The party is under way for the United States, but its opposition for the 2014 World Junior Championship already has been set.
The tournament, which will be held in Malmo, Sweden, will see the United States take part in Group A. Joining them will be Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany. Group B will include Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Finland and Norway. Norway replaces Latvia, which was relegated after finishing 10th in this year's tournament.
"It's the first time ever that we'll have the IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo and we will try to do our best to make it a successful event," Mikael Haglund, the general secretary of the organizing committee, told reporters in Ufa, Russia.
Rocco Grimaldi made his presence felt for the United States at the most important time at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
It happened in the second period of the gold-medal game against defending champion Sweden in Ufa, Russia, on Saturday.
Grimaldi, who was dropped from the first line to the fourth line four games ago, scored a pair of second-period goals to rally the Americans to a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of action at Ufa Arena.
Grimaldi's second of the game came off a tip in the slot. Jacob Trouba fired a rocket from the right point that Grimaldi deftly deflected past Swedish goalie Niklas Lundstrom 10:27 into the period to give the United States its first lead.
The Swedes came close to squaring the contest while shorthanded when Anaheim Ducks prospect William Karlsson broke in on United States goalie John Gibson off a turnover, but was denied with less than five minutes left in the second.
The United States pulled into a 1-1 tie 7:42 into the second when Grimaldi connected for his first of the tournament on a great individual effort. The Florida Panthers prospect raced to a loose puck behind Sweden's net before skating out beyond the left post and firing a shot that skittered over Lundstrom's right pad before dropping over the line.
It was only a matter of time before Rocco Grimaldi made his presence felt for the United States at the 2013 IIFH World Junior Championship.
It happened in the second period of the gold-medal game against defending champion Sweden in Ufa, Russia, on Saturday.
Grimaldi, who was removed from the team's top line four games ago, scored a pair of second-period goals to rally the Americans to a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of action at Ufa Arena.
Grimaldi's second of the game came off a fabulous tip in the slot. Jacob Trouba unleashed a slap shot from the right point that Grimaldi deftly deflected past Swedish goalie Niklas Lundstrom 10:27 into the middle period to give the United States its first lead.
The United States and Sweden are scoreless after one period of play in the gold-medal game of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Sweden will have a power play to open the second for 1:32. United States forward Cole Bardreau was whistled for interference at 19:33.
The Swedes were forced to kill off a pair of power plays by the United States early in the game, including a two-man advantage for 35 seconds. Lundstrom had a strong first period in goal for Sweden with some big saves, including J.T. Miller's rebound attempt with the United States on a 5-on-4 advantage.
The United States and Sweden are gearing up for their anticipated matchup in the gold medal game of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia (NHLN-US, TSN) on Saturday.
The United States will stick with the same lineup it has used the last three games for obvious reasons -- the club has compiled 21 goals in three straight victories.
Additionally, the United States defense has chipped in with 10 goals and 27 points in six tournament games. That group is led by Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba (four goals, eight points), 2013 draft-eligible standout Seth Jones (six assists, seven points) and Buffalo Sabres prospect and U.S. captain Jake McCabe (three goals, six points).
Sweden swept its group with wins over Latvia, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Finland to earn the bye to the semifinals where they edged host Russia in a shootout to reach the title game. The Swedes have many players who have faced the Americans in the IIHF World Under-18 Championship gold medal games the last two years -- both won by Team USA.
It wasn't the medal they wanted, but Russia took home a piece of hardware after a 6-5 overtime win against Canada in the bronze-medal game at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
Valeri Nichushkin scored his first goal of the tournament 1:35 into overtime to allow the host nation to finish third.
NHL Central Scouting's top-rated Russian skater, Nichushkin took a pass from Artem Sergeev and steamed up the right side. He walked around Canada defenseman Ryan Murphy, cut to the net and stuffed the puck inside the post before goalie Malcolm Subban could get his skate in place.
Yakupov scored a power-play goal one minute into the period to put Russia ahead 5-4. Russia won a battle along the boards behind the Canada net, with Kirill Kapustin emerging with the puck. He walked in front and passed to Yakupov, who was stationed on the left post and scored his second of the game.
Canada pulled even at 10:46 on its first even-strength goal of the game. Russia goalie Andrey Makarov stopped Phillip Danault's shot from the left side, but the rebound went to defenseman Scott Harrington, who tried to drag the puck through traffic in the slot. The puck bounced off a Russian player but went right to Ritchie, who scored from in close to tie the game 5-5.
Canada nearly went ahead with about 2:40 left, but Ritchie's shot from in close hit the post and rolled under Makarov, and the Russian goalie was able to clear the puck into the corner.
Canada continued to take advantage of Russia's lack of discipline, scoring a pair of power-play goals to tie their bronze-medal game against Russia 4-4 after two periods.
Mark Scheifele and Ryan Murphy scored power-play goals, as Canada improved to 4-for-5 with the man advantage through two periods.
Scheifele tied the game 3-3 just 3:16 into the second. With Yaroslav Kosov in the box for high sticking, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins possessed the above the right circle, and found Scheifele alone in the slot. Scheifele had enough time to kick the puck onto his forehand and slide his shot under goalie Andrey Makarov.
Russia answered just 1:07 later when Yevgeni Mozer scored his first of the tournament. Maxim Shalunov's shot was blocked by Tyler Wotherspoon, but Mozer stepped between three Canadian players to grab the loose puck and beat Canada goalie Malcolm Subban under his glove at 4:23.
Khokhlachev opened the scoring when his low shot from the right circle squeezed under the right pad of Canada goalie Jordan Binnington just 3:31 into the period.
After a roughing penalty on Canada's Boone Jenner, Yakupov made it 2-0 just 1:26 later when he played the puck off the right wall, skated to the net and took a return cross-ice pass from Albert Yarullin for a back-door tap-in goal at 4:57.
A penalty to Yevgeni Mozer allowed Canada to get on the board. Andrey Makarov stopped Ryan Murphy's shot from the point, but as Russia tried to clear the puck, it bounced off Mark Scheifele and went to Nugent-Hopkins. His shot from the high slot beat Makarov at 6:58.
Canada coach Steve Spott will have a different look to his top-six forward group for Saturday's bronze-medal game (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) against Russia.
Ty Rattie, who scored Canada's only goal in its semifinal loss to the United States, will start at right wing on the top line, replacing Mark Scheifele. Scheifele takes Rattie's spot on the second line.
Canada also will have just six defensemen as Griffin Reinhart begins serving his four-game suspension.
Here is the roster Canada will go with, as well as the lineup for host Russia:
Martin Frk's goal with 1:07 left in the second period snapped a tie game and helped the Czech Republic finish its run at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 4-3 win against Switzerland in the placement game.
Tomas Hyka had a goal and two assists, and Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist as the Czechs finished fifth for the second consecutive year.
Sven Andrighetto, a 2013 NHL Draft prospect who plays for Rouyn-Noranda in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, had a pair of goals for Switzerland, which finished sixth.
TSN is reporting that Jordan Binnington will start in goal for Canada against Russia on Saturday (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) in the bronze-medal game at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Binnington, a 2011 third-round pick of the St. Louis Blues, saw his first action of the tournament in Thursday's semifinal loss to the United States. He replaced Malcolm Subban at 12:44 of the second with Canada trailing 4-0, and stopped 25 of 26 shots as Canada lost 5-1.
Binnington had dressed as Subban's backup in Canada's first five games. Playing with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League this season, Binnington is 17-6-3 with three shutouts in 23 games. His 2.31 goals-against average is fourth in the league, and his .930 save percentage is third.
