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Mittelstadt shines in KeyBank Center debut as USA rolls to 9-0 win over Denmark

Posted at 11:14 PM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 23:14:19-05

In his first game at KeyBank Center, Casey Mittelstadt put on a show. The Buffalo Sabres first-round pick in the 2017 draft scored twice as Team USA took down Denmark 9-0 in each team's first game of the 2018 World Junior Championship.

Mittelstadt's first goal came just 8:26 into the game as he crashed the net, tapping his own rebound into an open net. Almost exactly ten minutes later, Mittelstadt buried his second of the night, putting a quick shot under the crossbar from just outside the Denmark crease. If this wasn't the prettiest goal from an American on Tuesday it was certainly close. 

"Any time you're coming out and playing in this big of a stage, especially for us there is going to be a few nerves," Mittelstadt said after Tuesday's game. "But at the same time, we're a pretty close team so we're able to stick together through things like that."

Along with his two goals, Mittelstadt logged plenty of ice time, finishing with 18:43, the second most of any forward.  Despite spending most of his time on the wing in pre-tournament games and practices, Mittelstadt spent the majority of his night centering a line with Patrick Harper [1G, 1A] and Riley Tufte [1A]. Along with his even-strength duties, the University of Minnesota freshman also played the point on USA's first power play unit. 

"Honestly, the first game of the tournament it's pretty hard to know what to expect," Mittelstadt added. "Obviously we wanted to come and score some goals and get our team going right away and I think us being able to come out and play our game, that helps a lot."