U.S. routs Slovakia 9-3 to advance to world junior quarterfinals
Team USA teammates huddle before playing against Slovakia during first period IIHF World Junior Championships hockey action in Ufa, Russia on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Associated Press
Published Monday, December 31, 2012 8:43AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 31, 2012 1:31PM EST
UFA, Russia -- The United States routed Slovakia 9-3 Monday to advance to the quarterfinals of the world junior hockey championships.
The Americans' prospects of reaching the knockout round had looked uncertain after a loss to Canada a day earlier. But they dominated the Slovaks almost from the start and will next play the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Cole Bardreau opened the scoring in the fourth minute before Slovakia's Matus Matis tied it 14 seconds later. The Americans built an insurmountable lead, helped by two goals apiece from Vince Trocheck and John Gaudreau.
Canada stayed in first place in Group B by downing Russia 4-1. Jonathan Huberdeau, Mark Scheifele, Dougie Hamilton and Jonathan Drouin scored for Canada. Nikita Kucherov scored in the 17th minute for Russia, which will next play Switzerland.
In Group A, the Czech Republic beat Switzerland 4-3 in overtime. Tomas Hertl scored the winner on a pass from Dmitrij Jaskin. Group leader Sweden defeated regional rival Finland 7-4, demoting Finland to the relegation round.
Group leaders Canada and Sweden draw byes in the quarterfinals.