Dec 30, 2011
2012 World Junior Championship
Home Team: USA
Away Team: Czech Republic
USA#8(Jacob Trouba) Defensive defenseman who generally had a solid game. In the first two periods, had limited ice time because the Americans got so much PP time, and he does not man a point. When on the ice, really showed off his defensive capabilities and toughness. Stepped into a big centre ice hit in the first. Reads the play very well. Hard to beat along the boards with his skating and size. Plays hard, but does well to play within the rules. Offensively, had limited chances, but on a couple of times rushed the puck and created scoring chances for himself. On the fourth goal against, he tried to get by an opponent, but had a puck knocked away from him and resulted in a 2 on 1 goal.
USA#16(Jason Zucker) Captain of the Americans, had an ok game in both ends of the ice. Showed his very good skating abilities in both ends of the ice. Can turn quickly with the puck and create room for himself, or close in on opponents. Showed some grit in his play, but was average along the boards. Had a hard time breaking away from his checks. Made some bad decisions with the puck, or make bad passes to teammates. For example, on a 3 on 1, a pass to a teammate about 7 feet away from him was given to him too far ahead. Got an assist on the second goal on the PP by going far side pad, created an easy rebound for his teammate to pounce and score on.
USA#27(Nick Bjugstad) Big forward who, considering his size, was too easy to play against at times. Stands 6’5, 212 lbs, and was far too easy to knock off the puck along the boards. Was one of the players counted on for offense and created very little. Good speed given his size, but very awkward strides. His lower body is bent, but he keeps his upper body too straight. Showed some life in the 2nd, but when the going got tough, did very little. On the PP, manned a point and was the back door option. Has a very good shot. Deceptive release. Defensively, looked disinterested at times and did not take the body enough.
CZE#6(David Musil) Czech Republic’s rock on defense. Must have played more than 30 minutes today. Out in every crucial situation, and excelled all game long. Plays a physical game all over the ice, and constantly won battles for pucks. Skating was the only issue to his game, but other than that, played extremely well. Unsung hero of the game. Offensively, made some nice passes and got shots on net. Did everything he can for his team to win the game, and it paid off in a big way.
CZE#18(Tomas Nosek) 2 way forward who has a deceptive game. He makes the game easy for himself. Doesn’t necessarily go into the boards and use his body to win battles, but gets his stick in there and digs it out and quickly makes a play. One of the key penalty killers of the game. Did a great job making his assignments a non factor all game long by using his stick again. Kept opponents to the outside and blocked shots consistently. Made a big play on the 4th goal as he stripped the puck away from Trouba and made a nice pass after wards for the goal. A very good skater, who moves effortlessly around the ice.
CZE#19(Tomas Hertl) Didn’t play much because of all the penalties the Czechs took. When on the ice, was effective on the offensive zone, but could have simplified his game a little instead of trying to go 1 on 1 with every defenseman and deke around them. Scored the 2nd goal by being defensively sound and being in the right position. Very nice finish for the goal. Has a quick release, and in scoring areas, doesn’t take long to get shots off his stick.
SCOUTS NOTES: The Americans really struggled on the PP and on even strength. Their PP units looked out of place, almost as if the players were not comfortable. Perfect example would be Nick Bjugstad. Did not look good trying to play the point at all. Czechs won because of their defensive efforts and Tomas Mrazek who stood on his head all game long. Celebrations at the end were a bit too much at times, but it was a huge game for his country. Emerson Etem, Brandon Saad and Nick Bjugstad, and others, were big disappointments as they produced close to nothing offensively. Couldn’t sustain constant pressure to win games like these. They weren’t able to wear down the Czech defense enough.
FINAL SCORE: 5-2 Czech Republic