December 30, 2009 in Sports

Johnson leads U.S. Juniors past Latvia

From News Services

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – The Spokane Chiefs’ Tyler Johnson (Liberty Lake) had one goal and one assist and was named player of the game as the U.S. National Junior Team defeated Latvia 12-1 at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

Chris Kreider scored three times and three other U.S. players notched two goals each, as the U.S. team improved to 3-0-0-0 and clinched a quarterfinal berth with one game remaining in the preliminary round.The U.S. jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3 minutes into the game when Danny Kristo’s wrist shot beat Latvia goalie Janis Kalnins to the glove side. Following a Jason Zucker tip-in goal, Kristo potted his second of the game for Team USA’s first of five power-play goals on the night.

Johnson completed the opening period’s scoring with a backhand tally at 19:38 for a 6-0 U.S. lead.The Americans play Canada on Thursday.

The Canadians defeated Slovakia 8-2 Tuesday night behind Taylor Hall’s hat trick.

The Czech Republic defeated Austria and Sweden downed Russia in the other games.

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