Monday, December 30, 2013

Grzelcyk powers U.S. past Germany

Team USA earned its third win of the World Junior Championships in Malmo, Sweden, cruising past Germany, 8-0. Assistant captain Matt Grzelcyk scored his second goal of the tournament and added a pair of assists and 2014 recruit Jack Eichel assisted on the U.S.’s third goal. Grzelcyk leads Team USA in scoring with a 2-4-6 line.

NHL Network analyst Dave Starman tweeted that Grzelcyk has been on the ice for nine of the 19 U.S. goals and six of the eleven power play goals

● USA Hockey recap, analysis and box score
● SB Nation feature on Grzelyck
USA Today recap
CBC Sports recap
● United States of Hockey recap and analysis
Matt Grzelcyk — How fun has this kid been to watch in this tournament? After being the last cut last year, Grzelcyk has taken on a big leadership role this year. He’s leading as a captain, but also in his performance. Consistently Team USA’s most noticeable defenseman game in and game out, Grzelcyk’s three-point performance was well earned. He is a weapon on the back end and has been solid when needed defensively. Grzelcyk is even outperforming lofty expectations coming into the tournament. He leads Team USA with six points (2-4) through three games.
Looking ahead
2014 recruit J.J. Piccinich and 2015 recruit Maxim Letunov each scored a goal and an assists for Youngstown, but the Phantoms dropped a 5-3 road decision to Muskegon. Piccinich’s league-leading tenth power play goals was his 17th score of the season and his seventh tally in the last seven games. Letunov’s goal was his 13th and fourth in the last four games. tweeted that Piccinich will suit up for the USNTDP U18s for their New Year’s Eve matchup with Miami U.

Looking Back
Former BU captain Kevin Shattenkirk followed up his shootout-clinching goal Saturday night with a game-winning slap shot with 11 seconds left in overtime last night, as St. Louis edged Dallas, 3-2. Now tied for fourth in scoring among NHL defensemen, Shattenkirk is a strong candidate to make the U.S. Olympic roster.
Recap and video highlights

Matt Nieto, who began the season with San Jose and then had a few brief trips to the minors, was moved up to the Sharks’ second line tonight, seeing his ice time nearly double, as San Jose defeated Anaheim, 3-1, ending the Ducks’ 10-game winning streak.

A New York Times hockey blog article on player development in the Penguins organization looks at the critical role played by Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach John Hynes, a member of BU’s 1995 National Championship team.

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