MONCTON, New Brunswick (AP)Minnesota freshman Jimmy Snuggerud had a goal and three assists and the United States beat Finland 6-2 on Saturday to win Group B in the world junior hockey championship.
The Americans will face Germany – the fourth-place team in Group A – in the quarterfinals Monday. The U.S. was 3-1 in the group.
”We’re going to have a strong competition with Germany,” Snuggerud said. ”We can’t take them lightly.”
In the other quarterfinals, the Group A champion Czech Republic will face Switzerland, Canada will meet Slovakia, and Finland will play Sweden. Also, Latvia and Austria will meet in a best-of-three relegation round.
Luke Hughes and Logan Cooley each had a goal and an assist for the United States, Chaz Lucius, Rutger McGroarty and Lane Hutson also scored and Trey Augustine made 29 saves.
”I thought our compete level was excellent tonight,” said U.S. coach Rand Pecknold of Quinnipiac. ”Our puck management was great and we took another step forward against a good Finland team.”
Lenni Hameenaho had a goal and an assist for Finland. Joakim Kemell also scored.
”I think today our defense wasn’t strong enough,” Finnish coach Tomi Lamsa said. ”Six goals against. We need to help our goalie more.”
In the other Group B finale in Moncton, Switzerland beat Slovakia 4-3 in a shootout. Rodwin Dionici, a defenseman for the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs, beat Adam Gajan in the 10th round of the tiebreaker.
In Group A in Halifax, the Czech Republic beat Germany 8-1, and Canada topped Sweden 5-1.
Jaroslav Chmelar had two goals and an assist for the Czechs, 5-2 winner over Canada in their tournament opener.
Brennan Othmann scored twice for Canada.