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Team USA dominates Team Czechia

By: Aiden Locke

UTICA, NY --- Day three of the IIHF Women's World Junior Championship ended with a bang as Team USA beat Team Czechia 6-0. Team USA picked up their second win of the tournament which is hosted on their soil in 2024.

Team USA is off to a hot start in the championship with back-to-back dominant displays. After a 4-0 victory against Team Switzerland where they outshot them 55-11, they followed it up with another big win. Team USA outshot Team Czechia 48-19 and controlled possession throughout the game. Alternate captain Alex Carpenter led the way with a hat trick for Team USA.

"I think we're in a pretty good place here," Carpenter said. "We're trying to build off each game so we'll take a look back at this one and continue to build and do the best we can."

#18 Michaela Pejzlova checking #25 Alex Carpenter into the boards. Photo credit: Liam Hofmann 89.1 The Point.

In the first period Team USA applied endless pressure to the Czechia defense. This pressure persisted throughout the game. Team Czechia were able to repeal Team USA with physical play early on. Carpenter opened the goal scoring 6:49 into the game and the goal scoring stalled out from there in the first period. Team Czechia couldn't get enough of the puck early on and their physical style of play kept them in the game.

Both teams had plenty of power play chances. Team USA went 1-4 while Team Czechia went 0-7 due to outstanding work by the Team USA penalty kill. Laila Edwards, the first Black player to play and score for Team USA's women's national team grab two goals including a shorthanded marker in the third period.

"It's inspiration for young girls," Edwards said. "It's great to have this platform and also being successful, it's even more important when you can get out there and make an impact."

Team USA's offense was active and busy all game long. The possession difference between the two teams was the biggest factor on the night. Rather it was 5-on-5 or on special teams Team USA was constantly generating quality chances and keeping Team Czechia goaltender Klara Peslarova busy. Peslarova made 42 saves in an outstanding individual effort which awarded her Team Czechia's player of the game award.

#14 Laila Edwards shorthanded goal. Photo credit: Liam Hofmann 89.1 The Point.

Team USA took over the game with a sudden burst of goal scoring. Carpenter and Edwards scored on back-to-back shots to push the lead to three. USA chants rained down from the stands throughout the game. Team USA being in their home country for the tournament has given them an extra wave of momentum early on.

"It gives me chills," Edwards said. "I know it's going to grow even greater and larger throughout the next week and a half and i'm super excited to see how it ends."

Team USA and Team Czechia lined up post game for the American national anthem. Photo credit: Liam Hofmann 89.1 The Point.

Team USA's offense continued to be rewarded in the third period with three more goals to put the game out of reach. Carpenter scored the sixth goal of the game which completed her scrappy hat trick. Team USA currently leads Group A through two games. With a +10 goal differential Team USA leads the entire tournament in that category early on.

The states will turn their attention to a matchup with Finland on Sunday. Finland is currently 0-2 with a -7 goal differential. Team USA will close out group play against their biggest gold medal threat Team Canada on Monday before the knockout stage begins.

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