Team USA opened up their World Junior Championship schedule with a game against Germany in Ufa, Russia. They couldn't have asked for a better start to the tournament.
USA opened the scoring just 19 seconds into the contest. A great passing play between Riley Barber, Alex Galchenyuk and Sean Kuraly led to a breakaway chance for Kuraly. The Dublin, Ohio native put a backhand shot through the pads of Marvin Cupper to give the Americans the 1-0 lead.
Nine and a half minutes into the opening frame, USA added to their lead. Defenseman Jacob Trouba, who was selected ninth overall by the Winnipeg Jets in 2012, fired a wrist shot from the right point that found its way over Cupper's left pad and into the twine.
Less than two minutes after Trouba's tally, Galchenyuk showed why he was the third overall pick in the 2012 Draft. With plenty of time and space, the Montreal Canadiens' prospect rifled a wrist shot that beat Cupper high on the glove side to give USA a 3-0 lead.
Germany took three penalties during the first period, making it hard for them to establish any offensive flow. The Germans didn't register their first shot on goal until 6:10 remained in the period.
Team USA goalie John Gibson was tested late in the period when Kuraly was in the penalty box, but the 6-3 netminder stood tall in net.
Just like the start of the game, the Galchenyuk-Kuraly-Barber unit scored early in the second period. After forcing a turnover behind Germany's net, Galchenyuk center the puck from behind the net to Barber, who wasted no time putting the puck behind Cupper.
The goal came just 14 seconds into the period, and gave the Americans a 4-0 lead.
After Miller drew a penalty, USA added to the lead on the power play. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere rifled a one-timer from the right point over Cupper's shoulder. Cupper had difficulty seeing the shot, as Miller was screening the goalie.
A minute and 22 seconds later, Team Germany had trouble completing a line change, and USA had a 2-on-none break. Cupper made the first save on a wrist shot from Blake Pietila, but the rebound caromed right to Ryan Hartman, who buried the puck into the vacant net to give USA a 6-0 lead.
Gibson's shining moment came with under seven minutes remaining in the middle frame. Germany had a two-man advantage for 1:39 as Trouba and USA captain Jake McCabe were both in the penalty box. Gibson made a number of saves from point blank range to preserve the shutout.
Jon Gillies replaced Gibson at the start of the third period. Gibson stopped all 19 shots he faced in the first two periods.
Early in the period, Team USA had trouble staying out of the penalty box. Germany had a two-man advantage for 1:20, and then had another man advantage after the 5-on-3 ended.
Nine and a half minutes into the third, with the teams skating four aside, Miller added his name to the scoresheet. After forcing Germany to turn the puck over in their own zone, the Rangers' first round pick in 2011 skated in on Cupper, and slid the puck underneath the goalie's right pad for his first goal of the tournament.
Two minutes after Miller's tally, top prospect Seth Jones extended the USA lead to 8-0. After another Germany turnover, Jones skated into the slot and beat Cupper with a wrist shot high on the glove side.
Even with the outcome sealed, the USA effort was apparent for all 60 minutes. With under six minutes remaining, and Germany on a breakaway, USA forward Rocco Grimaldi hustled back into his own zone, and stopped the breakaway by diving and poke-checking the puck away.
Galchenyuk and Barber each had a goal and two assists to lead Team USA in scoring. Kuraly and Jones each added a goal and an assist in the victory.
Team USA's next game is tomorrow at 9 a.m. Eastern time against Russia. The contest will be broadcasted on the NHL Network.