Great hype and anticipation has manifested about the imprint the Boston University men’s hockey team could leave on the 2017 World Junior Championships, and its contingent certainly did not disappoint in Monday’s opening clashes.
Team Canada, which boasts freshman Dante Fabbro along the blueline, swept aside Team Russia, 5-3. The Nashville Predators first rounder in the 2016 NHL Draft did not register a point, but largely held his own against a heavy-skating Russian side.
GAME HIGHLIGHTS of a great clash between @HC_Men and @Russiahockey. #WorldJuniors pic.twitter.com/5uNbmYKll8
— IIHF WJC (@iihf_wjc) December 27, 2016
While the Canadians impressed inside the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the same building treated Team USA well. More specifically, its members of the Terriers stole the show, accounting for two thirds of the scoring in a 6-1 win over Team Latvia.
Skating as the 13th forward, freshman Patrick Harper opened up the proceedings with a quick wrister in the first period that flew past Mareks Mitens, the Latvian netminder. With just 75 ticks remaining in the second frame, freshman Clayton Keller gave the Americans a 3-1 advantage, potting a loose puck in front of goal.
Keller didn’t stopped there, though, as he made it a 4-1 game for Team USA when he flung a wrist shot past Mitens midway through the third period. Cushioning the red, white and blue’s lead even further, sophomore Jordan Greenway cleaned up a rebound with 40 seconds remaining to seal the 6-1 scoreline.
As for BU’s other players on Team USA, freshman forward Kieffer Bellows skated on the fourth line alongside Tanner Laczynski of Ohio State and Joey Anderson of Minnesota Duluth. Next, sophomore Charlie McAvoy, who is serving as an assistant captain, anchored the defensive unit. Lastly, Jake Oettinger, one of the three American goalies, was the team’s sole scratch.
Game highlights from @USAHockey‘s 6-1 win against Latvia (@lhf_lv). pic.twitter.com/BROKlFvydU
— IIHF WJC (@iihf_wjc) December 26, 2016
The Terrier faithful hardly have to wait to see their young stars in action yet again, as Team Canada takes on Team Slovakia on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Team USA’s next faces off on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., also against the Slovaks. Both games will be streamed on the NHL Network.