After dropping a couple of tight, low-scoring encounters to rivals Russia and Canada, Team USA appears to have gotten their offense in gear the past couple of games. The USA has scored 16 times in those two games, against Slovakia and the Czech Republic, while giving up just three goals.
And, while there is a handful of players that have generated a great deal of offense for the U.S. squad during the 2013 World Junior Championship, the team also has featured players that have contributed in other ways.
One of those unsung players, forward Sean Kuraly, has brought some tenacity and a bit of offense to the table in his five tournament games. The Miami University forward and San Jose Sharks prospect has notched one goal and added two assists so far, but has also brought some size and tenacity to the forward ranks. Kuraly starred at the USA evaluation camp in August and, while not scoring as he did at that camp, is still a hard-working cog in a machine that seems to be running well at this point in the WJC.
Back on defense, Sarnia Sting rearguard and Phoenix Coyotes prospect Connor Murphy is playing a solid defensive game for the USA. He hasn't contributed much on offense – he has one assist in five games – but he has done his part to make sure that opposing teams don't have their way in the offensive zone.
Murphy and Kuraly spoke to the media following Team USA's 7-0 win over the Czechs in a quarter-final match, with some of their comments captured in this HF video.
You can follow Chapin Landvogt's tweets from the WJC via @csomichapin