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Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 7:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Saros' goaltending leads Finland past Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Even while coaching in Russia for the past three seasons, Finland national junior coach Hannu Jortikka knew exactly what kind of player he has in goaltender Juuse Saros.

Saros, a Nashville Predators prospect who helped backstop Finland to the gold medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, was outstanding in stopping 24 of 26 shots in Finland's 4-2 defeat of Sweden on Friday.

Janne Puhakka had a goal and an assist and Julius Vahatalo, Sami Niku and Aleski Mustonen had goals, but it was Saros who kept things under control in the Finnish end.


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Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 3:38 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Projected lineups for Finland, Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- One day after losing 9-1 to the United States, Finland will look for a better effort Friday against Sweden.

That includes a change in goal, with Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros starting. Kevin Lankinen, a 2015 NHL Draft prospect, allowed nine goals on 42 shots Thursday.

Sweden, which hasn't played since losing to the United States 7-1 on Wednesday, will have a few changes to its lineup. Axel Blomqvist (Winnipeg Jets) will play right wing on the top line, alongside left wing Jacob de la Rose (Montreal Canadiens) and center Lucas Wallmark (Carolina Hurricanes).

Fredrik Bergvik (San Jose Sharks) will start in goal. He allowed one goal on four shots in 16:59 of ice time in relief of Jonas Johansson (Buffalo Sabres) on Wednesday.

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Posted On Friday, 08.08.2014 / 1:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Sabres prospect Fasching 'MVP' of soccer tournament

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Hudson Fasching has accomplished a lot in his athletic career. But Friday might have been the high point.

Fasching, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, was the self-proclaimed MVP of the winning soccer team during a fun morning away from the rink for the players competing at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

After beating Sweden and Finland by a combined score of 16-2 the previous two days, the players had earned a break from practice but still wanted to get some kind of a workout in. So after stretching for a bit at the Olympic Training Center, they went next door for a four-team soccer tournament on the field in front of Lake Placid High School.


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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 8:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Eichel is more than meeting expectations

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Before he arrived at the National Junior Evaluation Camp this week, United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said there would be high expectations placed on center Jack Eichel.

"Jack Eichel is an offensive player and we have to hold him accountable offensively," Osiecki said. "He's a special player and we have to lean on him offensively to be that difference maker, be a player that can make everyone around him better; offensively for sure."

Eichel has done just that in the past two days. He had one goal and four assists in a 9-1 win against Finland on Thursday, one day after he had three assists in a 7-1 defeat of Sweden. In the game against Sweden he helped linemate Alex Tuch to a hat trick. He did the same for his other linemate, Tyler Motte, against Finland.


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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 8:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Halverson's fall lightens mood

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Brandon Halverson had a memorable game in goal for the United States in a 9-1 win against Finland on Thursday.

The New York Rangers prospect stopped 16 of 17 shots, including a few fine chances by the Finns, and he had an assist on John Hayden's third-period power-play goal.

However, it's what happened after the goal that will last in the memory of those who filled the USA Rink at the Olympic Training Center.
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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 8:02 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Eichel's five points powers U.S. to rout of Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki has talked about not wanting to install too much in the way of systems for his players during the National Junior Evaluation Camp.

But what he's put in so far the players certainly have embraced.

The top line of Jack Eichel, Alex Tuch and Tyler Motte combined for five goals and 12 points, and the U.S. rolled to a 9-1 win against Finland on Thursday. The win came one day after a 7-1 rout of Sweden.


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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:52 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

U.S. forward Compher sustains hand injury

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States forward J.T. Compher, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, sustained an injury to his left hand during a 7-1 win against Sweden on Wednesday and is doubtful to return to the ice for the duration of this week's national junior evaluation camp.

Compher was hurt blocking a shot during a late 5-on-3 penalty kill. His left hand and thumb were heavily wrapped when he arrived at the rink for the United States' game Thursday against Finland.

USA Hockey would not reveal the full nature of the injury.

"We got him looked at and we'll leave it at that for now," Jim Johansson, the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and the general manager of the United States for 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, told NHL.com.


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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 3:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Projected lineups for United States, Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland will have a new top line when it faces the United States on Thursday.

Juuso Ikonen, who sat out a 4-3 win Monday against the USA White split squad, will play left wing on the top line with center Aleksi Mustonen and right wing Kasperi Kapanen (Pittsburgh Penguins).

Teemu Turunen was the top-line left wing Monday, the last time Finland played.

Kevin Lankinen, a 2015 NHL Draft prospect, will start in goal for the Finns.

The U.S. will have the same top line, with top 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel between Tyler Motte (Chicago Blackhawks) and Alex Tuch (Minnesota Wild).

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Posted On Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 10:25 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

U.S. junior coach ready for 'great test' against Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said he's hoping his team plays the same strong, 200-foot game against Finland on Thursday that it featured in a 7-1 defeat of Sweden on Wednesday.

"We have to stick to what we can do, stick to our game plan, so to speak," Osiecki said after a U.S. practice that saw 11 players on the ice. "It's really not putting a lot in there and throwing a lot at them. But if you get away from what we're trying to do Finland will take advantage of it. It'll be a great test."

In goal for that test will be New York Rangers prospect Brandon Halverson. In parts of three games earlier in the camp he allowed four goals on 34 shots, but stopped all eight shots he faced in 30:29 of ice time for the USA Blue split squad against Finland on Sunday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 8:21 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - World Junior evaluation camps

Demko turns in his best performance of camp

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said after the morning skate Wednesday that the decision was made to play goaltender Thatcher Demko for the entire game against Sweden with the hope that he could show why he arrived for this week's junior evaluation camp as the frontrunner to be the No. 1 goaltender for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

It was no surprise that Demko's first 60-minute outing turned into his best performance at the camp. Demko, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, stopped 20 of 21 shots in the United States' 7-1 win against Sweden.

"The first three games I played I wasn't happy with it," he said. "I wasn't seeing the puck too well, wasn't playing very well. ... Today I was fortunate enough to play the whole game and I felt like I started to play more like myself. Shook the rust off a little bit and we were fortunate enough to win."

Demko had allowed eight goals on 27 shots while playing parts of three previous games. While the workload was harder Wednesday,

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Quote of the Day

I look forward to the process, the battle, the pain, the fun, the journey.  It's going to be a long one but it's going to be a lot of fun. If you think there is no pain coming, there is pain coming.

— Mike Babcock, introduced as coach of the Toronto on Thursday, had a warning for fans