Canadian National Junior Team defenseman Griffin Reinhart on Friday was given a four-game suspension by the International Ice Hockey Federation for an incident that occurred Thursday during a semifinal game against the United States.
Reinhart, who will miss Canada's bronze-medal game against Russia on Saturday at 4 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, TSN) in Ufa, Russia, was assessed the stiff penalty for an infraction at 14:21 of the second period in his team's 5-1 loss to the Americans.
Reinhart had one assist and took three shots in five tournament games.
Mikhail Grigorenko scored 7:56 into the third period and Russia has rallied for a 2-2 tie with defending champion Sweden through regulation play in the semifinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship.
The teams will now enter a 10-minute overtime. If no winner is determined, the teams will enter a shootout to determine a winner.
Girgorenko pulled Russia into a 2-2 tie to the delight of the hometown faithful at Ufa Area when he poked a loose puck over the left pad of Swedish goalie Niklas Lundstrom. As they have done all tournament, Grigorenko and linemate Nikita Kucherov made the play happen with tremendous work in the Sweden end and in front of Lundstrom.
Lundstrom made a great save on Edmonton Oilers No. 1 pick Nail Yakupov with 4:35 remaining in the third when the Russian captain skated into the slot and launched a quick backhand attempt denied by the Swedish goalie.
The winner advances to the gold medal game on Saturday against the United States, a 5-1 victor over Canada in the other semifinal-round match at Ufa Arena. The game is set for 8 a.m. (NHLN-US, TSN) at Ufa Arena.
Russia finally picked up its game in the second period to pull to within 2-1 against Sweden in their semifinal match at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
The Russians pulled to within a goal of Sweden when defenseman Andrei Mironov scored his first of the tournament off a blast from the top of right circle at the 7:32 mark. The goal by Mironov, assisted by Nail Yakupov and Kirill Kapustin, was just the fourth shot of the game for Russia.
The goal certainly ignited the host country at Ufa Arena, however, as it began to dictate much of the play from that point. Sweden has out-shot Russia 25-12 through two periods.
Defending champion Sweden built a 2-0 first-period lead on host Russia in their semifinal matchup.
Sweden opened a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Elias Lindholm at the 6:35 mark. Lindholm took a pass from Victor Rask right in front of Russian goalie Andrey Vasilevskiy before sliding a backhand shot into the net.
The Swedes made it 2-0 at 9:38 when captain Filip Forsberg ripped a shot from between the circles that beat Vasilevskiy top shelf on the glove side.
Aleksander Barkov and Ville Pokka scored two goals each, and Markus Granlund had a goal and three assists as Finland started play in the relegation round with an 8-0 win against Germany on Thursday.
Joel Armia had a goal and two assists, and Miikka Salomaki and Artturi Lehkonen also had goals, and Janne Juvonen stopped all 15 shots as Finland outshot Germany 56-15.
Finland led 3-0 after two periods but blew the game open with five goals in third. Salomaki and Pokka scored in the first five minutes, and then Barkov, Pokka and Armia scored in a 2:30 span in the game's final minutes.
Russia and Sweden are prepared to drop the puck in the semifinals of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday in Ufa, Russia.
The game is a rematch of last year's gold-medal game, a 1-0 overtime win by Sweden. The winner will advance to this year's gold-medal game Saturday (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) against the United States, a 5-1 winner against Canada in the other semifinal.
The fact Sweden has been able to advance this far in the tournament is a story in itself when you consider the team lost three key defensemen to injury before the tournament even began -- Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Jonas Brodin (clavicle) and Hampus Lindholm (concussion).
Early offense and an outstanding goaltending exhibition late by John Gibson allowed the United States to skate away with a 5-1 win against Canada in the first semifinal at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
John Gaudreau scored his second goal of the game with 4:19 left in the third period, and Gibson was at the top of his game as the United States advanced to the gold-medal game for the first time since the 2010 WJC in Saskatoon. They now await the winner of the second semifinal, between Sweden and Russia, in Saturday's championship game (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).
Jake McCabe had a pair of goals and an assist, and Jimmy Vesey also had a goal and an assist for the United States.
Despite playing their sixth game in eight days -- and third set of back-to-back games -- the United States remained the faster, more aggressive team and took a 4-0 lead after two periods in their semifinal game against Canada.
John Gaudreau and Jimmy Vesey scored as the United States extended its lead and moved within 20 minutes of playing for the gold medal.
Gaudreau, the hottest American player, scored his sixth goal in the last three games at 2:58 of the period. Gaudreau carried the puck out of his end and crossed the Canada blue line. He dragged the puck around Canada defenseman Ryan Murphy, using him as a screen, and fired a shot that beat Canada goalie Malcolm Subban.
Vesey made it 4-0 at 12:24 when he took a pass from Gaudreau, stepped around Canada's Xavier Ouellet and beat Subban to the far side, over his blocker.
That marked the end of Subban's game, as he was replaced by Jordan Binnington for the first time in the tournament.
Jake McCabe wasn't added to the United States roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship for his offensive skill, but the defenseman scored a pair of goals to give the Americans a 2-0 lead after one period in their semifinal against Canada.
United States coach Phil Housley has wanted all his defensemen to be active in the offensive zone, and McCabe did just that, pinching into the high slot for a pair of scoring chances.
Midway through the first Riley Barber had a pair of opportunities from right in front of the net, but Canada goalie Malcolm Subban stopped both. The puck came back to Barber a third time, and he spotted McCabe alone in the high slot. McCabe fired a shot through a ton of traffic that went past Subban at 7:18 of the period.
Late in the first, Rocco Grimaldi rushed the puck into the Canada end and dropped a pass for McCabe. The American captain, from nearly the same spot he scored his first goal, ripped a shot past Subban's glove with 3:58 left in the period to make it 2-0.
Here is the lineup Canada will skate with against the United States in their semifinal matchup (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). It's a lineup that looks identical to the one used in the team's preliminary-round finale against Russia:
Here is the lineup the United States will use in its semifinal game against Canada on Thursday (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). After scoring seven goals a day before against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, the Americans will return basically the same lineup.
Nikita Kucherov scored a power-play goal with 1:36 remaining in the third period to give the Russian Junior National Team a 3-3 tie with Switzerland in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Sven Andrighetto had given Switzerland its first lead, 3-2, 8:57 into the third when he scored off his own rebound. The Swiss will be entering their fourth straight overtime period at the WJC.
The winner will play defending gold-medalist Sweden in the semifinals of the medal round on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET.
Switzerland and Russia are locked in a 2-2 stalemate after two periods of action in the quartefinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The winner of the game will face defending gold-medalist Sweden in the semifinals of the medal round on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET (NHLN-US).
Switzerland pulled into a 2-2 tie 12:37 into the second when Martin Ness scored off an uncontested spin-o-rama to stun those in attendance at Ufa Arena. Samuel Guerra controlled the puck along the right wing half-boards before launching a shot at Andrei Vasilevskiy. Ness, who was standing alone in the slot, neatly controlled the rebound before cleaning up.
Switzerland will begin the third period on a two-man advantage for 45 seconds.
Switzerland continues to surprise at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Minnesota Wild prospect Christoph Bertschy scored a shorthanded goal midway through the first period on Wednesday to give the Swiss a 1-1 tie with favored Russia in the quarterfinals of medal round competition at Ufa Arena.
