The United States improved to 3-0 in the World Junior Hockey Championships on Thursday by taking a 3-2 win over Russia.
It was the second game in less than two hours for the Americans, and they responded well to the busy schedule by earning another win.
With only one more game in the opening round, Team USA can finish no worse than second in its group.
Buffalo Sabres draft choice Casey Fitzgerald once again played a role in the win for the American team. He had an assist on the game’s first goal, which was scored by Clayton Keller. Kirill Urakov answered for the Russians later in the period.
Team USA took the lead for good in the second period. Colin White tallied with about four minutes gone, and Troy Terry followed with a goal several minutes later.
Kirill Kaprizov got one of those back in the late in the second period, but Team Russia could get no closer.
Next up for the USA is Canada, which crushed Latvia, 10-2, to move to 3-0. USA and Canada will play for the top seed in Group B on Saturday afternoon.
In other games, Sabres’ draft pick Alexander Nylander had the game-winning goal and then added an empty-netter as Sweden edged Finland, 3-1.
Nylander’s first goal came at 1:24 of the third period and broke a 1-1 tie. Then the forward wrapped up the win with a minute left. He has four goals in the tournament so far.
Sweden has won its first three games, and has wrapped up the top seed in Group A. Finland fell to a disappointing 0-3 with the loss.
Denmark needed overtime to beat the Czech Republic, 3-2. Mathias From scored the game-winning goal, as the Danes rallied from a 2-1 deficit.