NHL Draft-eligible American Nick Schmaltz(North Dakota) continued his outstanding World Junior A Challenge by netting two goals and three assists to help lead the US team to a 7-4 semifinal victory over Switzerland on Friday evening. Teammate Connor Hurley(Notre Dame) had two goals and two assists of his own in the winning effort.
The Swiss proved a little more formidable to the US team than many expected by briefly taking a 2-1 lead in the early second period. But after that, Schmaltz and Hurley completely took over the game. Schmaltz would tie the game with a power play two minutes later, and add two more assists before the second frame ended. He would add another goal and an assist with the man advantage in the third period.
Schmaltz's five-point night tied a record for most points scored in a World Junior A Challenge game, and his tournament-leading 11 points is tied for the best ever output at a World Junior A Challenge.
The US will now advance to the tournament final where they will play Russia for the gold medal. The championship game will take place Sunday morning at 12pm Atlantic Standard Time.