Russia opened a 1-0 lead 6:07 into the first when Alexander Khokhlachyov connected for a power-play goal. The Swiss just missed scoring shorthanded at the start of the Russian power-play when lightning-quick Bertschy stole a pass and just missed tucking home a shot into the right-hand corner on Andrei Vailevskiy at the 4:59 mark.
The United States. National Junior Team was clicking on all cylinders Wednesday, scoring a 7-0 victory against the Czech Republic in quarterfinal-round action of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The United States advances to play Canada in the semifinal round Thursday. Canada, which beat the Americans 2-1 in the preliminary round, won Group B to earn a bye into the semifinals.
John Gaudreau notched the hat trick -- the first for an American at the WJC since Austin Watson's natural hat trick last year. Gaudreau, who was named the U.S. player of the game, has five goals during his past two games after going scoreless in the first three preliminary round contests.
The United States National Junior Team was clicking on all cylinders on Wednesday en route to scoring a 7-0 victory over the Czech Republic in quarterfinal-round action of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The United States now advances to play Canada in the semifinal round on Thursday. Canada, which beat the Americans 2-1 in the preliminary round, won Group B to earn a bye into the semifinals.
John Gaudreau notched the hat trick -- the first for an American at the WJC since Austin Watson's natural hat trick last year. Gaudreau, who was named the U.S. player of the game, has five goals over his last two games after going scoreless in the country's opening three preliminary-round contests.
The United States National Junior Team struck for five goals in the second period to open a 6-0 lead against the Czech Republic on Wednesday in quarterfinal-round action of the medal round at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Riley Barber and John Gaudreau each scored twice and Ryan Hartman also fired in a goal as the United States was working on all cylinders to open a comfortable lead through 40 minutes. Gaudreau's second of the period, a power-play marker off a cross-ice feed from J.T. Miller, was his third of the game -- all with the man advantage.
The United States has scored four power-play goals on six attempts.
Gaudreau connected for his second power-play goal of the game just 28 seconds into the second when he collected a pass from Trouba and jammed home a shot at the right post. Hartman scored off a big rebound in the left circle after Jacob Trouba had taken a big shot that Czech goalie Patrik Bartosak couldn't control.
Johnny Gaudreau scored the only goal of the first period of the World Junior Championship quarterfinals to give the United States a 1-0 lead.
Gaudreau scored on an easy tap-in on a 5-on-3 penalty at the 11:45 mark of the first. The Czechs had taken back-to-back hooking penalties to go down by two skaters. Gaudream made them pay with his third goal in two games and the Americans' fifth power-play goal in the past four periods. The United States had four man-advantage goals in a 9-3 win against Slovakia on Monday.
The winner of this game plays Group B champion Canada in the semifinal on Thursday.
One year ago, the U.S. National Junior Team suffered an agonizing defeat at the hands of the Czech Republic in preliminary round action at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
The loss assured that the United States would not advance to the medal round for the first time since 1999.
The Americans are determined not to let history repeat itself Wednesday on an even bigger stage when they meet the Czechs in their opener of the 2013 WJC medal round in Ufa, Russia (4 a.m. ET, NHL.com, NHLN-US, TSN).
The winner of Wednesday's quarterfinal-round game will advance to play Canada in the semifinals. Canada, which beat The Americans 2-1 in the preliminary round, won Group B and earned a bye into the semifinal round Thursday.
Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin, a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, has been suspended one game by the International Ice Hockey Federation.
Nichushkin, who has one assist in four games, was banned for a hit he delivered to Canada's Tyler Wotherspoon in a 4-1 Group B preliminary round loss to Canada on Monday. Nichushkin was assessed a major penalty plus a game misconduct under Rule 523a. Wotherspoon suffered facial cuts but returned to the game.
The IIHF Disciplinary Panel review stated that Nichushkin delivered a hit from behind to his opponent, extending his arms into the head and neck areas of the Canadian player to drive Wotherspoon's head into the boards and glass. The hit was deemed reckless by the panel.
The United States will be without defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere for its quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic on Wednesday (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).
On Tuesday, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced that Gostisbehere was suspended one game for the slashing major and game misconduct he was assessed in the final preliminary round game against Slovakia on Monday, a 9-3 victory that delivered the Americans into the medal round.
Gostisbehere was whistled for a foul on Slovakia's Matus Matis behind the play at the 16:50 mark of the first period. Gostisbehere was assessed a major penalty plus the game misconduct under rule 537b.
For the first time at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, Canadian coach Steve Spott got a good glimpse of what his team can accomplish with a full complement of players.
The bottom line is this. It's pretty impressive.
Third-line checking forward Boone Jenner finally returned to the lineup on Monday against Russia after serving a three-game suspension for a pre-tournament hit on Sweden's Jesper Pettersson in the second period of a Dec. 22 contest in Helsinki, Finland. Pettersson suffered a broken wrist and a dislocated shoulder on the play.
His return gave Spott 13 forwards to work with for the first time at the event. It also gave the veteran coach one more top penalty-killer at his disposal.
"He brings more of a forecheck presence," Spott said. "We want to be an aggressive team on the forecheck and he gives you that element. He's going to be a tremendous leader one day for the Blue Jackets, and he is a tremendous leader for us right now."
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound power-forward didn't register a point in his return, but basically did everything else in his first game of the tournament -- a 4-1 victory over the rival Russians that enabled Canada to clinch a first-round bye into the semifinals of the medal round.
"It was awesome," Jenner told TSN. "I mean, my adrenaline had been going since I woke up [Monday] morning. We knew the arena was going to be electric and we wanted to feed off of that energy, so I've been raring to go and thinking about that game so it was good to get out there and back on the ice."
Nikita Kucherov scored the lone goal for Russia. They had a chance for another when Vladimir Tkachev was pulled down by Canada defenseman Ryan Murphy and awarded a penalty shot with 19 seconds left in the third, but goalie Malcolm Subban got his right pad on Tkachev's attempt to push it wide.
Jonathan Drouin continued his outstanding play, scoring the lone goal of the second period to give Canada a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes in its preliminary round final against Russia.
The winner of the game claims first place in Group B and earns a bye into the semifinals, while the loser finishes second in the group and plays Switzerland in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
Drouin, promoted to the top line for the game by coach Steve Spott (ED NOTE: link to http://www.nhl.com/ice/blogpost.htm?id=12477), went behind the net and was in the right place when a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins shot went wide of the net and onto the back wall. Drouin jumped on the puck, went behind the Russia net and stuffed the puck inside the post before Russia goalie Andrey Makarov could get into place.
The United States advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship with an 8-3 victory against Slovakia in a must-win game Monday, the final day of group play and will play the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round Wednesday.
The Americans finished with two wins and six points in pool play, good for third place in Group B. If Slovakia had won Monday, it would have taken third place.
Under the tournament format, the United States play the second-place qualifier from Group A in a cross-over game. That team became the Czech Republic later Monday when Sweden defeated Finland, 7-4, to solidify the Group A standings.
With a full complement of 13 forwards for the first time, Canada coach Steve Spott has decided to shuffle his lines heading into the game Monday against Russia.
The winner of the game will clinch Group B and a bye into the semifinals. The loser will finish second in the group and play the third-place team from Group A in a quarterfinal Wednesday.
Canada's most striking change is on the top line, where top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Jonathan Drouin will play at left wing, alongside center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and right wing Mark Scheifele. Drouin has a goal and two assists in three games.
The United States earned a spot in the medal round with a 9-3 rout of Slovakia on Monday, the final day of preliminary round play.
