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Photo: Matt Zambonin - HHOF-IIHF Images
Posted: Monday, 26 December 2016 6:34PM

U.S. opens World Juniors with win over Latvia

Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald and the United States opened up their 2017 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship with a 6-1 win over Latvia at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

The U.S. got out to an early 1-0 lead at the 6:27 mark of the first period with a goal from Nashville Predators prospect, Patrick Harper. Latvia tied the game about nine minutes later with a goal from 2017 Draft eligible prospect Renars Krastenbergs, and the score remained 1-1 at the end of the first period.

The Americans responded in the final 40 minutes of play with five unanswered goals, while out-shooting the Latvians 23-10 along the way. Arizona Coyotes prospect Clayton Keller scored twice, while Ottawa Senators prospect Colin White, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Jeremy Bracco, and Minnesota Wild prospect Jordan Greenway each added a goal in the win.

Fitzgerald played throughout the game on the American's top defensive pairing with Edmonton Oilers prospect, Caleb Jones. Fitzgerald did register an assist on Harper's first period goal, while also putting up a shot on goal and taking a penalty in 16:39 of total ice time.

Greenway was voted as the Player of the Game for the United States in the win. He finished with his goal on seven shots in 14:34 of total ice time.

The U.S. will next play Wednesday evening against Slovakia at the Air Canada Centre. Faceoff from Toronto is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Be sure to catch all the action of every U.S. matchup on the NHL Network.

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