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Team USA Continues to Spread the Wealth

12/29/2013, 1:45pm MST
By Cameron Eickmeyer - USAHockey.com

Malmo, Sweden - U.S. National Junior Team head coach Don Lucia has said since the start of the tournament that his team will need scoring from multiple sources and against Germany on Sunday, he had 13 scorers to draw from.

In an 8-0 victory that kept Team USA undefeated in pool play at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, it was a balanced attack that kept the offense, specifically the power play, buzzing at a tournament-best pace.

Thirteen players ended the game with points and the eight goals came from seven different skaters. Vinnie Hinostroza led the way with two goals and two assists and teammate Matt Grzelcyk chipped in a goal and two assists for three points.

"I don't think we have any superstars. We're just a bunch of guys who work really hard," said Adam Erne, who collected his first point of the tournament. "That's what it takes in this tournament, different guys, night in and night out."

Hinostroza said the practice has paid off with some offensive chemistry.

"Our power play was huge today. We've been practicing keeping the puck down low and so we produced a lot of offense from that," he added.

Will Butcher, who had an assist, said the team's passing has been strong, specifically out of its own zone, which is leading to chances at the other end of the ice.

"We have a good team chemistry now and moving the puck really well," he said. "I think that's why we have so many scorers going on right now."

The points piled up on the power play on Sunday. Six total power play goals, including four in the second period, put the game out of reach. Lucia said he likes to see the special teams stay on the plus side, but indicated he doesn't expect the plus-six trend to continue against stronger opponents, starting with Canada on Tuesday.

One player who scored his first goal of the tournament was Santini, who Butcher said was stuck on a line change while on the power play and was cheered loudly when he bounced a puck in off his thigh.

"He's not normally a power play guy," Butcher said of Santini. "They just told him to go to the net so he parked in front of the net and took a shot right off the pad lie a goalie would get and it went in. We were all cheering for him."

Team USA's offense has been very strong all tournament. It currently ranks first in power-play goals with 11.

"We have some guys who can move around in spots, we used three different units today," Lucia said.

With rival Canada on the horizon and the now guaranteed quarterfinals beyond, that balanced and potent offense becomes all the more valuable.


Dec. 26 Czech Republic W, 5-1
Dec. 28 Slovakia W, 6-3
Dec. 29 Germany W, 8-0
Dec. 31 Canada L, 2-3
Jan. 2 Russia (Quarterfinals) L, 3-5

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