John Gaudreau and Vincent Trocheck each had two goals and an assist to lead the U.S. attack. Jimmy Vesey, given an expanded role after serving as the 13th forward in the first three games, had three assists.
The U.S. also killed off six of seven Slovakia power plays, including a pair of extended 5-on-3 Slovakia power plays in the second period.
Vincent Trocheck scored a pair of goals as the United States continued to build its lead and just about clinch a spot in the medal round, leading Slovakia 8-2 after 40 minutes.
The Americans had to start the period killing off the final 1:50 of Shayne Gostisbehere's slashing major, and after surviving that, they took advantage of their own man-advantages.
John Gaudreau's second goal of the game at 4:55 made it 6-2 at 4:55, and then Gaudreau set up Trocheck for a power-play goal at 6:16 to make it 7-2.
Trocheck, a Florida Panthers prospect, then scored his second to make it 8-2 at 10:00 of the period. He won a faceoff in the Slovakia end, skated to the net and scored off the return pass from Tyler Biggs.
The United States rediscovered its offensive groove when it needed it most, filling the net early and often against Slovakia to take a 5-2 lead after 20 minutes of the final Group B game for each team.
The winner of this game advances to the medal round, which begins Wednesday. The loser moves to the relegation round.
Jimmy Vesey, promoted to the top line after being the 13th forward for the first three games, led the charge with a pair of assists in the period.
The teams traded breakaway goals early, as the U.S. took a 1-0 lead on a Cole Bardreau goal, but just 14 seconds later Slovakia's Matus Matis tied it.
U.S. captain Jake McCabe put his team ahead when he pinched in and lifted a backhander off a nice pass from Vesey at 5:10. John Gaudreau made it 3-1 when he scored in close on a rebound at 9:00.
United States coach Phil Housley has switched one of his lines as his team faces Slovakia on Monday with a berth in the medal round on the line.
Jimmy Vesey, who had been the 13th forward in the first three games, will switch spots with Rocco Grimaldi and start on a line with John Gaudreau and J.T. Miller as the U.S. tries to re-discover its offensive touch. The team hasn't scored gotten a goal from a forward since the third period of its opening game against Germany.
The Slovakian National Junior Team moved one step closer to advancing into the medal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship on Sunday following a 2-1 overtime decision against Germany in Ufa, Russia.
New York Rangers prospect Peter Ceresnak, the only player on the Slovakian roster to be drafted by an NHL team, blasted a shot from the left circle that beat German goalie Marvin Cupper high on the short side. Ceresnak's goal, off an assist from top 2013 draft-eligible prospect Marko Dano, came 1:40 into the extra period and with Slovakia on the power play.
Victories by Canada and Finland in Sunday's early games at the World Junior Championship have clarified the qualification picture just a bit.
Canada held off the United States in a much-anticipated Group B showdown, using the heroics of goalie Malcolm Subban to claim a 2-1 win Sunday. In Group A, Finland erased two two-goal deficits against Switzerland to claim a 5-4 victory in a shootout. Markus Granlund had two goals in regulation and the winning shot in the shootout, which went five rounds deep.
Canada's victory gives the Canadians a temporary hold on the top spot in Group B and assures them of a place in the medal round, which begins Jan. 2. Canada is the only team left in the tournament with a perfect record, 3-0-0-0 for nine points.
On Sunday, the Canadians play the host Russians, who have eight points from three games. Russia needed overtime to beat Slovakia. The winner of the Russia-Canada game (9 a.m., NHLN-US) will earn the top seed from Group B and a bye into the semifinals. The loser will have to play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
The Canadian National Junior Team received stellar play from goalie Malcolm Subban in surviving a late scare and earn a 2-1 victory against the United States on Sunday in a Group B showdown at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The United States pulled to within 2-1 in the third period when Jacob Trouba scored his team-leading third goal of the tournament. Trouba collected a cross-ice feed from Alex Galchenyuk and ultimately batted at a loose puck that found the back of the net behind Subban at the 11:02 mark. It would be Subban's only blemish in an otherwise fantastic performance.
The Canadian National Junior Team, bolstered by big performances from its top players, continues to hold a 2-0 lead against the United States after two periods Sunday in Group B play of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Canada was forced to kill a double-minor penalty to defenseman Griffin Reinhart for high sticking at 6:52 of the second. Ryan Hartman was fouled by Reinhart after the American forward established position down low in the Canadian end.
Canada's penalty killers did a fantastic job of keeping the U.S. players to the perimeter for much of four-minute advantage. When the puck did find a seam, Subban, who was credited with eight saves during the power-play, was there to shut the door.
The Canadian National Junior Team has taken a 2-0 lead over the United States through the first period of play between the North American rivals in Group B action of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Canada goalie Malcom Subban made 10 saves and U.S. goalie John Gibson finished with nine.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins opened the scoring for Canada with his third goal of the tournament off a quick release from the inner right circle 7:13 into the period. Following an offensive-zone draw, Jonathan Huberdeau controlled the puck along the half-boards before feeding an uncovered Nugent-Hopkins, who ripped a shot that beat Gibson low to the blocker side.
Yaroslav Kosov netted a hat trick in the third period and four other Russian players had two points as the Russians routed Germany, 7-0
The Russians have eight out of a possible nine points to temporarily hold first place in Group B. Russia frittered away perfection in the opening game of the tournament, defeating Slovakia in OT to take just two of the maximum three points.
Canada, with six points from two games, plays the United States on Sunday and can re-take first-place with a regulation win against the Americans. The Russians have Sunday off and then play Canada in what could be the deciding game of the group on Monday.
Canada forward JC Lipon has been suspended one game by the International Ice Hockey Federation and will have to sit out Sunday's game against the United States (4:30 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).
Lipon, a 2013 NHL Draft prospect, was assessed a major for a hit to the head/neck area and a game misconduct for a high hit on Slovakia's Tomas Mikus during Friday's game.
Canada will play Sunday with just 11 forwards, as Lipon joins Boone Jenner on the sideline. Sunday is the final game of Jenner's three-game suspension for a hit during a pre-tournament game against Sweden.
Now that the United States and Canada have played two preliminary-round games in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, here's a brief primer on what it all means.
The function of the preliminary round for each country is to establish seeding in each of the five-team groups, A and B. After a four-game schedule, the three teams with the most points at the end of Group play advance to the medal round at Ufa Arena beginning Jan. 2.
The first-place team earns an automatic bye into the semifinals, and the second- and third-place teams will play a crossover quarterfinal-round match with the winners advancing to the semis. The loser will play a placement game. The survivor of the semifinal round moves on to the gold-medal game, while the loser competes for bronze.
What does this setup mean for Canada and the United States?
Vladimir Tkachyov scored the decisive goal early in the third period and goalie Andrei Makarov made it stand behind a solid 41-save performance as the Russian National Junior Team scored a 2-1 victory over the United States on Friday in Group B action of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Makarov, who was earning his first start in the tournament, made 15 saves in the third period and was named Russia's player of the game. U.S. goalie John Gibson was stellar in defeat with 28 saves.
The victory moves Russia into second place in Group B with five points (one regulation win, one overtime win). The United States, which will next face first-place Canada (six points) on Sunday, drops to third with three points.
The United States and Russia are all even after two periods of Friday's 2013 World Junior Championship matchup in Ufa, Russia.
