Thursday, December 26, 2013

Team USA off to fast start

Team USA took an early 2-0 lead against the Czech Republic and cruised to a 5-1 win in a World Junior Championship preliminary round game. A current Terriers and a future one had a hand in the early goals. USA assistant captain Matt Grzelcyk’s stretch pass sent Riley Barber racing into the Czech zone for a sharp angle goal. Minutes later, with USA on the power play again, 2014 recruit Jack Eichel found Will Butcher all alone on a back-door play to double the lead. The defending champions added two more goals in the middle period and a fifth goal in the third period.

Grzelcyk had four shots, second most for Team USA. Eichel won 10 of 15 faceoffs.

Next game is Saturday (7:30 a.m. ET) against Slovakia.

● USA Hockey recap and boxscore
● Video highlights
● SB Nation recap
● United States of Hockey analysis and player reviews

Jack Eichel — Eichel showed that his age is not even close to an issue. Team USA’s youngest player had the puck glued to his stick at times it seemed and played with the patience and skill to generate offense. He forced a few turnovers and generated a lot of chances. His strength on the puck and effort in the offensive zone is going to make him really tough to contain.
Matt Grzelcyk — The speed and on-ice awareness Grzelcyk showed in the first game shows why he’s going to be a leader for this defensive group. He has such excellent distribution skills and sees the ice incredibly well. Grzelcyk was engaged throughout the game, forcing turnovers, leading the transition and a few times he rushed the puck with good results. He is going to be an important guy on the blue line throughout.

 Episode 2 of BU Hockey: This Season, which chronicles the Terriers' early season trip to Michigan, is now posted.

► The World U17 Challenge begins Saturday in Nova Scotia. Team USA is represented by the NTDP U17s, including 2015 recruit Charles McAvoy.
● SB Nation preview

Women's Team
Rebecca Leslie, named MVP at last month’s Canadian National U18 championships last month, has committed to BU for next season, according to an article in Centre Ice magazine. Leslie, a member of the 2013-14 National Women's Under-18 Team, is a high-scoring forward on the Ottawa Senators in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League.

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