UFA, Russia – John Gaudreau (Carneys Point, N.J./Boston College) and Vince Trocheck (Pittsburgh, Pa./Saginaw Spirit) tallied two goals apiece as the U.S. National Junior Team defeated Slovakia, 9-3, here tonight at Ufa Arena in the final preliminary round game of the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. The victory gives Team USA a 2-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in the tournament and a berth into the quarterfinal round as the No. 3 seed in Group B.
"A lot of guys that haven't been scoring found the net tonight, like John Gaudreau and Vince Trocheck," said Phil Housley, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "Our power play was sharp tonight as was our penalty kill. Still, we need to improve our discipline and stay out of the penalty box as we look ahead to the quarterfinals."
It took the U.S. four minutes to begin the scoring. After John Gibson (Pittsburgh, Pa./Kitchener Rangers) made consecutive saves, the puck bounced to Ryan Hartman (Somewhere/Plymouth Whalers), who skated the puck into the neutral zone. Hartman's pass up ice sprung Cole Bardreau (Fairpoint, N.Y./Cornell Univ.) for a breakaway goal. Slovakia tied the game just 14 seconds later on a breakaway of its own.
Over the next nine minutes, Team USA rattled off four straight goals. Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis./Univ. of Wisconsin) cut to the net, accepted a a pass from Jimmy Vesey (North Reading, Mass./Harvard Univ.) and backhanded the puck high to the short side at 5:10. Gaudreau then notched his first goal of the tournament at the 9:00 mark, tucking a rebound around the out-stretched pad of Adam Nagy. Slovakia inserted backup goalie Patrick Romancik, yet the U.S. continued its run. Mike Reilly (Chanhassen, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) fed Vesey for a shot in front, then followed the play to tip in the rebound. Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich./Univ. of Michigan) tapped in a power-play goal on a rush at 13:50 to put the U.S. up 5-1.
Slovakia broke the U.S. goal spree with a power-play goal at 18:35 to make it 5-2 after the first period.
The U.S. scored the only three goals of the second period to stretch its lead to 8-2. Gaudreau deked through the Slovakian defense for a power-play goal at 4:55. Trocheck tallied the next two goals at 6:16 and 10:00.
The teams traded goals in the third period. Slovakia scored at 9:21, while Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee, Wis./Sarnia Sting) added Team USA's fourth power-play goal of the day with 3:44 remaining.
Gibson stopped 26 shots for the U.S., while Nagy turned aside six-of-nine shots and Romancik had a 25-save performance for Slovakia.
Team USA begins play in the medal round in the quarterfinals on Wednesday (Jan. 2) in Ufa, Russia. NHL Network (DirectTV 215, Dish 403) broadcasting live and NHL.com streaming live.
NOTES: Cole Bardreau was named the Player of the Game for Team USA ... Seventeen different USA players notched a point. Six players had multiple points: John Gaudreau (2-1--3), Vince Trocheck (2-1--3), Jim Vesey (0-3--3), Alex Galchenyuk (1-1--2), Jake McCabe (1-1--2), J.T. Miller (0-2--2) ... For the most thorough coverage of Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, click here ... NHL Network is broadcasting all Team USA games live and re-airing them in prime time each night. NHL.com is also streaming all games live ... Phil Housley (South St. Paul, Minn.), head boy's ice hockey coach at Stillwater (Minn.) High School, is the head coach of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team. He is assisted by Mark Osiecki (Columbus, Ohio), head men's ice hockey coach at Ohio State University, Grant Potulny (Minneapolis, Minn.), assistant men's ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota and David Lassonde (Denver, Colo.), assistant men's ice hockey coach at the University of Denver ... Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the fourth consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.) is the director of player personnel ... Use the hashtag #USAWJC to join the conversation on Twitter.