Defenseman Jacob Trouba pulled the United States into a 1-1 tie when he ripped a slap shot from the point past Russian goalie Andrei Makarov 13:18 into the second. Alex Galchenyuk gathered the puck in the right circle before feathering a pass to Trouba at the point. Trouba's shot appeared to tip off the leg of Russian forward Daniil Zharkov, who went down to one knee to block the attempt.
The Russians played with much more energy in the early stages of the second, but the U.S. dictated much of the action in the end. The U.S. held a 17-11 edge in shots in the second and hold a 27-19 advantage for the game.
Makarov, an undrafted free-agent signee of the Buffalo Sabres, made an extraordinary stop on John Gaudreau less than a minute before his team gained the lead. Gaudreau broke in 3-on-1 before taking a pass at the right post from J.T. Miller. Makarov slid to his left and denied the U.S. forward with a nifty toe save to keep the game scoreless.
Makarov made 10 saves and Gibson turned aside seven for the United States.
The Canadian National Junior Team rallied from a two-goal deficit despite having two players ejected from the game en route to a 6-3 victory over Slovakia on Friday at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
After spotting the Slovaks a 3-1 lead when Marko Dano scored his second of the game at the 10:35 mark of the second, Canada connected for five straight goals. Mark Scheifele's deflection with just 59 seconds remaining in the second gave Canada its first lead, 4-3. Scheifele, a first-round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 2011, was named Canada's player of the game.
"As a team [this win] is going to help us down the road," Rielly told the media after the game. "We understood that each team in the tournament is pretty good and we have to play well every night. Obviously we were put to the test [Friday] and we played well down the stretch."
The Canadian National Junior Team rallied from a two-goal deficit despite the absence of two players ejected from the game en route to a 6-3 victory over Slovakia on Friday at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
After spotting the Slovaks a 3-1 lead when Marko Dano scored his second of the game at the 10:35 mark of the second, Canada connected for five straight goals. Mark Scheifele's goal with just 59 seconds remaining in the second gave Canada its first lead, 4-3. Scheifele was named Canada's player of the game.
The Canadian National Junior Team has taken a 4-3 lead through two periods over feisty Slovakia despite the absence of two players in its 2013 World Junior Championship match on Friday at Ufa Arena in Russia.
Top 2013 draft-eligible prospect Marko Dano of Slovakia has two goals and one assist. Dano's power-play goal 10:35 into the second had given Slovakia a 3-1 lead before Canada connected for three straight goals, including a pair of power-play markers.
Canada will be forced to carry on in the third without the services of forwards J.C. Lipon and Anthony Camara. Lipon was given a game misconduct after being whistled for checking to the head at 13:39 of the first. Camara was also thrown out of the game after being whistled for a charging penalty on defenseman Patrik Luza at 6:21 of the second.
Camara's hit on Luza, who had his head down while playing the puck in his zone, left the Slovak motionless for a few seconds before he was carted off on a stretcher. He was taken to the local hospital for precautionary measures.
After taking Russia to the limit in its opening game of the 2013 World Junior Championship, the Slovak National Junior Team has duplicated that effort in 20 minutes of work against favored Canada on Friday at Ufa Arena in Russia.
Top 2013 draft-eligible prospect Marco Dano has produced a goal and one assist and goalie Adam Nagy has made five saves to give Slovakia a 2-0 lead over the Canadians. Canada entered the game with an all-time 7-0-1 mark against Slovakia in the WJC.
Dano opened the scoring when he jammed home a shot past goalie Malcolm Subban from in the crease 2:53 into the first. Dano fought off a check from Brett Ritchie in the slot before receiving a pass from Matus Matis and sliding home his first goal of the tournament.
The United States did pretty well with six defensemen in its opening game at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, getting three goals from its blue-line corps in an 8-0 win against Germany on Thursday.
It's one below the maximum number allowed to play, but coach Phil Housley didn't sound like someone rushing to add anything to his roster.
The U.S. plays Russia (9 a.m., NHLN-US), last year's silver medalists, on Friday.
"We're going to talk as a staff tonight and digest this game, maybe make that decision tomorrow," Housley told NHL.com following his team's win against Germany. "Depending on any medical things going on with our team, I think we may make a decision."
They played together from 2010-12 with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. In 2010-11, Yakupov was third in the league in goals with 49 and led all first-year OHL players with 101 points, while Galchenyuk was second with 83 points.
A knee injury kept Galchenyuk sidelined for all but two regular-season and six playoff games, while Yakupov had 31 goals and 69 points in just 42 games. At the 2012 NHL Draft, Yakupov was taken No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers, while Galchenyuk went No. 3 to the Montreal Canadiens.
The strong play the United States displayed in the first period stayed intact through the second as the U.S. scored three times and forced the play for most of the second to lead 6-0 after 40 minutes of action against Germany.
After scoring 19 seconds into the first period, the U.S. needed just 15 seconds to get its first goal in the second, as Alex Galchenyuk forced a turnover behind the German net and flipped the puck in front to Riley Barber to make it 4-0.
Shayne Gostisbehere's power-play one-timer from the right side made it 5-0 at 6:33, and then Ryan Hartman, a top 2013 NHL Draft prospect, scored on the rebound of a Blake Pietila shot off a 2-on-0 rush to make it 6-0 at 7:55. Cole Bardreau started the play going the other way in the neutral zone as Germany got caught on a line change. He spotted Pietila who broke in alone on Germany goalie Marvin Cupper and fired a shot from the left side. Cupper slid over to make the save, but the puck bounced right onto Hartman's stick on the right side, and he buried his chance.
United States coach Phil Housley couldn't ask for much more from his team in the first period of its World Junior Championship opener against Germany.
The U.S. scored three times in the first 10 minutes, took just one penalty and kept Germany without a shot for more than 13 minutes.
Sean Kuraly opened the scoring just 19 seconds into the game, and Jacob Trouba made it 2-0 at 8:30 with a shot from the point through traffic.
Alex Galchenyuk scored the prettiest goal of the game, and maybe of the tournament so far. The Montreal Canadiens prospect pulled the puck off the wall on the left side in the Germany end, curled back to the blue line, and when no German skaters tried to stop him, skated into the slot and fired a shot that beat Germany goalie Marvin Cupper over his glove at 9:54.
NHL Network analyst Dave Starman has covered each of the past four World Junior Championship tournaments. He also spends a tremendous amount of time broadcasting and scouting college and junior hockey games across North America. As a result, he is intimately familiar with many of the players who are competing for gold during the next two weeks in Ufa, Russia. Throughout the WJC, Starman will weigh in with his thoughts and analysis, focusing his attention heavily on the fate of the Americans. These are his thoughts on the United States before their tournament begins.
The World Junior Championship is full of great hockey and tremendous drama.
Living full-time in the world of amateur hockey (college/junior), I see most of Team USA’s guys on a regular basis, and they have a good team. It isn’t as star-studded as some recent entries, but the best team doesn’t always win this thing.
Canada captain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and four assists as Canada opened the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 9-3 win against Germany on Wednesday.
Nugent-Hopkins and linemates Mark Scheifele and Jonathan Huberdeau dominated the game, combining for 10 points. Huberdeau had a goal and two assists, and Scheifele scored twice, including a shorthanded goal.
"We knew all three of those players are at an NHL level when it comes to their ability and mindset," Canada coach Steve Spott told TSN. "It's one of those things you hope it works out because Mark is playing out of his natural position [on the wing]. Ultimately I thought all three guys would be on the same page mentally because they're all so smart. Mark has adjusted well to the wing. Hopefully they can keep that going."
