Team USA, boosted by ‘quick start,’ blanks Austria

EDMONTON, Alberta — Chicago Blackhawks prospect Wyatt Kaiser and Detroit Red Wings hopeful Carter Mazur each scored twice, and the United States shut out winless Austria 7-0 on Saturday to improve to 3-0 in group play in the world junior hockey championship.

Team USA had seven players notch two points while amassing a tournament-high 56 shots on net in the easy victory.

Matt Coronato, Red Savage and Sasha Pastujov also scored for the defending champion Americans. Andrew Oke stopped 11 shots in the first two periods, and Remington Keopple made four saves in the third. Both netminders were making their Team USA debuts.

“We knew we had to get off to a good start today,” U.S. coach Nate Leaman said. “Our schedule was different today, and it was important for us to adjust quickly. I’m happy with how the team started the first period and kept it rolling.”

Mazur concurred.

“A quick start is something we really focus on,” he said. “You really want to get to the other team and get the upper hand. I feel like if we do that every game, we’re going to be in a good spot. And I liked how we stayed with our game. So I feel like bringing that into our next game against Sweden will be a really tough challenge, but I think we’re ready for it.”

The U.S. will finish Group B play on Sunday against Sweden.

In an evening contest, Canada beat the Czech Republic 5-1 to improve to 3-0 in Group A. Captain Mason McTavish, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, scored twice; Kent Johnson added a lacrosse-style goal as well as an assist; Greig Ridly and Tyson Foerster both scored; and Dylan Garand made 22 saves.

McTavish, the No. 3 overall choice in the 2021 NHL draft, has six goals and 10 points to lead the tournament in scoring.

Martin Rysavy scored for the Czech Republic in the loss.

In the final game of the day, Germany outlasted Switzerland 3-2 in Group B.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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