MONTREAL — Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif./Boston College) made 17 saves, and Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./Plymouth Whalers), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./University of Michigan) and John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn./Yale University) each chipped in a goal to help the U.S. defeat Slovakia, 3-0, in preliminary round action today at the 2015 IIHF World Juniors Championship.
“I was proud of our effort, especially coming back after having played last night,” said Mark Osiecki, head coach of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team. “We continue to make strides as a team and that’s important as we move along in the tournament.
After a scoreless first period, Milano rushed up the left wing and lasered the puck into the far top corner from just above the goal line to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead with 2:18 left in the middle frame. Larkin picked up an assist on the play.
Just 2:38 into the third stanza, Larkin shot the puck on net from the near the goal line, squeezing it past Slovak goaltender Denis Godla to make it 2-0. Hayden sealed the win with 57 seconds left in regulation when he chipped the puck in from the side of the net.
Team USA finishes preliminary-round play Wednesday (Dec. 31) against Canada to determine the winner of Group A. Puck drop is 4 p.m. ET, and the game can be seen live in the U.S. on NHL Network and will be streamed live on NHL.com.
Notes: With the victory today, the U.S. has clinched a spot in the quarterfinals and will play that game on Jan. 2 in Montreal … Dylan Larkin was named the U.S. Player of the Game for the second straight game. He has 3-2—5 in the last two games … Team USA outshot Slovakia 45-17 …The U.S. is 10-for-10 on the penalty kill to date in the tournament … The U.S. has allowed just one goal in its first three games of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship … For complete Team USA coverage visit worldjuniors.usahockey.com … Follow @USAHockeyScores for in-game updates. Join the U.S. World Juniors conversation on Twitter using #USAWJC.