Team USA beats Czech Republic at hockey's world juniors
MALMO, Sweden (AP) -- Providence's Jon Gillies made 23 saves to help the United States open its world junior title defense with a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic on Thursday.
Miami of Ohio's Riley Barber, Denver's Will Butcher, Minnesota's Hudson Fasching, Colorado College's Jaccob Slavin and Notre Dame's Vince Hinostroza scored for the United States.
"It's always good to get the cobwebs out and get a convincing win," Barber said.
Barber and Butcher scored power-play goals in a 41-second span early in the first period.
"When you get the two power-play goals to begin the game and can play with the lead it's much, much easier to play the game," said coach Don Lucia of the University of Minnesota. "Our defense did a good job breaking us out and Jon Gillies was there when we needed him."
Michal Plutnar had a third-period goal for the Czech Republic.
The U.S. will play Slovakia on Saturday, Germany on Sunday, and finish group play Tuesday against Canada.
In Group B, Sweden beat Switzerland 5-3, and Russia routed Norway 11-0.
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