The young guns are firing for Team USA early in the International Ice Hockey Federation world championship.
Teenage stars Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel powered a fresh-faced club with an average age of 24.4 to wins over Latvia, 4-0 on Friday, and Slovenia, 5-1 last night, at the Metro Centre.
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Kessel, a sophomore forward with the Boston Bruins, potted a hat trick against Slovenia, while Kane, an NHL rookie-of-the-year candidate after a 72-point campaign with the Chicago Blackhawks, had a goal and two assists versus Latvia.
“When the (Mike) Modanos and (Keith) Tkachuks came along, that was the first time USA Hockey had those game-breakers,” U.S. captain Jeff Halpern said. “This is the next group. It’s been awhile since true superstars have come along and (these kids) have done an unbelievable job at breaking teams down.”
Los Angeles Kings star Anze Kopitar scored for Slovenia, and has both his country’s goals in the tournament.
The U.S. sits tied with Canada atop Group B heading into tomorrow’s meeting of the longtime rivals.
At Quebec City, former Pittsburgh Penguins winger Alexei Morozov scored his second of the game 3:10 into overtime to help Russia, the consensus favourite among the eight teams in Quebec, earn a 5-4 win over the Czech Republic.