Hughes Nets Hat Trick as USA Defeats Finland

The US continued their torrid pace in the IIHF U18 World Championship today, defeating Finland 6-0. The great part for Devils fans? Jack Hughes scored half of those American goals when he netted a natural hat trick through the first and second periods.

Matthew Beniers got the Americans going 6:25 into the game making it 1-0. But after that, Jack Hughes took over and the rout was on.

Hughes scored at 11:06 of the first to make it 2-0, 4:56 into the second to make it 3-0 and 19:10 of the second (on a penalty shot – Ville Heinola of Finland hauled him down on a breakaway) to score three unanswered and make it 4-0 USA. It was Hughes’ second hat trick of the tournament and a natural hatty to boot as he scored all three uninterrupted.

Cole Caufield made it 5-0 at the 12:06 mark of the third, with Hughes getting the primary assist. Bobby Brink finished the scoring 49 seconds later when he made it 6-0 USA.

In goal, Roope Taponen turned aside 29 of the 35 American shots against him. For the USA, Spencer Knight stopped all 21 Finnish shots he saw.

Hughes finished the game with the three goals and assist for four points, nine shots on goal and a plus-4 plus/minus rating.

After a relatively easy time with a tough Finnish team, the US will now play on April 27 in the semifinals against Russia. The Russians defeated Belarus also by a score of 6-0.

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