By Mackenzie Liddell
Charlie Coyle and Jon Merrill had two points apiece as the U.S. skated circles around Germany in a one-sided 4-0 win Thursday night in Buffalo, N.Y.
Coyle, Jerry D’Amigo, Merrill and Chris Kreider scored for the U.S. (3-0), which followed up their big win over Slovakia with another impressive performance.
Coyle came into the game as Team USA’s leading scorer and solidified his position as the go-to-guy, as he was all over the puck and had plenty of opportunities in the German zone.
Germany finished the preliminary round 0-4 and will head to the relegation round along with Norway.
Jack Campbell made his third consecutive start for the U.S. and made 14 saves in a quiet night in the crease.
Niklas Treutle stood on his head in the German goal, making 44 saves and keeping his team in the game despite the lack of help in front of him.
Despite a slow opening five minutes to the game, the Americans picked up the pace as the period progressed. But Treutle was there to bail out his team, making several big saves and stifling the American’s dangerous power play.
After the continued onslaught of offensive pressure and another power play opportunity, the Americans finally exposed Treutle, as Coyle worked the puck along the sideboards and outmuscled his man driving to the net before snapping the puck past the German netminder to put the Americans up 1-0.
The U.S. didn’t stop there, as D’Amigo took advantage of a sloppy clearing pass by a German defender and ripped a shot over Treutle’s shoulder 48 seconds later.
Germany was fortunate to get out of the period down by two, as the Americans dominated the play from the opening faceoff and finished the period with a 23-2 shot advantage.
Treutle continued to shut the door at the onset of the second, but persistence paid off for the U.S. as they went up by three after Merrill’s wrist shot found the back of the net at 7:54.
Another undisciplined play by the Germans led to the fourth American goal, as Kreider beat Treutle 11 seconds into a power play on a nice feed from Kyle Palmieri.
The Americans’ smothering attack continued in the third, but Treutle continued to stand on his head.
With Campbell seeing little action in the other end, coach Keith Allain opted to pull his starting goalie midway through the period in favor of backup Andy Iles.
Team USA finished 2-for-6 with the man advantage while Germany went 0-for-3.
The U.S. will play its final preliminary game Friday when they take on Switzerland at 8 p.m. EST.
Notes: After missing the previous game due to injury, forwards Jeremy Morin and Brock Nelson returned to action while Jason Zucker did not play after leaving Thursday’s game against Slovakia following a head check by Martin Marincin…in earlier preliminary action Thursday: Switzerland beat Slovakia 6-4; Sweden doubled up the Czech Republic 6-3; and Russia toppled Norway 8-2.