Montreal Canadiens: 24 Thoughts On Jacob Fowler's World Junior Debut

United States of America v Canada: 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
United States of America v Canada: 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Team USA took to the ice on Thursday morning for their second game of the World Junior Hockey Championships against Team Switzerland.

Captain Rutger McGroarty and the American squad are looking to follow up their 4-1 win against the Norwegians on the opening day of the tournament. Norway caught the United States a bit off guard, but I fully expect they won't treat today's game the same way. And rightfully so, the Swiss shouldn't be taken lightly, despite having a less talented roster than in recent years.

The Americans will go with the same lineup, because why fix what isn't broken? All signs point to Montreal Canadiens 2023 Draft prospect Jacob Fowler getting the call between the pipes. In what can be an unpredictable tournament, there are often upsets, so expect the Americans to be firing on all cylinders.

Here are my 24 thoughts on the American-Swiss matchup.

First Period

McGroarty - Gauthier - Snuggerud got the nod for the opening draw, with Hutson - Casey on the first defence pairing. Hutson made a nifty pass to Casey, and he had a nice chance. Then Smith won a faceoff in the offensive zone, Leonard worked it to Buium who passed the puck and to Smith - 1-0 USA.

Just about two minutes later, Snuggerud scored on a nice passing play from Gauthier and McGroarty. Leonard has two points on the American's first two goals. After a nice tournament opener, Leonard had no goals to show for his effort, he fixed that problem quickly today.

Hutson was quiet against the Norwegians, but that hasn't followed him into his game two performance. The pace of the game has been very up-tempo, and that has played in Hutson's favour. It's early, but I have a feeling he will have a big game.

It's especially promising to see Smith get going, Perreault is firing some quality shots on the net and Leonard has looked great. Two-thirds of the Boston College line have a point less than halfway into the period. With the top line playing well, the Americans could benefit from a two-line monster in their top six.

Snuggerud had the Swiss goalie feeling good after making a save and forcing a faceoff. Snuggerud, however, jumped on a loose puck after Gauthier won the faceoff. After a couple of quick feints, he fired it home - 3-0 USA.

After a weird one, Team Switzerland winger Gregory Weber put a thorn into the American's onslaught. He fired home a perfect shot past Fowler. 3-1 lead for Team USA.

It's safe to say with just under eight minutes to play in the period, the Americans are not sitting back at all. Snuggerud capped off the natural hat trick after another strong faceoff win by Gauthier. McGroarty poked the puck to Snuggerud, and it's 4-1. Cristobal Huet's son went into the net to relieve Lorin Gruter.

Switzerland to the sin bin for two minutes or less - Daniil Ustinkov for tripping. USA had a flurry of chances by Ewan Huet was tall to the task. Buium watched a little Hutson tape, finishing off a brilliant effort from the blueline in and he did the rest - four assists in the first for Gauthier.