Christmas Day marked the deadline for teams to submit their rosters for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, and there were a few surprising names left off the submissions.
Canada listed 12 forwards, leaving top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Jonathan Drouin off the roster for now. Drouin sustained what TSN reported to be a charley horse during practice, leaving his status in doubt for the tournament. The team already is thin up front due to the three-game suspension of Boone Jenner.
With a maximum roster of 23 (20 skaters, three goalies), Canada can add Drouin or a replacement. Getting that player all the way to Ufa, Russia, however, will take time, so it's likely Canada will have to play at least one game with 11 forwards if Drouin is unavailable for Wednesday's opener against Germany, or move a defenseman to forward.
Left off the United States roster were defensemen Matthew Grzelcyk and Patrick Sieloff, as the team listed six blueliners. Among that group was Connor Murphy, who sustained a neck injury when he was hit by a puck during an exhibition game last week. However, with 19 total skaters submitted -- one below the maximum -- they can add one player.
Boone Jenner received a three-game suspension from the International Ice Hockey Federation for a charging incident last week.
Jenner, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect, is supposed to play a key third-line checking center role for Canada. He was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct penalty for charging after a late hit on Swedish defenceman Jesper Pettersson in the second period of an exhibition game Dec. 22 in Helsinki.
Pettersson was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and fractured wrist and will miss the World Junior Championship.
The IIHF based its decision on a video review of the hit, which it ruled was late and delivered with no intention to play the puck, and with Pettersson being in a vulnerable position.
Jenner will have to sit out Canada's first three games of the WJC: Dec. 26 against Germany, Dec. 28 against Slovakia, and Dec. 30 against the United States.
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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.
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.
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."
It was far from an artistic beauty -- Canada trailed early and gave Sweden eight power plays -- but their surplus of talent provided the difference.
Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Elias Lindholm set up fellow draft candidate Alexander Wennberg, who opened the scoring for Sweden with a power-play goal at 9:39 of the first period.
Sweden had multiple chances to increase its lead as Canada made repeated trips to the penalty box, including nearly seven straight minutes shorthanded midway through the period as Dougie Hamilton was sent off for roughing at 5:10, Huberdeau was whistled for slashing at 7:18, and Boone Jenner was given a major and gross misconduct for charging at 12:13. The IIHF will review the penalty and could assess supplemental discipline on Jenner.
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.
Alexander Barkov showed why he's considered one of the top players available for the 2013 NHL Draft, scoring a goal and adding two assists in the third period as Finland topped the United States 5-1 on Saturday in the final exhibition game for both teams heading into the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Finland scored three power-play goals in the third period to blow open what had been a one-goal game for the first two periods.
Blake Pietila scored the lone goal for the United States. Goalie John Gibson, the likely starter when the U.S. team opens the WJC on Dec. 27 against Germany, made 25 saves.
The United States arrived in Finland for its two exhibition games with 26 players, and will make final cuts Sunday to get down to the final 23-player roster.
Finland led 1-0 after two periods on Robert Leino's goal at 15:47 of the first, but didn't need much time in the third to increase their advantage.
With two seconds left on a Seth Jones penalty assessed in the final minute of the second, Finland got a power-play goal from Markus Granlund 1:06 into the third. Just 1:13 later Barkov made it 3-0 when he scored from right in front of the U.S. goal.
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.
The U.S. national junior team started its European excursion on a positive note.
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored at 1:38 of overtime to give the United States a 3-2 victory in its exhibition game against Sweden.
Connor Murphy and Ryan Hartman also scored for the United States as it prepares to improve on last year's seventh-place finish when it arrives in Ufa, Russia for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The U.S. team opens tournament play Dec. 27 against Germany.
The U.S. and Sweden each had a goal in the second period of their exhibition game, and after 40 minutes the game is tied 2-2.
Ryan Hartman, a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, had the U.S. goal. Mario Lucia stole the puck behind the Sweden net and flipped a nice backhand pass through the slot to Hartman, who one-timed the puck past goalie Niklas Lundstrom 3:48 into the period.
The U.S. lead held up until the final seconds of the period. With Connor Murphy off for high-sticking, Sweden worked the puck in the U.S. end on the power play. Rickard Rakell took a pass and skated into the right faceoff circle. His shot from the dot beat U.S. goalie Jon Gillies under his blocker with 34 seconds left in the period to tie the game 2-2.
After 20 minutes of action, the U.S. and Sweden are tied 1-1 in their exhibition game.
Sweden struck first when Emil Molin took a pass from Linus Froberg and fired a shot from the edge of the left faceoff circle that went between the arm and body of U.S. goalie Garret Sparks just 2:35 into the game.
Moments later, the U.S. took advantage of its first power play when Connor Murphy scored at 4:51. Murphy faked a shot from the top of the circle, skated into the high slot and fired a shot over the glove of Sweden goalie Niklas Lundstrom to tie the game.
Each team had chances to break the tie, including a 63-second two-man advantage for Sweden late in the first. However, the U.S. killed it off and even generated two quality shorthanded scoring chances.
Griffin Reinhart and Mark Scheifele scored 36 seconds apart in the second period, but Canada was unable to protect its lead and lost to Finland 3-2 in its first pre-WJC exhibition game, played in Vantaa, Finland.
Canada trailed 1-0 after one period, but Reinhart scored 3:05 into the second period to tie the score, then Scheifele gave Canada a 2-1 lead at 3:41.
But with Scheifele in the penalty box for tripping, Ville Jarvelainen scored a power-play goal at 10:02 of the second to even the game.
In the third, Miro Aaltonen scored to put Finland ahead for good at 7:16.
Forsberg, the 11th pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, has nine goals and 10 assists in 19 games this season with Leksand in Sweden's Allsvenskan.
He had one assist in six games at last year's tournament as Sweden won the gold medal for the first time in 30 years.
Named as alternate captains were Jeremy Boyce-Rotevall and Rickard Rakell. Rakell, taken by the Anaheim Ducks with the 30th pick of the 2011 draft, had two goals and three assists in six games for Sweden in last year's tournament. Boyce-Rotevall, eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, was scoreless in six games at last year's tournament.
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London Knights defenseman and top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Nikita Zadorov will not be playing for Russia at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Zadorov posted Wednesday on his personal Twitter account, "I not going to Ufa #WJC2013 I coming back to London."
A 6-foot-5.25, 230-pound blueliner, Zadorov is No. 7 on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary ranking of Ontario Hockey League skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft. He has two goals and 10 assists in 31 games for London, and his plus-26 rating leads all first-year OHL players, and is fifth overall.
Also reportedly released from the team is center Bogdan Yakimov. The 6-5, 202-pound forward plays for Penza in Russia's second division, and is No. 2 on Central Scouting's preliminary ranking of Russian skaters for this year's draft.
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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.
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.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- With just 26 players left in camp and a need to get the roster down to 23 prior to the start of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, coach Phil Housley said the job of deciding who stays and who goes home isn't getting any easier.
Stefan Noesen was released from the team after being ruled ineligible for the tournament because of his 10-game OHL suspension, so only three more players need to be cut. However, the players are doing a nice job making those final decisions extremely difficult.
"I'm disappointed to see Noesen go with his situation," Housley said. "Certainly he would have been a part of our team. I think he's a big-time player. Even with that situation, it's going to be very hard -- especially on the back end."
Housley said the biggest part of discussions he will have with the rest of the USA Hockey staff is figuring how each player fits a necessary role.
"I think it's what role that we're going to find the players to fulfill," he said. "It's tough to be on the ice as a coach. You can watch but you can't really get a good sense of evaluating until you talk to the whole staff and see what their point of view is and where they're coming from. Those decisions are going to be tough. It's the role and where they fit into that role."
The two practice sessions were more up-tempo than the practice Sunday, as most of the players arrived in New York only hours before camp opened. The afternoon session saw things get even more physical with a 3-on-3 game played across the width of the ice. Bodies were banging around often.
"Today with both sessions we had was just great," Housley said. "The jump they had, the things that we're focusing on right now, they're understanding it more as we review our concepts. I think overall the competitive level that we saw in the small games at the end provided some very high compete, and it's fun at the same time."
The players also enjoyed the physical play at the end.
"Everyone has to get a feel for each other," Seth Jones said. "Today we played a little 3-on-3 game at the end. It was really competitive, really physical. People are battling for spots and no one's going to take anyone lightly."
Another player who was dialed into the practice was J.T. Miller, who has emerged as a team leader and could be the front-runner to be named team captain.
"Since we've been here he's put his foot down and really extended himself in that leadership role, which is good to see," Housley said. "It's the little things away from the rink that you don't see, which is great for me, to get the guys together. They're all on one page and that's great. You're going to need leaders, to get guys to say the right things in the locker room when the coach isn't there. … It's a sign of his maturity as a player. He's a guy that's playing in the American league at a very young age. There's not a lot of guys that can say that. He's a strong young man. It's great to see him lead by example. He competes out there. That's what we're going to need form our leaders, leading by example."
Heading into the final session of camp Tuesday, Housley said he's extremely happy with what he's seen so far.
"It's been great," he said. "The enthusiasm on the ice, the competitive battles -- it's everything we're looking for. Seems like these guys are coming together in a short period of time. I thought in Lake Placid they made strides toward creating that bond. Now it's really a joy to see these guys on the ice come together."
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- One interested observer for the afternoon session here at MSG Training Center was former New York Rangers goaltender Mike Richter.
"I'm used to coaching 12-year-olds," Richter told NHL.com. "It's pretty sweet to see the skill level and the size [of the players]."
Richter said he was impressed by all the players assembled for this week's 2013 World Junior Championship selection camp, but of course he was biased toward the goalies.
"The size is impressive with all these guys, it seems," Richter said. "There's a hell of a lot more to the story than that; there's plenty of big players in the League. These guys know their games so well. The position of goaltending has changed so much over the years. These guys are starting to get in good shape physically. They know the position very, very well. They're truly small professionals. They work on their weaknesses. Lots of them have goalie coaches. They don't go out there and hope the puck hits them. They have strategy and work to perfect it. You're looking at some pretty well-honed players when you look between the pipes. These guys they have out on the ice now are very, very impressive."
Richter also reminisced about his time playing in the WJC. He had an 8.37 goals-against average in three games in 1985 when he was a high school senior. A year later, as a freshman at Yale, he helped the U.S. win its first medal at the tournament, a bronze, as he posted a 2.60 GAA in four games.
"It was just a phenomenal experience," he said. "I was a backup my first year. I was in high school and just getting up to that level was amazing. Just in practice it was an eye-opener how good the players could be at that level. The same thing [the following year], even thought I was in college, you're getting the best of the best at that age group. Adjusting to the level of shots, how fast they came, how the decision-making of the forwards, how quickly you had to be set as a goaltender. It takes a couple days to adjust. And then once you do, you say I feel pretty good about this, you see patterns in the guys you're playing with in practice. Then you go out there and your first game is against Russia or the Czechs and you're like wow, another level up. The intensity is spectacular. These are great opportunities to grow and measure yourself against the world's best at a young age."
Watching the players in practice today gave Richter a positive feeling not just for the hopes of this WJC entry from the United States, but the future of the game.
"These guys are still developing and there's a lot of upside to what you see and they're great right now," he said. "Most of these guys on the team have been drafted, first-round picks, they're really impressive athletes. You're seeing the future of the NHL on the ice right now."
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. --J.T. Miller has been a man on the move the last three seasons. Three different teams at three different levels of hockey, and about the only thing in common has been a high level of success for the New York Rangers prospect.
After scoring 50 points in 56 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2010-11, Miller was selected by the Rangers with the 15th pick of the 2011 NHL Draft. He spent last season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, where he finished fourth on the team with 25 goals and 62 points.
He's also grown to 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, which has better equipped him to climb another rung on the hockey ladder -- to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League. In 26 games, Miller is fourth on the team with 14 points. Not bad for a 19-year-old in the AHL, where most of the first-year players are 2-3 years older.
"To be able to play center on the power play in the American Hockey League speaks volumes as to where his development has gone," U.S. coach Phil Housley told NHL.com. "He's very, very strong. You're going to need grit in this tournament, especially our team -- we're playing four games in five nights -- so definitely we're going to have to have some guys that play with some consistency and I see J.T. doing that."
Miller said every season he's played in a different league, the speed and strength of the players he faces on a nightly basis has gone up. And playing against older, stronger players in the AHL could make him better equipped for anything he'll face in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
"It helps with the whole speed and the strength, the thing that's going to help me a lot more," Miller said. "Some of the guys we play against won't seem as strong or fast, and might prepare me that much more to make sure I'm playing my best. Use what I know and everything I've learned in the AHL."
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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.
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.
The NHL Network-US and NHL.com have all of your World Junior Championship needs covered.
NHL Network-US announced Monday it will broadcast live all four of the preliminary-round games played by the United States, as well as six additional preliminary-round games and the entire medal round of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Ufa, Russia from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Participating nations include Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.
NHL Network-US also will air Team USA's two pre-tournament games live from Finland.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson confirmed Monday that he has no intention of inviting another player to U.S. National Junior team training camp here at the Rangers' practice facility in the absence of suspended forward Stefan Noesen.
Johannson confirmed Monday that Noesen's 10-game suspension by the Ontario Hockey League for a hit in a Dec. 8 contest against the Oshawa Generals has forced him from participation in the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russa, Dec. 26-Jan. 5. The 6-foot-1, 206-pound center is not eligible to return to the OHL until Jan. 11.
"We wanted to let the process go full and, in the end, we do not feel it's an equitable process," Johannson said. "We did send this to the [IIHF] for [its] determination since there's an opportunity for them to read and review. That was done. In the end, that suspension is behind upheld."
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The player most in the spotlight for USA Hockey at this week's World Junior Championship selection camp is defenseman Seth Jones. The 6-foot-4 blueliner is considered by some to be the most talented player in the 2013 NHL Draft class, and after losing a spot on last year's WJC team due to an injury in the final exhibition game, he's considered a lock to fill a major role on this year's team.
"He continues to be a dynamic player that happens to be 6-foot-4 and a defenseman that can do so much in the game. That's rare," U.S. team GM Jim Johansson said. "I think decision-making continues to get better and better. Not that it was poor before, but it seems like his game matures as the competition matures."
He's certainly shown the ability to step up his game to match the competition. In his first season with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League this season, he's tied for fifth among WHL defensemen with 28 points, and he recently had a nine-game point-scoring streak.
"At the start I got a little uncomfortable in the league for it being my first season," Jones said. "The first couple games it really took me a while to get comfortable with the speed of play and the type of play in the league. Right now I think I'm doing great. I'm very comfortable with the way I'm playing. My teammates have been great, they've really helped me get comfortable with the league and develop with the speed of play. It's been an unbelievable year."
