The Chicago Steel completed the sweep of Group A in the 2015 Junior Club World Cup after a 6-1 win over the tournament’s host team, Russia’s Avto. in front of a sellout home crowd of over 5,500 fans.
Avto took a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period on a power play goal. St. Paul, MN native Christiano Versich got the game back even at 1-1 39 seconds later on a beautiful feed from Brandon Duaime. Wayzata forward Max Zimmer tallied his third goal of the JCWC with six minutes remaining in the first, giving the Steel a 2-1 lead.
Zimmer added his fourth goal of the tournament in three games seven minutes into the second putting the Steel up 3-1. Avto finally gained some momentum in front of their home crowd, but Chicago native Tanner Laczinski fed a beautiful pass cross-ice to Charlie Raith taking the momentum out of Avto. Marcel Godbout powered his way through a check on the power play for one last tally in the second period.
Chicago stifled Avto’s offense immediately in the third period. The Steel faced two 5-on-3 penalty kills, but Avto couldn’t find the shooting lanes through Chicago’s blocked shots. Boston Bruins prospect Daniel Vladar stopped 24 of 25 shots on the night to earn his second win of the tournament. Laczynski earned player of the game awarded by the JCWC.
Semifinal games begin tomorrow, Friday August 28th at 3:00 pm (5:00 am CT). The Chicago Steel will play Sweden’s Djurgarden. USA Hockey and the Steel are chasing history as no team in tournament history has won four consecutive medals. The United States already holds the JCWC record with three consecutive medals.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 14th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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