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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.


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Posted On Saturday, 12.22.2012 / 8:34 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Barkov stars as Finland tops United States

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.

Alexander Barkov

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.

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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.


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Posted On Thursday, 12.20.2012 / 3:21 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. beats Sweden in overtime in exhibition game

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.

Emil Molin and Rickard Rakell scored for Sweden.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.20.2012 / 2:06 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S, Sweden tied 2-2 after two periods

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.20.2012 / 1:23 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S, Sweden tied after one period

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.20.2012 / 12:29 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada falls to Finland in WJC exhibition game

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.20.2012 / 12:01 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Forsberg named Sweden captain for WJC

Sweden has named Washington Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg captain for its team at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Filip Forsberg

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.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.19.2012 / 1:15 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Zadorov cut from Russia team

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.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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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.

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Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres