(above) DU recruit Jason Zucker climbs the glass after scoring one of his two goals on Friday night against Canada
In a key game in Group A action in the World Under-18 Championships, USA beat Canada 5-0, in the tight battle for a playoff spot, and North American bragging rights.
The road to the playoff round just got extremely difficult for the Canadians as they must now beat undefeated group leader Sweden to avoid the relegation round. Meanwhile, the Americans, with two wins and a loss are in good shape to make the quarterfinals.
University of Denver recruit Jason Zucker scored twice in the first period, including one power-play marker. Canada paid dearly for its penalties as two of the three American first-period goals were with the extra man. Bryan Rust was the other goal scorer of the stanza for USA.
The 3-0 lead stood through most of the second period. A Canadian goal could have easily turned the tide, but instead USA’s Austin Watson put in the 4-0 goal late in the period. The 4-0 advantage was the start of the end for the Canadians.
Rust put in his second of the game 6:02 into the third period, making it an insurmountable 5-0 lead.
Canada’s key match-up against Sweden will be on Sunday after a day off tomorrow. The Americans will also enjoy a rest day before taking on host Belarus.