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For their first day on the ice as a full group, U.S. coach Phil Housley focused on drills that got his players' legs moving and blood pumping. And the players afterward said it was just what they needed.
"Everybody's upbeat today, good tempo, try to get the feet moving," forward J.T. Miller said. "It wasn't all that grueling of a practice. We all played [Saturday] for the most part. We've just got to make sure we take every practice like it's a game and come out ready to go."
Most of the drills focused on transition play, which Housley said will be a major part of the team's game plan when they arrive in Ufa, Russia for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
A number of the drills were familiar to most of the 27 players here at the MSG Training Center, as they were the same as the ones Housley ran at the USA Hockey summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Saying Connor Murphy has been unlucky the past few seasons would be a major understatement.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is considered one of the best defense prospects in the Phoenix Coyotes' system, but a series of back issues and a knee injury has seen him play about 80 games over three seasons.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. --Stefan Noesen is one of 27 players taking part in USA Hockey's National Junior Team Training Camp here at the MSG Training Center, but his eligibility for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship remains in question.
Noesen, a forward with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, was handed a 10-game suspension by the OHL on Dec. 8 for a hit to the head during a game.
Team USA general manager Jim Johannson said he's hoping to have a resolution either way prior to the team's departure for Finland on Tuesday.
"It's still a pending situation, and in fairness to everybody that's involved in it right now I really don't have much more of a comment," Johansson said prior to the U.S. team's first practice. "In our opinion it's pending. It's a matter that's not closed and we're working on that. We hope to have resolution on that before we leave here.
"There's a lot of conversations. Ultimately he has to be eligible for an IIHF tournament. We're working on it as best we can. It takes a lot of communication with a lot of people right now. It's a little bit of uncharted territory for everybody. All I can say is I'm working on it as hard as I can. And I've been happy with the cooperation but it’s a difficult position for everybody and everyone involved is giving it the right diligence right now."
Noesen, a 6-foot, 187-pound right wing taken by the Ottawa Senators with the 21st pick of the 2011 NHL Draft, was part of the best line at USA Hockey's summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., along with Sean Kuraly and Mario Lucia.
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Less than 24 hours after solidifying the roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month, Canadian National Junior Team coach Steve Spott named his captain.
Not surprisingly, forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will don the "C" on his Canadian jersey when he represents his country at the WJC for the first time. Nugent-Hopkins, the first selection of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers, is in his last year of WJC eligibility.
Entering this week's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, there were several players considered to be virtual locks as starters for the Canadian National Junior Team at the 2013 World Junior Championship later this month.
Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League -- one of four goalies invited to the camp -- was among the "locks." Fact is, however, Subban's lackluster performance through the first two exhibition games was rather un-Subban-like.
During the four-game series in the Canada-Russia Challenge in August, Subban was superb, allowing four goals for a 1.97 goals-against average in two victories. In five appearances for Canada's Under-18 National Team, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound goalie sported an impressive 2.98 GAA and .913 save percentage.
Perhaps that's why coaches and fans were willing to give Subban the benefit of a doubt through the first two days of selection camp. But there's no question Subban realizes he must play better. After all, the 2013 WJC will be the biggest event of his hockey career.
The last day of Canada's National Junior Team selection camp at Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary also provided the final round of cuts as coach Steve Spott trimmed his roster in preparation for the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month.
Hockey Canada released the names of a dozen players not participating in Wednesday's game against the University of Alberta on Day 2 of World Junior selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
It's interesting to note that six of the players are returnees from last year's bronze medal-winning club at the 2012 World Junior Championship, including Hamilton, Harrington, Scheifele, Jenner, Huberdeau and Strome.
Even when they're not performing their magic together for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, linemates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin are inseparable.
The dynamic duo, who have combined for 41 goals and 100 points with the Mooseheads this season, were again in the spotlight on Tuesday during Hockey Canada's selection camp intrasquad game for Team Red against White.
"I think they were both nervous early," Canada head coach Steve Spott said after Red's 3-1 win. "Both kids made plays with the puck that they didn't look like [17-year-old] kids to me. They looked like 19 or 20 year olds out there, so I thought both kids played real well."
The Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday announced that they have reassigned defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who had been playing with the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Norfolk, to Sweden for participation in the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
Sweden, the defending gold medalist, heads the Group A field with Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland and Latvia. The Group B field includes Russia, the United States, Canada, Slovakia and Germany. Sweden head coach Roger Rönnberg will take 25 players to training camp on Dec. 15 in Norrtälje, Sweden, before continuing with preparation games in Finland right through Dec. 22. The Swedes will open the 2013 WJC against the Czech Republic on Dec. 26. The roster must be trimmed to 23 by Dec. 25.
Saint John Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau will not miss any time at Hockey Canada's National Junior Team selection camp in Calgary this week despite receiving a four-game suspension by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Monday.
The trouble started for the Florida Panthers prospect late in the third period of a loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Sunday when Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar of Halifax dropped the gloves. Huberdeau received an automatic suspension for instigating the fight, in addition to an automatic three-game suspension for abusing an official after a linesman was injured in the altercation.
Neither the International Ice Hockey Federation nor Hockey Canada will uphold the league's suspension, so Huberdeau will not miss any time at Canada's camp slated Dec. 11-13 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park. Huberdeau actually arrived in Calgary on Monday.
Hockey Canada announced Friday that forward Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Hockey League will be unable to attend Canada's selection camp next week for the World Junior Championship due to an upper-body injury.
Sissons will not be replaced on the roster, which now has a total of 36 invitees, including four goaltenders, 12 defensemen and 20 forwards. The 19-year-old Sissons was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the second round (No. 50 overall) of the NHL Draft last June. He had 10 goals and 27 points in 27 games for Kelowna in 2012-13.
Expect Canadian National Junior Team head coach Steve Spott to undergo his share of sleepless nights when he begins his evaluation of players at Hockey Canada's selection camp in Calgary next week.
Defenseman Ryan Murphy is one player who won't require much evaluation, however.
Murphy, chosen No. 12 by the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2011 NHL Draft, was one of 37 players (12 defensemen) invited to Hockey Canada's selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Dec. 11-13.
Spott has coached Murphy the past four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. This year marks the third time Murphy finds himself in a position to represent his country at the World Junior Championship -- he was released prior to the final roster selection the previous two years.
In addition to top draft-eligible defenseman Seth Jones, one other standout prospect was invited to the U.S. National Junior Team selection camp at the New York Rangers' training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., from Dec. 16-18.
Ryan Hartman, a 5-foot-11, 187-pound forward from West Dundee, Ill., is also on the radar of USA Hockey's coaching and managerial team -- and for good reason.
"I really liked his camp in Lake Placid [in August]," U.S. National Team coach Phil Housley said. "He's the kind of guy who plays at both ends of the rink, can skate, and can change the momentum of a game with a big hit."
Three weeks from Wednesday, the first puck will drop to start the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
NHL.com already has started covering the event, which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia, with the publication of a number of stories, starting with the selection camp rosters for a number of the leading hockey nations, with more to come.
Canada's selection camp will be held Dec. 11-13 at the Canada Olympic Center in Calgary, while the U.S. selection camp will be held Dec. 14-16 in Greenburgh, N.Y., at the New York Rangers' training facility.
Check this blog often as NHL.com will have full coverage leading into the tournament all the way to the gold-medal game.
NHL Network-US is the home of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with coverage of more than 15 games as well as highlights and analysis.