That honor went to the Russians who mounted an unbelievable third period comeback to defeat Canada 5-3. The Russians erased a 3-0 deficit after two periods to score 5 in the third to win gold. Blame Canada, indeed.
Good luck to Austin and Team USA!
The Edmonton Journal has more on Austin’s game.