JT Miller, the Rangers top selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, notched a pair of assists and won a whopping 78 percent of his faceoffs on Monday to help the United States rout Slovakia 9-3 and gain a berth in the quarterfinals of the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. Team USA will open the medal round on Wednesday when it skates against the Czech Republic.
Coming off back-to-back 2-1 losses to Russia and Canada, the United States scored five goals in the opening 14 minutes against the Slovaks on Monday. Miller assisted on the second goal---scored by team captain Jake McCabe at 5:10---and the eventual game-winning goal---scored by Mike Reilly at 11:46. Miller finished the contest with those two points, a +2 plus/minus rating, three shots on goal, and two penalty minutes. He also won 14 of 18 faceoffs.
In four games, so far, in the tournament Miller has recorded three points (1-2-3).
Team USA was led by forwards John Gaudreau (2-1-3), Vince Trochek (2-1-3), and Jim Vesey (0-3-3), who all notched three points Monday. Forward Alex Galchenyuk scored a goal and added an assist for the United States and is now ranked among the tournament leaders with seven points (2-5-7) in four games.
Defenseman Peter Ceresnak, the Rangers sixth round selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, picked up an assist and was a +1 for Slovakia on Monday. In four games at the 2013 World Junior Championships Ceresnak has two points, including a game-winning overtime goal.
Did you see Monday's game between the United States and Slovakia? What did you think of JT Miller and Peter Ceresnak? And what do you make of Team USA's chances to earn a medal? Share your comments below.