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Posted On Friday, 12.28.2012 / 3:56 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada braces for Slovakia in Group B action

Here's the lineup Canada will open with against Slovakia for its second game at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship:

Jonathan Huberdeau-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Mark Scheifele

Ryan Strome-Brett Ritchie-Jonathan Drouin

J.C. Lipon-Phillip Danault-Mark McNeill

Ty Rattie-Anthony Camara-Nathan MacKinnon

Scott Harrington - Dougie Hamilton

Xavier Ouellet-Griffin Reinhart

Morgan Rielly-Tyler Wotherspoon

Ryan Murphy

Malcolm Subban

Jordan Binnington

Canada opened the tournament with a 9-3 preliminary-round victory over Germany on Wednesday.

Posted On Monday, 12.24.2012 / 9:43 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Americans travel to Russia with 24 players

It appears as though the United States will refrain from making its final roster decision at the tournament deadline.

On Sunday, USA Hockey was expected to cut three players from its preliminary roster to get down to the 23-player limit for the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Instead the Americans made two cuts -- defenseman Brady Skjei and forward Stefan Matteau -- leaving the roster at 24 as they boarded the plane for Ufa, Russia.

It is expected that the United States plans to release another defenseman before submitting its final roster to the IIHF before the Dec. 25 deadline.

The delay in announcing the final cut may have something to do with the upper body injury sustained by defenseman Connor Murphy last week. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound blueliner from the Sarnia Sting in the Ontario Hockey League took a puck to the neck area last Thursday against Sweden and earned less than eight minutes of ice time in Saturday's pre-tournament exhibition against Finland. Murphy did practice with the team in Ufa on Monday. Defenseman Patrick Sieloff was a healthy scratch for the Finland game.


Posted On Sunday, 12.23.2012 / 8:25 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

United States names captain and alternates for WJC

Leadership will come in many forms for the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Just hours before boarding a charter flight to Ufa from Helsinki, Finland, on Sunday, University of Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe received word that he would be named the team's captain for this year's tournament.

Additionally, forward Cole Bardreau of Cornell University and defenseman Jacob Trouba of the University of Michigan will serve as alternates in one color jersey. Defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League and J.T. Miller of the Connecticut Whale in the American Hockey League will serve as alternates in another color, to be announced.

Posted On Sunday, 12.23.2012 / 2:55 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

USA Hockey cuts two players from WJC roster

Slowly but surely, the U.S. National Junior Team that will participate in the 2013 World Junior Championship is taking shape.

On Sunday morning in Helsinki, Finland, U.S. general manager Jim Johannson and his staff announced the release of two players, including defenseman Brady Skjei of the University of Minnesota and forward Stefan Matteau of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Johannson will need to cut one more defenseman to get his roster to the required 23-man unit. According to reports, the U.S. managerial team is awaiting medical reports on an undisclosed player before making a final decision, which should be made Sunday.

The roster currently includes 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies, including one emergency backup in case of injury.

"We are very close to finalizing our group of defensemen, pending the resolution of a medical situation," Johannson said in a statement. "We are set with our 13 forwards and three goaltenders. The decisions we made [Sunday] were very difficult and are a testament to the talent available to us in the United States."


Posted On Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 11:51 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

USA Hockey to now announce cuts on Sunday

It appears as though the managerial staff for the U.S. National Junior Team has some more thinking to do in the wake of the team's 5-1 loss to Finland in the final pre-competition tournament game in Helsinki on Saturday.

USA Hockey had planned on releasing three players to pare its roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, to the required 23-man unit following the exhibition against Finland. It apparently needs more time.

According to USA Hockey, the final three cuts will now be announced on Sunday, at approximately 3 a.m. ET/10 a.m. Helsinki. During a 5-1 loss to Finland on Saturday, U.S. coach Phil Housley listed defensemen Brady Skjei and Patrick Sieloff, forward Jim Vesey and goalie Garret Sparks as healthy scratches.


