Jimmy Snuggerud scored three goals for a natural hat trick in the first 12 minutes to help the United States rout Switzerland 11-3 on Thursday in the world junior hockey championship.
Will Smith opened the rout 1:20 into the game off a cross-ice pass from Zeev Buium for a one-timer near the net. Snuggerud got his first two minutes later and the University of Minnesota star added goals at 8:11 and 12:36.
Tied with Slovakia for the Group B lead, the U.S. (2-0) led 9-1 after two periods. The Americans outshot Switzerland 40-24, with Jacob Fowler making 21 saves.
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“I liked our start,” coach David Carle said. “We made them uncomfortable early and that was important. It was a good win and now we’ll turn our attention to an excellent Czech team.”
Snuggerud also had an assist. Gavin Brindley had two goals and an assist, and Buium, Ryan Leonard, Isaac Howard, Quinn Finley and Eric Pohlkamp also scored, and Frank Nazar III had four assists, and Cuttre Gauthier had three.
On Friday at Frolundaborg Arena, the U.S. will play a Czech Republic team that is 1-1 and coming off an 8-1 rout of Norway on Wednesday.
In the only other game Thursday, Sweden beat Germany 5-0 in Group A at the Scandinavium. Otto Stenburg had three goals and Melker Thelin made 15 saves.
The Swedes (2-0) have outscored their opponents 11-0 so far in the tournament ahead of a Friday night showdown with Canada (2-0).
“Skilled, dangerous,” Canadian coach Alan Letang said about Sweden. “Very, very dangerous off the rush.”