Auston Matthews’ hat trick leads U.S. over Czech Republic at WJHC


Team USA is on to the semifinal round of the world junior hockey championship, courtesy a 7-0 win over the Czech Republic that was highlighted by an Auston Matthews hat trick on Saturday.

The likely No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, Matthews now leads the tournament in goals with seven. He’s also tied for third in overall scoring, alongside Finland’s Patrik Laine, with 11 points in five games.

As per USA Hockey, Matthews needs one more goal to tie the U.S. single-tournament record of eight goals currently held by Jeremy Roenick from 1989.

Saturday’s victory means the U.S. is guaranteed to play for a medal.

If they are to play for gold, the U.S. will have to beat Russia, which has won every game on its schedule to this point, in the semifinal on Monday.

Rival hockey nations Sweden and Finland will meet in the other semifinal.

Finland advanced by defeating Team Canada, the defending gold medal champs, in the quarter-final round on Saturday.