Scoring not a problem as U.S. beats Germany in tournament opener

Updated: December 26, 2008, 11:30 PM ET
Associated Press

OTTAWA -- James van Riemsdyk and Drayson Bowman scored two goals each for the United States, who opened the world junior hockey championship with an 8-2 rout of Germany on Friday.

Minnesota's Jordan Schroeder had a goal and three assists, and Colin White of Boston University added a goal and set up another. Van Riemsdyk, chosen No. 2 overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in last year's NHL draft, is a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire. Bowman is a forward with Spokane of the Western Hockey League.

Matt Rust, of Michigan, and Tyler Johnson, Bowman's teammate with Spokane, also scored. Mitch Wahl chipped in two assists. Thomas McCollum, of Guelph in the OHL, made 16 saves for the win.

"No matter who you are playing, you want to have a good start to the tournament and get the ball rolling," van Riemsdyk said. "We wanted to play well. We got rid of some nerves out there and we got better as the game went on.

"We just kept it simple, making chips off the boards and getting the puck in deep. We generated a lot of offense off that."

Canada also got off to a good start with an 8-1 win over the Czech Republic in the final game Friday night.

John Tavares, a strong contender to go No. 1 in next year's NHL draft, had two goals and an assist to lead Canada, the host country and defending champion. Angelo Esposito, Ryan Ellis, Tyler Ennis, Chris DiDomenico, Zach Boychuk and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Canadians in front of a tournament-record crowd of 19,622.

"I really hadn't seen him play before selection camp," Canada coach Pat Quinn said of Tavares. "While he's not blessed with blazing speed, what he does have is that change of pace that freezes guys. He knows where to carry the puck and get himself into shooting positions that lots of people can't do."

Tavares has repeatedly said he wants to be defensively responsible in all three zones, but his puck-handling skills make him stand out in this tournament.

"I want to create opportunities and put the puck in the net," Tavares said. "I think that's what I do best. I want to make sure the coaches can count on me, but I want to score goals and produce opportunities."

Jordan Eberle and Boychuk each added two assists. Dustin Tokarski's shutout bid ended with two minutes remaining when Jan Kana scored. Tokarski made 21 saves.

Canada, the winner of four straight world junior titles, will play Kazakhstan on Sunday.

In other action on the first day of the tournament; Russia topped Latvia 4-1. Pavel Chernov had a goal and an assist, and Vyacheslav Voinov, Maxim Goncharov and Dmitri Klopov also scored to lead Russia over Latvia. Janis Ozololins netted Latvia's lone goal.

Sweden beat Finland 3-1. David Rundblad scored the eventual winner and Jacob Markstrom stopped 21 shots in Sweden's win over Finland. Marcus Johansson and Mikael Backlund, into an empty net, also scored for Sweden. David Ullstrom adding two assists.

Toni Rajala scored for Finland, which received 20 saves from Harri Suteri.

The Americans, who will take on the Czech Republic on Sunday, peppered the German net with 46 shots. Timo Pielmeier, who plays in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, allowed five goals on 27 shots in the first two periods. He was replaced at the start of the third by Philipp Grubauer, who gave up two goals on 19 shots.

Toni Ritter and Patrick Pohl scored for Germany, which earned a spot in this tournament by winning one of two world 'B' junior championship tournaments earlier this year.

Canada scored four times in the second period and chased Czech goalie Tomas Vosvrda, who gave up five goals on 22 shots. He was replaced by Dominik Furch after Ennis's goal at 13:33 of the second. DiDomenico, Boychuk and Pietrangelo scored in the third to turn the game into a rout.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press