The United States of America easily qualified for the semi-finals of the World Junior Championship in Halifax after an 11-1 victory against Germany on Monday.
USA’s win is their biggest quarter-final win in team history. They will await confirmation from their opponent after Canada and Slovakia’s quarter-final match ends later today. The United States will have a chance to win a medal for the sixth time in the last eight tournaments, the last having won gold in 2021 in Edmonton.
The Americans were much stronger from the start, needing only 3:51 to score the first goal. At 3:51, Logan Cooley danced around a pair of defenders and pinned him between Nikita Quapp’s legs for the 1-0 goal.
That seemed to trigger the American attack, and at 8:00 on the power play they scored again. This time, Ryan Ufko – who set up Cooley for the opening goal – found Jimmy Snuggerud in free space. Snuggerud’s shot bounced off a German defender in front and past Quapp for the 2-0 goal.
Just 39 seconds later, Ufko got on the scoresheet again, setting up a wide open Red Savage for the 3-0 goal. Charlie Stramel scored soon after on a goal that was eventually ruled for offside, but the United States had full control.
After that third goal, however, the game felt a bit tighter. The Germans were keeping pace and the United States couldn’t generate much for 15 minutes. That’s it At 29:05, Jackson Blake’s first goal of the tournament made it 4-0, triggering a lock to close the period.
Cooley and Cutter Gauthier scored 18 seconds apart in the 31st minute to make it 6-0 before Savage’s second of the night made it 7-0 at 35:25. Gauthier’s second of the night concluded the period, with the United States showing their dominance with an eight-goal advantage.
USA wanted to keep the pressure on as they focused ahead of the semi-final and kept putting the pressure on. Kenny Connors scored early to make it 9-0 after arming himself well in front of the net for the goal. Two minutes later, Cooley completed the hat trick after crashing into the net to hit Gauthier’s goal. At 48:31, Dylan Duke added one to make it 11-0, giving Ufko his fifth assist of the contest.
The Americans wouldn’t leave with a shutout, however. Both teams went to their substitutes for the third, including the United States, who sat Trey Augustine to finish with Andrew Oke. Oke played well but was in the net for Luca Hauf’s hard wrist with just over three minutes to go to make it 11-1. It earned thunderous applause from the crowd in Moncton, with Germany having one last reason to celebrate before packing up.
- Ryan Ufko, D (USA, Nashville): So much attention has been given to Lane Hutson and Luke Hughes, but Ufko’s five-point effort was one of the best offensive results by a defender this year.
- Logan Cooley, F (USA, Arizona): Three goals and four points for Cooley as he continues his assault on the scoring charts.
- Cutter Gauthier, F (USA, Philadelphia): Nearly scored a hat trick, but the Flyers prospect won’t complain on a two-goal, three-point night.