RED DEER, Alberta – The United States Under-18 Men’s Select Team opened pool play Monday night at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with a convincing 6-0 victory over the Czech Republic at Servus Arena.
U.S. goaltender Dustin Wolf (Tustin, Calif.) was flawless, stopping all 23 Czechia shots on goal, and Grant Silianoff (Edina, Minn.) registered a goal and three assists to pace the offense.
“I felt good out there,” said Wolf, who also recorded an assist. “The team made it easy on me throughout the game, which is all a goalie can ask for from their team. We are all looking forward to putting our best effort forward in tomorrow’s game.”
A three-goal U.S. barrage over a span of four minutes late in the second period proved decisive, turning a one-goal game into a four-goal bulge. It was more than enough for Wolf.
Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y.) began the outburst, converting a Mitchell Miller (Sylvania, Ohio) rebound at 11:19 of the second period for his second goal of the game. Jackson Jutting (Savage, Minn.) followed Mastrosimone’s goal with a shorthanded tally two minutes later to make it 3-0, then Aaron Huglen (Roseau, Minn.) added a breakaway goal late in the period to end Nick Malik’s night between the pipes for Czechia.
Early in the third period, Silianoff (Edina, Minn.) struck with a sizzling wrist shot past Jan Skorpik to make it 5-0. Luke Toporowski (Bettendorf, Iowa) closed the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 18:22.
The U.S. (1-0-0-0) returns to action Tuesday night against Finland (0-1-0-0), which fell 7-2 to Russia (1-0-0-0) in its tournament opener Monday afternoon. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Mountain Time at Servus Arena, with HockeyTV streaming the game live.