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World Juniors: USA shuts outs Germany, host Russians up next

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Team USA was the last team to take the ice at the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia and, well, they saved the best for last. The Americans turned in the biggest win of the first two days in terms of margin, shutting out Team Germany 8-0.

The U.S., led by No. 3 pick in last summer's draft Alex Galchenyuk and possible No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft Seth Jones, drew the same German team that Team Canada defeated 9-3 on Wednesday and had an even better showing than the guys north of the border. It took Team USA just 19 seconds for Sean Kuraly to score the opening goal and that was just an indication of what was to come.

It must be said that Germany is an inferior team and what the USA did on Thursday must be taken with that grain of salt, but they played at a top-notch level. It was what you would expect from the better team and more. The Americans dominated the game from start to finish, even when killing penalties. Anaheim glatending prospect John Gibson was tasked with holding down the fort on a 5-on-3 PK in the second period and he was up to the task and then some with some excellent goaltending, about the only time Germany generated chances all game. Jon Gillies didn't let down in the third period in relief, closing out the shutout.

Up front, the scoring was balanced as eight different Americans scored the eight goals, including one beautiful snipe from Galchenyuk (above) who was inexplicably left all alone to ponder his thoughts in the slot by the German defense.

All in all, these were the goal scorers for the U.S.

Sean Kuraly (San Jose)
Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg)
Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal)
Riley Barber (Washington)
Shayne Gotisbehere (Philadelphia)
Ryan Hartman (Plymouth Whalers)
J.T. Miller (N.Y. Rangers)
Seth Jones (Portland Winterhawks)

Still, there was some room for improvement and just as we said after Team USA's tune-ups in Finland, they need to do a better job with the discipline and staying out of the box because the host Russians are up next for the Americans on Friday and sitting in the sin bin isn't a good idea against them.

Juniors scene

Here are the standings after the first two days of the tournament.

Pool A standings
TeamGamesWinsOT WinsOT LossesLossesPoints
Switzerland110003
Finland110003
Sweden110003
Czech Republic100010
Latvia200020
Pool B standings
TeamGamesWinsOT WinsOT LossesLossesPoints
USA110003
Canada110003
Russia101002
Slovakia100101
Germany200020

Here is Eye on Hockey contributor and American junior hockey extraordinaire Chris Peters' take on the game where nobody on the American side had a "bad" day. (United States of Hockey)

From CBS Sports Network's college hockey guru Dave Starman, here are the four keys for Team USA in this tournament. (NHL.com)

In the other game on Thursday, the Swiss took down Latvia with ease in a 7-2 win. (IIHF)

The schedule for Friday is as follows (times in ET):

Finland vs. Czech Republic, 2:30 a.m.
Canada vs. Slovakia, 4:30 a.m. (NHL Network)
Sweden vs. Switzerland, 7 a.m.
Russia vs. United States, 9 a.m. (NHL Network)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @StubitsCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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