Florida Panthers prospects Rocco Grimaldi and Vincent Trocheck both saw action during Team USA's 8-0 blowout of Team Germany in their opening game of the 2013 World Junior Championship on Thursday. Grimaldi played on a line with J.T. Miller and John Gaudreau and drew the secondary assist on Shayne Gostisbehere's second period power play marker that made the score 5-0. Grimaldi finished with two shots on goal, a +1 rating and won two face-offs. Trocheck centered Tyler Biggs and Mario Lucia on the team's third line. Trocheck finished with an even rating, three shots on goal, won 9/16 face-offs and was called for a minor penalty in the third period.
Team USA got goals from eight different players and killed off six power plays. They out shot the Germans by a 46-26 count. Alex Galchenyuk was the best player for the Americans. He scored a pretty goal and added two assists. The Americans are tied with Canada at the top of Group B after one game. Team USA will face Russia in their next contest on Friday.
Click here for a detailed recap of the game from the official 2013 World Junior Championship site.
Some random observations:
- Rocco Grimaldi showed good speed going up and down the boards and when he rushed the puck straight up the ice from the defensive zone. He seemed content to stay on the periphery in the offensive zone during much of the first period but started playing closer to the net as the game wore on, resulting in a couple of nice shots on goal. He also made a fine defensive play to deny a shot on a breakaway chance by Tobias Rieder in the third period with the score 8-0. A lot to be said for that kind of effort at that point in the game.
- Vincent Trocheck was bumped down to the third line by coach Phil Housely (which was absolutely the right move as Sean Kuraly did a very good job between Galchenyuk and Riley Barber with that line producing eight points) and had a bit of a quiet outing. He did draw a penalty in the first period and also had a very nice shorthanded rush but failed to get the puck on net despite making a sweet move. Trocheck was called for tripping in the third period but it was more of a dive by the German player. He did end up with three shots on goal.
- Hats off to the Americans who came out and scored early and often in both the first and second period. The Germans seemed deflated after the beat down they took from Canada and the US kept their spirits low by blitzing them with three goals in the first ten minutes of the game. The opening goal, just nineteen seconds in, was a thing of beauty as all five US skaters touched the puck. The only real negative for the US was they lost a bit of focus and took quite a few penalties after the first period. The power play could have been better too but they did convert once.
- Team USA's speed gave the Germans fits and resulted in a lot of good scoring chances and power play opportunities. The US was also dominate on face-offs especially in the first period which allowed them to maintain control of the puck for long stretches of time.
- The US defense looked very mobile, offensively talented and produced three goals. I might be nitpicking but I thought some of the defensemen were trying a little too hard to make things happen from the blue line but that was mostly in the first period, mostly.
- John Gibson was very sharp in goal for the Americans. He played the first two periods and remained focused throughout despite the lopsided score. Gibson was especially good facing a 5 on 3 in the second period and finished with 19 saves.
- I wasn't really that impressed with US center J.T. Miller. He did score a nice goal in the third period and also set the screen on a goal earlier in the game but overall I found his play a bit lacking today.
- Despite their shortcomings, the Germans run a pretty sweet power play. They moved the puck around impressively against both Canada and the United States. That power play could be a big help when they get to the regulation round.
- Other games today - Group A: Switzerland 7, Latvia 2