Share This Page

Washington native Barber leads Team USA to 1st-round win at World Junior

| Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, 4:12 p.m.

Riley Barber already has a gold medal from the World Junior Championship. Still, he was nervous Thursday morning when his pursuit of another began in Malmo, Sweden.

“I couldn't sleep,” Barber said.

He sure did not play tired, scoring the opening goal for defending champion Team USA in a 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic to open the Americans' Group A bracket.

Barber, a Washington native, is Team USA's captain. He was one of four Western Pennsylvanians who won gold at the 2013 World Junior.

His aim is to lead a repeat performance, and one of his objectives was realized Thursday.

“We wanted to start off with a convincing win because it instills confidence in the team,” Barber said. “It gets everybody in a better mood. Attitude is a real big factor in this tournament.”

Barber, 19, plays at Miami (Ohio) and was a sixth-round pick (167th overall) by the Washington Capitals in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center.

The Americans play Slovakia on Saturday. NHL Network will broadcast the game at 7:30 a.m., with former Penguins broadcaster Steve Mears on the call.

Barber said he has no family members in Sweden for the tournament, so they are also watching on TV.

Two Penguins prospects are World Junior participants, and each contributed during their squad's openers.

Defenseman Derrick Pouliot assisted on two of Canada's goals in a 7-2 victory over Germany in Group A. Pouliot, 19, was the eighth overall pick in 2012. He and Olli Maatta (22nd overall) were Penguins first-round selections.

Center Oskar Sundqvist scored for Sweden in a 5-3 victory against Switzerland in Group B.

Sundqvist, 19, was a Penguins third-round pick (81st overall) in 2012.

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rrossi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.