Cutter Gauthier scores first goal as USA captures top spot in Group B

In a rout of Slovakia to capture the top spot in Group B, Cutter Gauthier scored his first goal of the tournament.
In a rout of Slovakia to capture the top spot in Group B, Cutter Gauthier scored his first goal of the tournament. / ADAM IHSE/GettyImages
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Cutter Gauthier has been a playmaking machine for the United States during the early parts of the World Juniors. In three games, he had five assists as a part of a dynamic top line.

Taking on Slovakia for the top spot in Group B, Gauthier had his fingerprints all over the game. Rutger McGroarty may have had a hat trick in the game, but Gauthier was all over the ice and could’ve had more than just three points in the eventual 10-2 win. Instead, he ended up with a goal and two assists.

Heading into the medal round, that goal could end up being an important one for Gauthier. It may have been the ninth goal in a game that was already well in their hands, but seeing one finally hit the back of the net could unlock his confidence even more.

Using his assertiveness, he got down into the crease and was able to pick up a rebound from his own shot. Going to the dirty areas are typically how a lot of goals are scored. Gauthier has a lethal shot and has shown in while at Boston. But you can’t always score from distance, especially on the larger ice where there is more room to work with.

If the USA can see Gauthier putting the puck in the net on a consistent basis, they could be even more favored to win the gold medal than they already are. Gauthier was already expected to play a large role heading into the tournament. Coming off an 11-3 win, it’s hard to say that this was a statement game for the team. However, they had everything working for them and saw multiple players get on the scoresheet, including Gauthier.

USA has outscored opponents 28-9 in the preliminary round, not counting a shootout winner in their second to last game. They never gave up more than three goals in a game and truly only had one nail biter of a win. That was against Czechia which ended up being a 4-3 shootout win.

The medal round begins on Tuesday as the United States waits to see who their opponent will be.