Posted On Friday, 12.21.2012 / 11:47 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

McNeill added to Canadian roster for WJC; Hudon out

Hockey Canada announced on Friday that forward Mark McNeill of the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League will join the Canadian National Junior Team in Finland on Saturday as an injury replacement.

McNeill will replace Charles Hudon of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Chicoutimi Saguenéens. Hudon, who reportedly is suffering from a back injury, will return to Canada on Sunday.

McNeill was one of the eight final players cut from Canada's selection camp in Calgary earlier this month. The Edmonton native has represented Canada at the 2011 Under-18 World Championship in Germany and also played for Team Pacific at the 2010 U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ontario. McNeill was selected in the first round (No. 18) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Draft.


Posted On Tuesday, 12.18.2012 / 1:33 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Anna Galchenyuk anticipates watching brother at WJC

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- How special would it be to don the red, white and blue as a member of the U.S. National Junior Team in Ufa, Russia, at the 2013 World Junior Championship for Alex Galchenyuk?

Just ask his older sister, Anna. The 25-year-old was all smiles Tuesday on the final day of U.S. selection camp at the New York Rangers' training facility as she watched her ultra-talented brother take line rushes on the power play.

"I'm very proud of him," Anna Galchenyuk told NHL.com. "A lot of people say he was lucky, but there's no luck. There's so much hard work that he put into this, his entire life. We're very proud watching him and the accomplishments that are coming right now. It makes me so much happier."

Anna, who works at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., joined her brother Monday for dinner and was at Tuesday's practice.

"We're really excited for him right now … our whole family is," she said. "He's looking so much to representing the United States. He was born here and even when we were flying back and forth to Moscow [Russia], he's always enjoyed returning back to the States."

After Tuesday's practice, Alex posed for some pictures with his sister and conversed with her in Russian for 10 minutes before departing the rink for the airport.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.18.2012 / 11:20 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Jones looks to be first African-American to go No. 1

It's no wonder Seth Jones doesn't just throw his arms in the air and confess to the hounding media that the decision to ultimately choose hockey over basketball is the one question he's answered a million times in recent months.

Truth is, though, the 18-year-old defenseman realizes it isn't often that a potential first-overall NHL draft pick also happens to be the son of a former NBA superstar and current assistant coach of the Brooklyn Nets.

"I've been bombarded with questions about that, which is normal I guess," Jones said on the final day of U.S. National Junior Team selection camp on Tuesday. "But my dad [Popeye Jones] didn't encourage me to play hockey; we knew nothing about hockey. He asked Joe Sakic what we needed to do to get involved and I was hooked."

It was actually during Popeye's tenure with Denver Nuggets in 1999-2000 when he approached Sakic about Seth and his desire to give hockey a shot. The rest is history.


Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 2:32 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Bardreau would embrace grinding role for U.S.

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Forward Cole Bardreau might be the only undrafted NHL free agent on the U.S. National Team Junior camp roster this week here at the New York Rangers' practice facility during selection camp, but his international success is just too good to be ignored.

The 5-foot-10, 181-pound center, a sophomore at Cornell University this season, played a part in the United States' gold medal-winning performance at the 2011 Under-18 World Championship in Germany and a first-place showing at the 2011 U-18 Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic.

In 2010, he was on the U.S. National U-18 Team that was first at the Four Nations Cup in Sweden while also earning gold at the World U-17 Hockey Challenge in Ontario.

Posted On Monday, 12.17.2012 / 2:08 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Gibson set in net for Americans

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- If there's one player on the U.S. National Junior Team selection camp roster with a good idea what players for Canada might expect from coach Steve Spott, it's Kitchener Rangers goalie John Gibson.

Gibson just so happens to be Spott's starting goalie in Kitchener. He's currently second in the Ontario Hockey League with a 2.13 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Spott, of course, is the coach for the Rangers when he's not instructing the Canadian National Junior Team.

Originally chosen by Kitchener in the 11th round of the 2009 OHL priority draft, Gibson would later be selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of 2011 NHL Draft. Gibson, who was signed by Spott to an OHL contract on July 27, 2011, is already penciled in as the U.S. starter for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

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