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By Kerry Collins, Published April 14 2009

U18 hockey: USA nets a dozen, advances to medal round

The United States wasn’t allowing any comebacks this time.

Team USA put its foot on the gas from the start and kept it floored all the way for a 12-0 rout over Slovakia at the IIHF World U18 Championship on Monday.

“The biggest thing we wanted was to get out to an early lead and not let them get a sniff,” said Kevin Lynch, who notched two goals and an assist. “We got the puck in deep and kept it down there.

“We kept working for 60 minutes.”

The United States, which took a four-goal lead over Finland on Saturday and eked out a 4-3 win, outshot Slovakia 42-18 in Monday’s rout.

The Americans moved to 3-0 in the tournament and clinched a spot in the medal round with Monday’s win.

After a glut of early pressure was turned away by Slovakia, USA scored three goals in the span of 3 minutes, 17 seconds midway through the period to take charge.

Lynch had the first two goals to get things started.

John Henrion and Kenny Ryan also had two goals apiece for the Americans, who were 5-for-8 on the power play.

“We had to get the power-play going, and in the third period, we weren’t even using regular matchups,” U.S. coach Ron Rolston said. “We had some success, and maybe that’s the key – just to get it going.”

Entering Monday’s game, the United States was just

2-for-14 (14 percent) on the power play.

Nine different players scored a goal for the Americans, and five different players had at least two assists.

“That’s a definite confidence boost to get everybody involved like that,” Lynch said. “You want everybody to be playing with that kind of confidence because we have a big one coming up.”

The United States looks to wrap up the top spot in Pool B today. Team USA faces Russia – which is 2-1 in the pool – at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Urban Plains Center.

After dropping its opening game to Finland 7-4, Russia has outscored its opponents 15-3 in winning its last two games.

“We obviously feel good with nine points, but in an international tournament, you can’t feel great about any situation,” Rolston said. “Things can change on a dime, so you have to stay sharp.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, US, Lynch (Ramage, Samuelsson), 12:57. 2, US. Lynch (D’Amigo, Morin), 14:44. 3, US, Valek (Brown, Zucker), 16:14.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, US, Nieto (Wrenn, Henrion), 25:41. 5, US, Henrion (Fowler), 30:00. 6, US, Mattson (Bourque), 43:14 (pp). 7, US, Ryan (Bourque), 37:32 (pp).

THIRD PERIOD: 8, US, Ryan (Bourque), 43:47. 9, US, Henrion (Clendening, Merrill), 46:35 (pp). 10, US, Brown (Lynch, Zucker), 47:46 (pp). 11, US, Rempel (Shore, Clendening), 48:41 (pp). 12, US, Morin, 17:59.

SAVES: US, Campbell 6-5-7—18. S, Pek 12-9-x—21, Holly x-2-7—9.

A: 2,040.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548. Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com