Joel Farabee has natural hat trick, U.S. junior hockey beats Kazakhstan

The Associated Press

United States' Joel Farabee (28) puts a shot past Kazakhstan goaltender Demid Yeremeyev (30) during the first period of a world junior hockey championships game in Victoria, British Columbia, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.
Jonathan Hayward / AP

VICTORIA, British Columbia — Boston University freshman Joel Farabee had a natural hat trick in a 6:52 span of the first period and the United States beat Kazakhstan 8-2 on Friday night to improve to 2-0 in the world junior hockey championship.

Drafted 14th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers this year, Farabee gave the United States a 2-1 lead with a power-play strike at 5:13 and added goals at 8:53 and 12:05.

“Scoring a hat trick is definitely nice, but I’ve got to give it to my linemates and the D getting the puck up,” Farabee said. “We created a lot of turnovers, which gave me those chances.”

Boston College’s Oliver Wahlstrom, St. Cloud State’s Ryan Poehling, Northeastern’s Tyler Madden, Michigan’s Josh Norris and Sasha Chmelevski of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s also scored to help the Americans keep pace with Sweden atop Group B heading into their showdown Saturday night.

Sweden has a 46-game preliminary round winning streak in the tournament.

“It’s definitely going to be a bit more skill, a little tougher game,” Farabee said. “We definitely want to end their streak in the prelims, so I think we’ll be throwing the kitchen sink at them.”

Jason Robertson of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs assisted on all three of Farabee’s goals, and also set up Norris’ goal. Northeastern’s Cayden Primeau made 11 saves.

Jack Hughes, projected as the top pick in next year’s NHL entry draft, did not play for the Americans. The team says Hughes is listed as day-to-day.

The United States opened Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over Slovakia. After facing the Swedes, the Americans will complete round-robin play against Finland on Monday night.

“I think we’re going in the right direction,” Poehling said. “We’ve played two games and I think we’ve played well. But we’ve got to continue to grow. It’s a long tournament and you can’t be satisfied with anything until the end of the day.”

Andrei Buyalski and Dmitri Mitenkov scored for Kazakhstan, a 5-0 loser to Finland in its opener Thursday.

In Group A play in Vancouver, Artyom Galimov and Nikolai Kovalenko scored short-handed goals and Russia beat the Czech Republic 2-1 to improve to 2-0.

Pyotr Kochetkov made 24 saves for Russia, allowing only Jachym Kondelik’s second-period goal.

Tied with Canada for the Group A lead, Russia opened Thursday with a 4-0 victory over Denmark. The Czech Republic was coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over Switzerland on Wednesday.

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