Coyotes prospect Cooley, U.S. win at world juniors
MONCTON, New Brunswick — Logan Cooley had three goals, and Red Savage and Cutter Gauthier had two each, as Team USA cruised past Germany 11-1 in the world junior championship Monday, securing a spot in the tournament’s semifinals.
The win was the Americans’ third straight after a surprising loss to Slovakia in the preliminary round, and showed the offensive depth that many around the tournament expected from coach Rand Pecknold’s club. The 10-goal margin was the largest differential in quarterfinal history for USA Hockey, and 15 Americans ended the game with at least one point.
Team USA will play rival Canada in the tournament’s final four later this week in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“We’re going to the semifinals. Playing to play in the biggest game,” Team USA captain Luke Hughes, a first-round pick of the New Jersey Devils, said. “So I think that’s great. But we haven’t done anything yet.”
Cooley, who plays for the Minnesota Golden Gophers and is a first-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes, scored in each period against Germany, and Pecknold used a combination of goaltenders to secure the win.
Trey Augustine, the 17-year-old netminder who is a commitment of Michigan State and has developed into Team USA’s starter, worked the first two periods against Germany before giving way to Andrew Oke. Augustine made 14 saves before departing. Oke allowed a goal with 3:12 remaining in the contest.
Jimmy Snuggerud — the star of Team USA’s offense in the preliminary round who was adamant not to “take them lightly” leading up to the game against Germany — maintained his dominance Monday. He had a goal, two assists and three shots. Snuggerud is a teammate of Cooley with the Gophers and a first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues.
“I liked the way we started and thought we did what we needed to do tonight,” said Pecknold, who is also coach at Quinnipiac University. “We’re excited to get to Halifax and play in the semifinals.”
In other quarterfinal action Monday, Connor Bedard had two goals, including an unassisted tally in overtime, as Canada edged Slovakia 4-3 to advance. Bedard, 17, the likely No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, also added an assist, as the hosts secured a date with the Americans on Wednesday.
The quarterfinals opened with the Czech Republic defeating Switzerland 9-1, and Sweden outlasting Finland 3-2.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.