Jan 2, 2013, 10:05 AM EDT
It may have been a slow start for Team USA against the Czech Republic during the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championships, but it was a definitive finish.
Johnny Gaudreau finished the game with a hat trick, Jacob Trouba had four assists and goalie John Gibson stopped all 31 shots he faced in the Americans’ 7-0 win over the Czechs. Team USA will now face Team Canada in the semifinals tomorrow.
You could say that being in the preliminary “group of death” with Canada, Russia, and Slovakia helped get Team USA ready for this round, and through two periods of play against the Czechs, it felt that way. It was only 1-0 after the first, but 6-0 after 40 minutes with Riley Barber scoring both of his goals in the second.
Now this sets up a crucial game with Canada in the semis. As you’ll remember, Canada took out Team USA 2-1 during the opening round of the tournament but the stakes are a bit higher now with a spot in the gold medal game on the line. Whatever you might’ve thought of their first match-up, expect better this time around. It’s never boring between these two junior hockey powers.
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