AMERICANS OPEN HLINKA GRETZKY CUP WITH SHUTOUT OF CZECHS
JASON LA ROSE
RED DEER, Alta. – Grant Silianoff scored one goal and set up three others, helping the United States to a 6-0 win over the Czech Republic in the curtain-raiser for both teams Monday at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Robert Mastrosimone found the back of the net twice for the Americans, who have been flexing their offensive muscle; they have 16 goals in two games, including a 10-goal outburst in a pre-tournament win over Slovakia.
Dustin Wolf backstopped the U.S. in goal, making 23 saves for the shutout.
The American power play opened the scoring just shy of the midway mark of the first period; a cross-ice feed from Silianoff bounced off the side-boards and onto the stick of Mastrosimone, who whipped a quick shot past the glove of Czech goaltender Nick Malik.
Mastrosimone struck again at 11:19 of the second, taking advantage of another U.S.-friendly bounce off the boards to stuff his second of the game through Malik.
Jackson Jutting made it 3-0 with a shorthanded goal at 13:24, poking the puck away at the defensive blue-line before racing away to beat Malik, and Aaron Huglen took a gorgeous stretch pass from Josh Nodler before going to the backhand and netting the 4-0 goal at 15:41.
The three-goals-in-four-minutes stretch spelled the end for Malik, who gave way to Jan Skorpik after allowing four goals on 25 shots in just under 36 minutes of work.
Silianoff got on the board himself early in the third period, keeping on a two-on-one and snapping a shot past Skorpik, and Luke Toporowski added another shorthanded breakaway goal for the U.S. in the dying minutes to finish the scoring.
The Americans are back on the ice at Servus Arena on Tuesday night, taking on Finland (7 p.m. MT), right after the Czechs take on Russia in the afternoon match-up (3 p.m. MT).