Tyler Kleven, Team USA open World Juniors with dominant victory
After an eight-month wait, the Americans cruised past Germany 5-1 in Game 1.
EDMONTON — Eight months after the World Junior Championship was supposed to be played, it finally got underway Tuesday in Edmonton.
The defending champion United States had no issue with its first opponent.
The Americans outshot Germany 50-11 and easily cruised to a 5-1 victory in their opening game of the sparsely attended summer event.
Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes, Minnesota forward Logan Cooley, Notre Dame forward Landon Slaggert, Miami forward Red Savage and Providence forward Riley Duran scored for the Americans, while Colorado College goalie Kaiden Mbereko stopped 10 shots in net.
Fighting Hawks defenseman Tyler Kleven, who is hoping to join Jonathan Toews as the only UND players with two gold medals in the under-20 event, played 16 minutes, 44 seconds and registered a plus-2 rating.
Kleven was paired alongside fellow National Collegiate Hockey Conference blue liner Jack Peart of St. Cloud State.
The World Juniors in August? Yes, it sounds strange to me, too. Here are some other recent hockey stories, though...
The U.S. will next play Switzerland at 9 p.m. Thursday in pool play. They also have pool-play games scheduled against Austria at 1 p.m. Saturday and against Sweden at 9 p.m. Sunday.
The quarterfinals will be played Wednesday, Aug. 17. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, Aug. 19. The medal games will be played Saturday, Aug. 20.
The U.S. played the nightcap Wednesday. In the other games, Finland beat Latvia 6-1 and Czechia beat Slovakia 5-4. In the Czechia-Slovakia game, Omaha freshman goaltender Simon Latkoczy of Slovakia stopped 47 of 52 shots in net.
The Americans have won gold five gold medals at the World Juniors — 2021, 2017, 2013, 2010 and 2004.
Former UND defenseman Jake Sanderson was supposed to be captain of the U.S. World Junior Team for the originally scheduled event in December and January, but he was unable to play in this tournament because he signed with the Ottawa Senators and is preparing for the 2022-23 NHL season.
USA's pool play schedule
Tuesday — USA 5, Germany 1
Thursday — USA vs. Switzerland, 9 p.m. Central
Saturday — USA vs. Austria, 1 p.m. Central
Sunday — USA vs. Sweden, 9 p.m. Central
All games are televised on NHL Network