2023 World Juniors
Flyers’ Prospect Cutter Gauthier Helps U.S. Win World Junior Opener
Cutter Gauthier didn’t have any points, but had a strong game as Team USA outlasted Latvia, 5-2, in a World Junior opener Monday in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round (No. 5 overall) in 2022, Gauthier had five shots on goal, hit iron on another drive, and was plus-1 in 19:21. The center/left winger has starred as a Boston College freshman this season, scoring 10 goals in 13 games.
Chaz Lucius snapped a 2-2 tie early in the third to spark Team USA, which will face Slovakia on Wednesday.
Forward Tyler Boucher, an Ottawa Senators prospect from from Haddonfield, was plus-1 in 12:55. He is the son of former Flyers goalie Brian Boucher.
While the U.S. avoided an upset, Canada didn’t. Czechia jolted defending champ Canada, 5-2. The losers got goals from Shane Wright and Connor Bedard.
Tomas Suchanek made 36 saves to key the victory.
In another opener involving a Philadelphia Flyers prospect, defenseman Brian Zanetti (fourth-rounder in 2021) was part of Switzerland’s stunning 3-2 overtime win over Finland. He had two shots and was minus-1.
Finland was considered one of the tournament’s favorites.
The Swiss play Latvia on Tuesday.
The Americans are seeking their sixth gold medal. They had a disappointing fifth-place finish in the 2022 World Juniors. Team USA won in 2004, 2010, 2013, 2917, and 2021.
Team USA has 19 NHL-drafted players on its roster; Latvia has three. The Americans had a 46-17 shots domination.