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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 10:33 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Injured Santini encouraging U.S. teammates

MONTREAL -- New Jersey Devils prospect Steven Santini bid his friends on the United States National Junior Team a fond farewell prior to leaving for Massachusetts on Thursday morning to rejoin his teammates at Boston College for their second-half stretch.

It was a bittersweet goodbye for Santini, a defenseman who was the last player released from the U.S. Junior roster one day prior to a preliminary-round victory against Finland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Bell Centre on Dec. 26.

A wrist injury sustained Oct. 25 during Boston College's game against the University of Massachusetts was not fully healed in time for Santini to return to play for the United States at the WJC this year, but USA Hockey wanted Santini around the team during the preliminary round to offer encouragement.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 11:55 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Young U.S. defense hopes to slow Canada forwards

MONTREAL -- The young defense corps for the United States will have its hands full when Canada's talented forwards come bearing down on them during the much-anticipated preliminary-round game between the United States and Canada at Bell Centre on Wednesday (4 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHL.com).

The winner will earn the No. 1 seed in Group A and play against the No. 4 seed from Group B in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Friday. The losing team will finish second in the Group and play the third-place team from Group B in the quarterfinals.

The one goal allowed by the United States so far is the fewest it's allowed through three games at the WJC; the previous low was three in 2011, when the U.S. won the bronze medal. The United States never has posted three shutouts at the WJC; it has two so far.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 11:31 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. goalie Demko to start against Canada

MONTREAL -- Goaltender Thatcher Demko has been named the starter for the United States against rival Canada in the pivotal preliminary-round game at Bell Centre in Montreal on Wednesday (4 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHL.com).

Demko (Vancouver Canucks) has one regulation win against Slovakia (3-0) and one shootout win against Finland (2-1). He has a 0.48 goals-against average and .978 save percentage in two games.

Brandon Halverson (New York Rangers) was in goal for a 6-0 victory against Germany in the United States' other preliminary-round game. Halverson, who made 14 saves against Germany, will serve as the backup against Canada.

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Posted On Monday, 12.29.2014 / 9:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid-Eichel matchup looms at WJC in Montreal

The excitement surrounding the top two players available in the 2015 NHL Draft, Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel, will take on a whole new meaning in preliminary-round action of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Bell Centre in Montreal on Wednesday.

That's when the two projected generational stars will meet head-on while representing their country; McDavid for Canada and Eichel for the United States.

Each has gotten off to an impressive start in the WJC.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.23.2014 / 12:51 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils left wing Mike Cammalleri, who has sat out the past four games with a groin injury, is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes at Prudential Center.

Cammalleri, who leads the Devils in goals (11), power-play goals (five) and game-winning goals (three), will be a welcomed addition; the Devils have scored four times and have been shut out twice in the past four games without him.

"I think I'll be good to go," Cammalleri said. "I practiced [Monday] and felt good, and I'm excited to get back. I don't think I'll have too must rust; I'll be able to handle it."

Cammalleri, 32, was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 13 and can be removed at any time; that will likely happen prior to puck drop. He practiced Monday and stayed off the ice for the morning skate Tuesday. He's expected to join center Scott Gomez and right wing Jaromir Jagr on the top line.

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Posted On Monday, 12.22.2014 / 9:28 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid makes successful return to the ice

If the return of center Connor McDavid following a five-week layoff proved anything at all Sunday, it was that the 17-year-old hasn't really missed a beat.

McDavid, projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, earned an assist while centering the top line for Canada alongside Curtis Lazar (Ottawa Senators) and Nick Ritchie (Anaheim Ducks) in a 5-2 pre-World Junior Championship exhibition victory against Sweden at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.


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Posted On Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 12:29 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. team trims roster for World Juniors

BOSTON -- The USA Hockey managerial team on Friday announced that forwards Adam Erne and Michael McCarron and defenseman Jack Dougherty have been released from the selection camp roster of players competing for spots in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

All three played in a 5-2 U.S. victory against Boston University in an exhibition game Friday at Walter Brown Arena. U.S. coach Mark Osiecki, general manager Jim Johannson and the rest of the staff made the cuts after a lengthy closed-door meeting. 

Erne, a second-round pick (No. 33) of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2013 NHL Draft, was a member of the U.S. team that finished fifth at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden. He and McCarron (Montreal Canadiens) skated on the same line with center Cole Cassels (Vancouver Canucks).

Dougherty (Nashville Predators) skated with different defense partners during the game Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 12.19.2014 / 11:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Eichel helps U.S. Juniors defeat BU teammates

BOSTON -- Boston University coach David Quinn shook his head and smiled when asked what it was like to have to devise a game plan against his usual top-line center, Jack Eichel.

"It wasn't fun and not easy," Quinn said. "Now I know what a lot of coaches throughout college hockey feel like. But he had a lot of help on that team as well."

Eichel scored a shorthanded goal and had four shots on goal to help lead the United States National Junior Team to a 5-2 victory against Boston University in an exhibition game at Walter Brown Arena on Friday. The game marked the final day of USA Hockey's four-day selection camp in Boston. The team will travel to Kingston, Ontario, to continue camp at the K Rock Centre before the start of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26.

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Posted On Friday, 12.19.2014 / 9:47 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. defeats Boston University in WJC tuneup

BOSTON -- Defenseman Noah Hanifin and center Jack Eichel, two top 2015 NHL-Draft eligible players, scored shorthanded goals in the first period to help lead the United States National Junior Team to a 5-2 victory against Boston University in an exhibition game at Walter Brown Arena.

Chase De Leo, a 2014 fourth-round pick (No. 99) of the Winnipeg Jets, and JT Compher (Buffalo Sabres) also scored for the United States, and Anthony DeAngelo (Tampa Bay Lightning) hit into an empty net to conclude the four-day selection camp on the campus of Boston University.

The United States will continue camp in Kingston, Ontario, on Sunday at Rogers K Rock Centre. Prior to traveling to Canada on Saturday, general manager Jim Johannson will reveal which players will be cut from the 30-man roster.

The final 23-man roster will likely be announced Dec. 24. The U.S. begins preliminary-round action in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship against Finland at Bell Centre in Montreal on Dec. 26.


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Posted On Friday, 12.19.2014 / 12:37 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Halverson to serve as starter in preseason opener

BOSTON -- Goaltender Brandon Halverson will open as starter in the first of three exhibition games for the United States National Junior Team on Friday against Boston University at Walter Brown Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.

U.S. coach Mark Osiecki acknowledged after a morning skate that Boston College sophomore Thatcher Demko would sit this game out. Halverson (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL), a second-round pick (No. 59) of the New York Rangers in the 2014 NHL Draft, will play the first half of the game and Plymouth Whalers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes) will play the second half.

The U.S. will have two more exhibition games against Germany on Dec. 21 and Sweden on Dec. 23 in Kingston, Ontario, before the start of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26. Osiecki was asked if each goalie would be given an opportunity to earn a start.


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Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday