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Posted On Wednesday, 01.05.2011 / 9:01 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 3-0 lead on Russia in gold medal game

It appears nothing is going to stop these Canadian juniors from reaching the pinnacle this year.

Canada connected once in the second to grab a 3-0 lead over Russia through 40 minutes of play in the gold-medal game of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship and will now look to put together one more solid period to earn their sixth gold in the last seven years.

Brayden Schenn ripped home his tournament-leading eighth goal from the right circle off a nice pass from Marcus Foligno along the left-wing half boards 6:27 into the second period to extend Canada's lead to 3-0. Schenn's goal was his second point of the game and 18th point of the tournament, tying him with Dale McCourt for most points in one WJC with 20 minutes remaining. McCourt's mark has stood since 1977.

The goal forced Russian coach Valeri Bragin to pull goalie Dmitri Shikin and replace him with Igor Bobkov. As the dejected Russian goalie skated to his bench, the center ice scoreboard highlighted a fan holding a sign that read: "Canadian Fried Shikin."

The Canadians had an opportunity to extend the lead when they were issued their second power-play of the game, but it was Russia that had the best scoring chance. Danil Sobchenko found an opening and broke in on Mark Visentin. The Canadian goalie, who has yielded just two goals in the last two games, scooped up the attempt directed toward the five-hole.

The Russians received some horrible luck with 4:29 remaining in the second when captain Vladimir Tarasenko needed to be helped off the ice after incidental contact by a Canadian player just inside the Russian blue line.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.05.2011 / 8:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 2-0 lead on Russia in gold medal game

The Canadian National Junior Team continued its march toward a sixth gold medal in seven years in the opening 20 minutes of the gold medal game in the World Junior Championship on Wednesday.

Canada leads Russia, 2-0, in the seventh gold-medal clash between the clubs since the playoff format was adopted for the tournament in 1996.

Carter Ashton connected for his first of the tournament -- becoming the 15th player to at least have one goal -- with just 13.5 seconds remaining in period off great work behind the Russian net. After fighting off a check by Denis Golubev, Ashton skated to the front of net and received a pass from Louis Leblanc before finishing it off with a splendid sharp-angle shot from low in the right circle that entered the top far corner on Russian goalie Dmitri Shikin.

Russia committed the first mistake of the game when Georgi Berdyukov was whistled for hooking at the 4:20 mark of the first period. Canada, which entered the game with the top power-play in the tournament with a 43.48 proficiency rate, needed just 30 seconds to grab the early lead.

Brayden Schenn gathered a pass from Calvin de Haan in the right circle and quickly fired a cross-ice pass to captain Ryan Ellis in the opposite circle. Ellis collected and fired into a wide-open cage as Shikin never slid over to cover that portion of the cage.

Dmitri Orlov also pulled the Russians even when he stickhandled his way into the Canadian end and uncorked a slap shot that Mark Visentin corralled. Cody Eakin broke into the Russian end on a neutral zone turnover 11:40 into the first but was bothered just enough by the stick of defenseman Yuri Urychev.

Yevgeni Kuznetsov had an apparent breakaway attempt denied by a diving Tyson Barrie with 5:10 remaining in the period as the Canadian defense did all they could to deny the speedy Russian forwards an easy access to the goal cage.

Vinsentin turned aside eight shots in the opening period.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.05.2011 / 7:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S.A. names top players

The U.S. National Junior Team scored a 4-2 victory over Sweden in the bronze medal game to become the first American club to earn a medal of any color on home soil in four tries on Wednesday at HSBC Arena.

The victory also marked the first time the Americans have won back-to-back medals.

The top three players for the United States in the tournament, as selected by their coaching staff, were forward Charlie Coyle, defenseman Jon Merrill and goalie Jack Campbell.

Coyle, a first-round choice of the San Jose Sharks (No. 28 overall), finished with 2 goals, 6 points and a plus-1 rating. Merrill, a second-round pick of the Devils (No. 38 overall), led all defenders on the team with 4 points. Campbell, the first American-born player drafted last June (by the Dallas Stars), entered the bronze medal game 4-1 with a 1.63 goals-against average and .939 save percentage.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.05.2011 / 5:07 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Sweden, USA trade second-period goals

A quick exchange of goals in the second period livened up Wednesday's bronze-medal game here at HSBC Arena.

The Swedes, who lost to Russia two nights ago in the semifinals, struck first as Oscar Lindberg scored a goal from the seat of his pants at the 11:56 mark. On the play, Carl Klingberg came steaming down the right side and fired a tester that USA goalie Jack Campbell pushed into the left circle. Lindberg, however, got just enough of the puck as he fell to the ice to sweep it through Campbell's legs as he went from post to post. American defenseman Jon Merrill just missed an opportunity to clear the puck off the line.

That goal, however, seemed to finally awaken the Americans, who had peppered Swedish goalie Fredrik Petersson Wentzel with shots, but not many testers. Just 96 seconds after the Swedish goal, things were knotted again as the Americans struck on the power play.

Chris Kreider got the goal, one-timing a pass from Chris Brown into the far corner of the net before the Swedish goalie could react. Brown made the play with a strong rush into the zone that took him all the way around the net before he picked out Kreider, who was pretty tightly marked. Kreider, though, was able to get off a quick shot that seemed to surprise Petersson Wentzel.

After two periods, the US holds a 24-18 advantage in shots.

The first period was all about the goaltending.

Petersson Wentzel, the surprise starter for the Swedes, repaid the confidence of coach Roger Ronnberg, stopping all 13 shots the Americans managed in the first. The highlight came when he flashed the left leg to stone Kyle Palmieri on Team's USA's first power play.

Robin Lehner, a top prospect in the Ottawa system, had played the semifinal game against the Russians.

Campbell, who has played every game for the Americans, wasn't nearly as busy, making just 5 saves in the first. But, his right-leg save against Calle Jankrok in the game's first minute -- on a Swedish power play -- set the tone for the period.

Team USA's Emerson Etem probably had the best opportunity to score in the first, but he hit the post after taking a sweet feed from Mitch Callahan.

Canada plays Russia in the gold-medal game later this afternoon.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.05.2011 / 11:40 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Medal round games to determine WJC 2012 slate

The winners and losers of tonight's medal-round double-header at HSBC Arena will put the finishing touches on the layout for the 2012 World Junior Championship slated for the Canadian province of Alberta.

The preliminary-round group that involves Canada will be staged at the 16,839-seat Rexall Place in Edmonton and the group, as well as the final round and relegation round, will take place in the 19,289-seat Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

A lottery will be held for fans who want to buy ticket packages for Calgary (21 games) or Edmonton (10 games) and that draw will close today (Jan. 5) on Jan. 5, the day of the gold medal game in Buffalo, at midnight MT and Jan. 6 at 2 a.m. ET. The groups for 2012 will be released immediately following Wednesday's gold-medal game between Canada and Russia.

Basically, the winner of the gold medal game will be placed in Group A with Switzerland, Slovakia and Latvia. The winner of the bronze medal game between the U.S. and Sweden will be placed in Group B with the gold-medal round loser (either Canada or Russia), along with Finland, Czech Republic and Denmark.

Here are the current 2011 WJC standings heading into tonight's medal round:

Ranking 2011
1. Winner Canada/Russia
2. Loser Canada/Russia
3. Winner Sweden/United States
4. Loser Sweden/United States
5. Switzerland
6. Finland
7. Czech Republic
8. Slovakia
9. Norway
10. Germany

Swiss takes fifth-place game

Yannick Herren scored the only goal in a shootout and goalie Benjamin Conz made four saves to lead Switzerland to a 3-2 victory over Finland in the placement game at HSBC Arena.

Luca Camperchioli scored a power-play goal 5:23 into the second period to pull Switzerland into a 2-2 tie. Nino Niederreiter assisted on the play. Following a scoreless third period and 10-minute overtime, the teams entered the shootout.

Erik Haula and Teemu Pulkkinen scored first-period goals for Finland, which had opened a 2-1 lead. Inti Pestoni also connected for Sweden, which received a 28-save performance by Conz.

The victory enabled the Swiss to finish fifth in the tournament after placing four last year. Niederreiter, the captain of the team, finished the tournament with 2 goals, 4 points and a team-leading 26 shots. Conz finished 2-3 with a 2.97 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in six starts for the Swiss.



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Posted On Monday, 01.03.2011 / 8:59 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada continues barrage on U.S. goalie Campbell; leads 3-0

If not for U.S. goalie Jack Campbell, the anticipated semifinal round clash between the Canadian Junior National Team and the U.S. might very well be a blowout.

In fact, by the midway point of the second period, Canadian fans were chanting, "This is our house." It didn't matter that they were sitting inside HSBC Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.

Campbell stopped 15 shots in the second period but received little support in front. Canada opened a commanding 3-0 lead at the 5:59 mark as Ryan Johansen continued his red-hot play after connecting with his team working a 5-on-3 man advantage -- the U.S. entered the game as the least penalized team in the tournament. With both Charlie Coyle and Patrick Wey both in box and the Canadians working a 2-man advantage for 1:36, Johansen controlled a feed from Ryan Ellis and deposited his third of the tournament.

Campbell would be called upon to make numerous stops from that point, including denials on Sean Couturier and Quinton Howden in the slot. Canada goalie Mark Visentin was also up to the task, however, making some equally difficult stops when the U.S. did find a rare crack in Canada's defensive armor.

Visentin, who made 12 saves in the second, has 17 through 40 minutes. A shutout over the Americans would be shocking, to say the least. Campbell has 25 saves through two periods.

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Posted On Monday, 01.03.2011 / 8:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada dominates opening period, leads U.S., 2-0

The Canadian National Junior Team just completed, perhaps, its best 20 minutes of hockey in the 2011 World Junior Championship.

The fine effort resulted in 2-0 lead over the United States, the defending gold medalists. The winner of tonight's second semifinal will play Russia in Wednesday's gold medal game at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Quinton Howden, who performed splendidly in the first, struck 13:54 into the game to give Canada a 2-0 edge. Brett Connolly took a feed from Erik Gudbranson and skated down his right wing before hitting the tip of Howden's stick in the slot. The deft deflection entered the far corner on Campbell.

Canada opened the game dictating much of the pace, throwing its weight around and bottling the Americans up in their own end. Curtis Hamilton opened the scoring for Canada on a fine individual effort. After gathering the puck in the left circle, Hamilton sped towards U.S. goalie Jack Campbell and backhanded a shot that Campbell got with his left toe. Hamilton alertly jammed home the rebound at the 2:38 mark.

U.S. forward Jerry D'Amigo was the target of two big hits in the opening 20 minutes. Just 1:40 into the game, defenseman Erik Gudbranson slammed D'Amigo into the side boards. D'Amigo was also the recipient of a thunderous body check at the U.S. players' bench by Howden, the Florida Panters' 25th overall choice last June.

U.S. defenseman Brian Dumoulin got in on the relentless hit parade by both teams when he decked Carter Ashton in the Canada end.

Canada outshot the Americans, 12-5, in the opening period. Despite yielding two goals, Campbell did play well, turning back 10 shots. Canada's defense did a marvelous job in support of starter Mark Visentin, not allowing much down the middle of the ice.
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Posted On Monday, 01.03.2011 / 5:11 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Russia up 2-1 after two periods

Russia has shown no tired legs after Sunday night's miracle comeback against Finland in the quarterfinals.

Back on the ice 17 hours after the overtime win against Finland, Russia was right back on the HSBC ice Monday afternoon, playing top-seeded Sweden in the first of the day's two semifinals.

After two periods, Russia holds a 2-1 lead and is looking to spring a second-straight upset.

Team captain Vladimir Tarasenko gave Russia the lead in the first period and then Denis Golubev stretched the lead to 2-0 when he found himself alone in the slot after a great pass from Stanislav Bocharov and used a sweet forehand-backhand move to get Sweden goalie Robin Lehner moving in the wrong direction before potting a far-corner shot just inside the goal post.

Tarasenko, a 2010 first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, scored at the 6:37 mark of the first period, on just Russia's second shot. On the play, Tarasenko put together a strong cycling shift before barging toward the net along the goal line extended and firing a no-angle shot that somehow deflected behind Lehner.

Sweden applied the majority of pressure early on -- outshooting Russia 12-4 at one point -- but could not solve Russian goalie Dmitri Shikin, who robbed Jesper Fasth and Johan Larsson with beautiful saves.

In fact, it took almost 38 minutes before Sweden finally found the back of the net and it took an explosive slapper from Adam Larsson on the power play to turn the trick.

Defenseman Maxim Berezin was in the box for tripping when Jesper Thornberg passed a puck into the slot from the corner. Rickard Rakell, in the slot, tried to play it, but only got enough of his stick on it to slow it down. Then Larsson, projected as a top-five pick for the 2011 Entry Draft, pounced, pinching in to unload a cannon that beat Shikin, who had stopped the first 27 shots he faced in this game.

Russia needed a miracle comeback Sunday -- scoring two goals in the game's final four minutes against Finland to force OT before Evgeny Kuznetsov won the game in the seventh minute of OT -- just to get into Monday's game.

Sweden, meanwhile, heavily was favored to win this semifinal. Not only did they already beat Russia, 2-0, in pool play; but they were well-rested. By knocking off pre-tournament favorite Canada on the last day of pool play, Sweden earned the quarterfinal bye and did not have to play Sunday.
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Posted On Monday, 01.03.2011 / 4:43 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Russia up 1-0 after one period

Russia has shown no tired legs after Sunday night's miracle comeback against Finland in the quarterfinals.

Back on the ice 17 hours after the overtime win against Finland, Russia was right back on the HSBC ice Monday afternoon, playing top-seeded Sweden in the first of the day's two semifinals.

After one period, Russia holds a 1-0 lead on a flukish goal by captain Vladimir Tarasenko, a 2010 first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues.

Tarasenko scored at the 6:37 mark of the first period, on just Russia's second shot. On the play, Tarasenko put together a strong cycling shift before barging toward the net along the goal line extended and firing a no-angle shot that somehow deflected behind Swedish goalie Robin Lehner.

Sweden applied the majority of pressure early on -- outshooting Russia 12-4 at one point -- but could not solve Russian goalie Dmitri Shikin, who robbed Jesper Fasth and Johan Larsson with beautiful saves.

The Russians needed a miracle comeback Sunday -- scoring two goals in the game's final four minutes against the Finns to force OT before Yevgeny Kuznetsov won the game in the seventh minute of OT -- just to get into Monday's game.

Sweden beat Russia, 2-0, in pool play.
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Posted On Monday, 01.03.2011 / 4:00 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

WJC semifinal round under way

The first game of today's back-to-back semifinal in the World Junior Championship is under way here at HSBC Arena in Buffalo.

It'll be interesting to see if the Russians are skating on fumes in the later stages of the game after needing overtime to dispose of the feisty Finns on Sunday in the quarterfinal round. Sweden has goalie Robin Lehner between the pipes and Russia counters with Dmitri Shikin, the winning goalie against Finland.

In case you missed Sunday's recap of Russia's miraculous victory over Finland, check out the recap provided by NHL.com managing editor Shawn Roarke. Another story posted early Monday was on Sweden's change in attitude and how coach Roger Ronnberg feels the country is no longer considered a "soft" international foe.

At 7:30 p.m. ET (NHLN-US), all eyes will be on Canada against the United States in what should be one heck of a game. U.S. coach Keith Allain has already confirmed that forwards Jason Zucker and Jeremy Morin will return to the lineup. That will give him a four full lines to work with against a relatively healthy Canadian Team.

Here's a preview of tonight's big showdown.

Also, in case you missed it, I had a chance to speak with U.S. goalie coach Joe Exter, who provided some great insight into the mindset of U.S. goalie Jack Campbell.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.02.2011 / 4:28 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada, Switzerland all even after one period

Team Canada and Switzerland are all tied, 1-1, after one period in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Canada pulled into a 1-1 tie with 4:54 left in the first when Ryan Johansen jammed home a power-play goal from the slot after taking a feed from Brayden Schenn in the slot. It was the best the Canadians could do after missing a golden opportunity earlier in the game when they failed to convert on a two-man advantage for 46 seconds at the 3:39 mark.

Johansen almost gave his team a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later when he took a pass in the slot and directed a shot toward the right corner of the cage but Conz did the splits to get his left pad on the shot.

The Swiss opened a 1-0 lead 1:09 into the first on their first shot against Canadian starter Mark Visentin. Inti Pestoni, who opened the scoring in an eventual 2-1 loss against Team USA on Friday, threw a harmless-looking wraparound at the cage that deflected off the stick of Ryan Ellis and past Visentin.

Canada outshot Switzerland, 23-8.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.01.2011 / 10:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Cameron responds to post-game comments by Sweden's Ronnberg

If you missed the post-game comments made by Swedish National Junior coach Roger Ronnberg following his team's thrilling shooting victory over Canada on Friday, here's a refresher:

"I think, actually, we had some tougher games against the Czechs and the Russians, but I'm really proud coaching this team and they showed their character today, bouncing back all the time."

It was right around this time every reporter within the media center did the following -- (:-o)

It certainly wasn't expected and, actually, Canada coach Dave Cameron kind of turned to his left, ever so gently, to stare at the opposing coach as if to say, "What did you say?" You had to be there.

Anyway, the comments certainly agitated Cameron. He was asked to respond to Ronnberg's post-game take on his team and took the bait -- hook, line and sinker.

"I'll answer that in two parts, is that fair?" he told the media Saturday morning. "The first part is, they beat us. He's the king of the mountain right now and he can say what he wants.

"The second part is I wish part of this tournament was a shinny game between coaches, with no media."

Heck, it almost makes you want a rematch. It could happen, too, if Canada wins two more games and Sweden just one. "This isn't a time for games," Cameron said. "They're a very good team.

"He can say what he wants about his team. We're not going to do that, or I hope we're not going to do that. My message to my players is regardless of what happens in this tournament, stay humble. There's more than one good team here. Let your work on the ice do all your talking."

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Posted On Friday, 12.31.2010 / 5:41 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada and Sweden all knotted up

Canada and Sweden picked up where they left off in the second period, this time combining for three goals, and will head into the final 20 minutes of regulation play in a 4-4 deadlock here at HSBC Arena.

The winner of today's game will earn two days off and an automatic bye into the semifinal round.

After allowing the go-ahead goal with 0.5 seconds left in the first, Sweden pulled into a 3-3 tie just 52 seconds into the second when Carl Klinberg connected for his second of the game.

Sweden then took its second lead of the game at 2:44 when Jesper Thornberg ripped a shot from the left circle with Canada's Erik Gudbranson providing a screen. Because goalie Olivier Roy had already committed to the butterfly, Thornberg's shot beat the Canadian goalie high to the short side.

Canada then squared the contest on Curtis Hamilton's second of the game. Brayden Schenn, the tournament scoring leader, made the play happen after recovering from a center-ice hit by Sweden's Max Friberg less than a minute earlier.

After shaking off the hit, Schenn eventually found himself on a 2-on-1 break with Hamilton while shorthanded. Schenn waited until the last second before dishing to Hamilton, who was putting on the brakes as the puck arrived at his feet. Even though the puck deflected off Hamilton's skate and past goalie Robin Lehner at 4:37, the officials ruled the goal would stand following a brief review.

Schenn's assist, his 13th point of the tournament (6 goals, 7 assists), put him in a six-way tie with Jordan Eberle (2009, 2010), Patrice Bergeron (2005), David Chyzowski (1990) and Russ Courtnall (1984) for most points in one WJC. He is now 5 points away from equaling Dale McCourt (18 points, 1977) for most points in a WJC.

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Posted On Friday, 12.31.2010 / 4:59 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 3-2 lead over Sweden in wild first period

If the finish is anything like the start, Canada and Sweden will provide the capacity crowd here at HSBC Arena quite a show in the final preliminary-round game for both teams before playoffs in the World Junior Championship begin on Sunday.

The opening 20 minutes produced plenty of excitement, including five goals, bit hits and some suspect goaltending.

Team Canada took its second lead of the first, 3-2, with 0.5 seconds remaining on one of the strangest goals of the tournament. Following some great defensive work by Jared Cowen in his own end, Brayden Schenn fed Ryan Johansen down right wing. Johansen entered the zone and ripped a shot that hit the glass to goalie Robin Lehner's right. The puck bounced out in front to Curtis Hamilton, who jammed the attempt past the stunned goalie.

Canada had pulled into a 2-2 tie when Quinton Howden scored off a harmless-looking shot from the top of the left circle that was misplayed by Lehner. Howden's shot clipped the left catching glove of Lehner before trickling over the goal line at 15:38. The Swedes had taken their first lead just 43 seconds earlier when Carl Klingberg connected.

Team Canada opened a 1-0 lead just 58 seconds into the game when Sean Couturier's blast down his right wing deflected off the left leg of Swedish defenseman Klas Dahlbeck past goalie Robin Lehner. Canada's Marcus Foligno was crashing the crease at the time of the goal, forcing Dahlbeck to skate hard into the paint and interfere with the puck. It was the first goal allowed by Lehner, a prospect of the Ottawa Senators, in two games in the tournament -- he shut out Russia on Tuesday on 30 saves.

Sweden answered Canada's early goal at the 2:14 mark when Max Friberg showcased some fine hand-eye coordination by batting in a shot from the right hashmark. The first also featured a huge hit by Columbus Blue Jackets' Johansen on top 2011 draft-eligible defenseman Adam Larsson, who was literally thrown into his own goal post immediately after Sweden's first goal.

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Posted On Friday, 12.31.2010 / 3:13 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Finland blasts Slovakia, 6-0

Eric Haula scored a pair of goals and goalies Joni Ortio and Sami Aittokallio combined for 17 saves when Finland soared to a 6-0 victory over undermanned Slovakia on Friday in the fourth and final game for both countries in preliminary round action of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Finland's third straight victory catapulted them into first place, 2 points ahead of the U.S. National Junior Team, in the Group A standings for the time being. The puck is now in Team USA's end -- a victory over Switzerland (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) later today will solidify an automatic bye into the tournament semifinals slated for Monday at HSBC Arena.

Finland opened a 3-0 lead in the first period as Miikka Salomaki connected just 1:40 into the game before a pair of power-play goals by Jyrki Jokipakka and Haula extended the advantage. Joonas Donskoi scored a power-play goal of his own 6:45 into the second before Haula scored a shorthanded goal just 1:55 later. Valtteri Virkkunen also struck to close out the second-period barrage.

Slovakia, forced to play without the services of suspended defensemen Peter Hrasko and Martin Marincin, appeared disinterested and beaten from the early part of the contest.

Teemu Pulkkinen chipped in with two assists for Finland, which finished with a 43-17 shot advantage. Ortio made 10 saves in two periods of play before Aittokallio turned aside seven shots in 20 minutes of work in the third.

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Posted On Friday, 12.31.2010 / 11:54 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Sweden ready for Canada; U.S.set for Swiss

The matchup to determine who'll earn the automatic bye into the semifinal round of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship will take center stage on Friday (NHLN-US, TSN, 4 p.m. ET) when Sweden faces Canada in the final preliminary-round game for both teams in Group B.

Canada (3-0-0) and Sweden (3-0-0) enter Friday's clash with nine points apiece so there's certainly plenty at stake.

"Canada's strength is in the power play," Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg told NHL.com. "They have good guys who can really shoot and share the puck with the man advantage. We can't throw too many penalties today, we have to stay disciplined and hard and play the same physical game we did the last time we met them in Toronto (in an exhibition loss to the Canadians earlier this month). We have to play with more disciplined."

Ronnberg had some great things to say about the game and its importance in a story on NHL.com. Read it here.

The U.S. National Junior Team (2 wins, 1 OT win), meanwhile, will look to take care of business on Friday night (NHLN-US, 8 p.m. ET) against Switzerland (2-1-0). If Finland losses to Slovakia, in a game scheduled to start 12:30 p.m., the U.S. would automatically finish first in Group A. Otherwise, a wins by the Finns would require the U.S. to come out victorious in order to earn that two-day layoff into the tournament semifinal round.

"I feel like one thing we needed to do, and we are, is getting better and better each game," U.S. defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. "I feel like we've done that since the Finland game (a 3-2 overtime victory) and the German game, we've been getting better and better and getting closer as a team."

U.S. coach Keith Allain said goalie Jack Campbell would make his fourth straight start between the pipes.

Needless to say, the Americans will have to pay close attention to New York Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter. Niederreiter has 2 goals, 3 points and a plus-1 rating in three games for the Swiss in the tournament. He's also take a team-leading 13 shots on net.

"He's a dangerous player; I've played against him in the Western Hockey League and he's a threat out there so that's one guy we're going to have to watch," U.S. forward Mitch Callahan said. "He can certainly make plays."

Dumoulin also feels Niederreiter is a proven game-changer.

"They have one guy who can take over the game and control how they play and dictate the score of the game so we'll definitely be keying on him and making sure to shut him down," Dumoulin said. "As a full team, we can't really focus on one guy, we have to take care of business and worry about ourselves."

Allain knows that while Niederreiter has impressed in the tournament, it's a recipe for disaster to focus on just one player.

"He's their key offensive guys and it appears he's doing it all by himself right now," Allain said. "But, as a team, you never play one guy in hockey. Our impressions of Switzerland are they appear to more aggressive, more of a forechecking team, than Swiss teams of the past. We'll be ready for that."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 7:54 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. opens 2-0 lead on Germans in first

Charlie Coyle scored a power-play goal and Jerry D'Amigo notched his first of the tournament when the U.S. National Junior Team opened a 2-0 first-period lead over Germany in preliminary-round action in Group A of the World Junior Championship at HSBC Arena.

Coyle took a pass from Jon Merrill along the left-wing half boards and skated toward the left post before lofting a shot that beat German goalie Niklas Treutle under his arm at the 12:37 mark. D'Amigo's unassisted tally came 48 seconds later at 13:25.

U.S. goalie Jack Campbell needed to make just two saves while Treutle was kept busy with 21 stops. U.S. forward Jeremy Morin, who missed the previous game due to injury, had a team-leading four shots on net.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 7:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Switzerland, Sweden win preliminary round matches

Switzerland scored a 6-4 victory over Slovakia in Group A while Sweden remained unbeaten in Group B with a 6-3 triumph over the Czech Republic during Thursday's preliminary-round action in the World Junior Championship.

Switzerland's triumph automatically ensures Team USA a quarterfinal round berth even before their games against Germany on Thursday and Switzerland on New Year's Eve.

Samuel Walser scored the game-winner 14:06 into the third period to give Switzerland a 5-4 lead at HSBC Arena. Inti Pestoni then scored into an empty net to close out the scoring. Slovakia, which played with just five defensemen as two others were serving suspensions, rallied from a 4-2 deficit on third-period goals by Andrej Stastny and Richard Panik.

Swiss captain Nino Niederreiter scored his second of the tournament and 2011 draft-eligible prospect Sven Baertschi notched his first in the victory. Dario Trutmann chipped in with two assists for Switzerland and Michael Vandas had three assists for the Slovaks.

"Everyone played well, and this was a huge win for us," Niederreiter said. "It was a fun game to play, but not so much in the third period, when we let them back into the game."

The Swiss, United States, and Finland battle it out for first place -- and subsequent bye to the semifinals -- tomorrow while Slovakia will go into the relegation round with two points.

Meanwhile, over at Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University, Sweden struck for five straight goals after spotting Czech Republic a 1-0 lead 3:09 into the game.

Johan Larsson and Max Friberg scored power-play goals to give Sweden a 2-1 lead before Jesper Fasth made it 3-1 at 17:09 into the first. Sebastian Wannstrom and Fasth connected in the opening 5:42 of the second before the Czechs pulled to within 5-3 on a pair of goals by 2012 draft-eligible standout Martin Frk.

Sweden will play Canada on New Year's Eve with the winner earning first place in Group B. The Czech Republic and Russia will play at Dwyer Arena the same day, with the loser heading to relegation.

If Russia ends up among the four last teams of the championship, it will be a first, and a major disappointment. If the Czechs miss the playoff round, it will be a continuation of a trend which has been in place since the Czech Republic won a bronze medal in 2005.

"We lost something when we led 5-1," said Sweden's Fasth. "We lost focus or humbleness or both. But we came back and won and that was the main thing."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 4:43 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

The loss of Jaden Schwartz is painful

There isn't one reporter covering the 2011 World Junior Championship not saddened by the news Jaden Schwartz won't be able to join his Canadian National Junior Team mates on the ice for another game of this tournament.

Schwartz will be sidelined with a fractured left ankle.

Let's face it, the Schwartz family has courageously been dealing with heartache for a little over two years now -- when Jaden's sister, Mandi, a center on the Yale women's ice hockey team, was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia while in the first semester of her junior year at Yale University.

When Jaden had learned he had earned a roster spot for the Canadian Junior team on Dec. 15, his immediate response was to call his ailing sister to relay the good news. At least for a little while, things would be OK. His opportunity to wear the Canadian jersey had finally arrived; there would be some sense of excitement and joy. It was short-lived, of course, when the news of Mandi's latest biopsy on Dec. 17 detailed a grim report that she had suffered a relapse for the third time in 2010.

It hit the family hard, too, mother Carol, father Rick, brothers Jaden and Rylan. But Jaden carried on, just as his sister told him to do. He'd play it out and play hard and, really, do it for Mandi.

"The results of the biopsy caught us off guard, because we had hoped to be done with this part of the battle," said Carol Schwartz. "Mandi remains committed to fighting this disease, and we are going to continue doing everything in our power to help her. We are so grateful for all the support we have received throughout this ordeal. We know how many families have been affected by cancer, and we know that the efforts to raise awareness of this cause that have been made on Mandi's behalf are making a difference for her and for so many other patients in need. That gives us the strength to keep going."

So when Jaden, currently a freshman at Colorado College, hopped on the riser to address the media on Thursday morning with the aid of crutches and a walking cast over his left ankle, it seemed so unfair. Still, despite the disappointment, you got the feeling Schwartz had his priorities in order.

"There's people in the world going through worse things than I am," he told Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post. "So I'll keep that in the back of my mind."

Schwartz, who had been playing key minutes alongside center Brayden Schenn and Louis Leblanc, admitted he did contact his parents but hadn't yet called his sister.

"I know they're going to update Mandi," Schwartz said. "I'll give her a call tonight, but I'm sure she knows already."

According to Hockey Canada, Schwartz sustained his injury in a 7-2 win over the Czech Republic on Tuesday. The 18-year-old prospect of the St. Louis Blues had 1 goal and 2 assists in two games for Canada.

"I wanted to be here more than anything and my family wanted me here and especially my sister," Schwartz said. "It was a dream come true to make this team and to not be able to play in it is tough."

Schwartz said he received the bad news Thursday morning after undergoing an MRI on Wednesday.

"The (doctor) took me over there, and (Thursday) morning, told me the news," Schwartz said. "And, obviously, when I found out, I was very, very disappointed. Obviously, I was really looking forward to playing in this tournament, and playing for Canada."

Schwartz, incidentally, was the only player not participating in Canada's practice on Thursday. Zack Kassian, who will sit out the second of a two-game suspension on Friday against Sweden, Calvin de Haan (lower body) and Cody Eakin (undisclosed) all took part in the skate at Buffalo State College.

It's expected that Eakin and de Haan will be in the lineup on Friday while goalie Olivier Roy will make his third start in the tournament for Canada.

"It's really unfortunate timing," Schwartz said. "Sitting here, feeling sorry for myself isn't going to do anyone any good. I'm going to be here to support the guys as much as I can, and I'll be cheering them on every game."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 9:52 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. prepares for Germany

The U.S. National Junior Team will look to overtake Finland in preliminary-round competition in Group A on Thursday when it faces Germany for the eighth time since the latter's reunification.

The U.S. holds a 6-0-1 lead in the all-time series -- the last meeting coming two years ago, an 8-2 U.S. victory at the 2009 World Junior Championship in Ottawa. The U.S., incidentally, also owns a 10-0-3 record against West Germany.

While the U.S. will have wing Jerry D'Amigo in the lineup, it remains to be seen whether or not Brock Nelson, Jeremy Morin and Jason Zucker are healthy enough to give it a go.

"Regardless who's in the lineup, regardless of who's in the lineup or not, everyone has the same goals in mind," U.S. center Drew Shore told NHL.com. "That's what we're focused on. Hopefully, we get those guys back as soon as they're ready to go."

The U.S. has featured a balanced scoring attack in the tournament as 13 different players have notched a point. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin leads the team with a plus-3 rating and forwards Kyle Palmieri and Nick Bjugstad share the team lead with nine shots apiece.

U.S. goalie Jack Campbell has certainly picked up where he left off last year, notching two wins, a 1.46 goals-against average and .942 save percentage thus far. It's possible U.S. coach Keith Allain will have Campbell suit up against Germany and backup Andy Iles against Switzerland, as the games occur on back-to-back nights.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 9:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 7-1 lead over Norway after two periods

Brayden Schenn scored his third goal of the game, giving him a team-leading five in three games of the World Junior Championship, just 44 seconds into the second period to extend Team Canada's lead to 7-1 over Norway through two periods at HSBC Arena.

Mario Lemieux and Simon Gagne hold the Canadian National Junior Team record for most goals in one game at the WJC with four apiece.

The Canadian National Junior Team entered Wednesday's game against Norway with 10 forwards, six defensemen and a new goalie between the pipes.

For at least one period, it made no difference.

Casey Cizikas and white-hot Brayden Schenn scored goals in the opening 4:50 of the period and goalie Mark Visentin turned aside 15 shots when Team Canada opened a 6-1 lead over winless Norway. In a bizarre twist, Norway outshot Canada, 16-15, in the opening 20 minutes.

Schenn, who scored 5 points on Tuesday to spark Canada to a 7-2 victory over Czech Republic, had 2 goals and one assist, while Marcus Foligno, Louis Leblanc, Erik Gudbranson and Louis Leblanc each had a goal and one assist.

Canada captain Ryan Ellis notched an assist on Gudbranson's blast from the right point at 10:45 -- giving him his 21st point (4 goals, 17 assists) in 15 World Junior Championship contests. Ellis has participated in the last three WJC. That ties him for the all-time lead among defensemen in the tournament with Finland's Reijo Ruotsalainen (9 goals, 21 points in 24 games) from 1977-80.

Norway had pulled within 4-1 when Rasmus Juell connected at 13:35 -- eight seconds after Leblanc had extended the lead for Canada.


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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 8:41 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada opens 6-1 lead over Norway

The Canadian National Junior Team entered Wednesday's game against Norway with 10 forwards, six defensemen and a new goalie between the pipes.

For at least one period, it made no difference.
 
Casey Cizikas and white-hot Brayden Schenn scored goals in the opening 4:50 of the period and goalie Mark Visentin turned aside 15 shots when Team Canada opened a 6-1 lead over winless Norway. In a bizarre twist, Norway outshot Canada, 16-15, in the opening 20 minutes.
 
Schenn, who scored 5 points on Tuesday to spark Canada to a 7-2 victory over Czech Republic, had 2 goals and one assist, while Marcus Foligno, Louis Leblanc, Erik Gudbranson and Louis Leblanc each had a goal and one assist.
 
Canada captain Ryan Ellis notched an assist on Gudbranson's blast from the right point at 10:45 -- giving him his 21st point in 15 World Junior Championship contests. That ties him for the all-time lead among defensemen in the tournament with Reijo Ruotsalainen (21 points in 24 games).
 
Norway had pulled within 4-1 when Rasmus Juell connected at 13:35 -- eight seconds after Leblanc had extended the lead for Canada.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 6:53 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Finland wins second straight; 5-1 over Germany

An opening-game loss to the U.S. National Junior Team certainly hasn't kept Finland down.

In fact, for at least one night, the Finns are in sole possession of first place in Group A after having quietly strung together two straight triumphs, including Wednesday's 5-1 victory over Germany. Finland, which has played one more game than the U.S. (2-0-0, 5 points), is virtually assured a second-place finish following preliminary-round action in Group A of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The U.S. scored a 3-2 overtime victory over Finland on Sunday.

Finland, which is 2-0-1 with 6 points through three games, will play Slovakia on Friday before the start of the medal round on Sunday. The U.S., which is scheduled to play Germany (0-2-1) on Thursday, will close out its preliminary-round schedule on Friday against Switzerland (NHLN-US, 8:00 p.m. ET).

Finland received goals from  Joonas Nattinen, Miikka Salomaki, Joonas Donskoi and Jesse Virtanen before Germany finally connected -- a spectacular right-handed dangle 3:28 into the third by 2011 draft eligible prospect Tobias Rieder. Nattinen, who now has a team-leading 3 goals in three tournament games, and Donskoi are both prospects of the Florida Panthers.

"We're getting to know each other a little better every day," Finland captain Sami Vatanen said. "We never played much together before the tournament, but it's starting to come together. We want to win a medal; it's been a long time."

Donskoi's goal at 13:47 of the second was followed by a goal just 1:32 later by Virtanen's tally, forcing Germany to replace starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer (24 saves, 28 shots) for Niklas Treutle (15 saves, 16 shots) for the second time in three games.

Calgary Flames prospect Joni Ortio turned aside 28 shots in making his third straight start in goal for Finland. Minnesota Wild prospect Eric Haula closed out the scoring for Finland 16:07 into the third.

Finland outshot the Germans, 44-29. Detroit Red Wings' future star Teemu Pulkkinen (2 assists), who has 4 points in the tournament, and Haula led the way with six shots apiece. Julius Junttila also chipped in with two assists.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 2:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Suspensions flying at World Juniors

Zack Kassian's two-game suspension for his hit on Slovakia's Petr Senkerik wasn't the only penalty dished out by the IIHF today.

A pair of Slovakia players will spend time watching, rather than playing, following their actions during Tuesday's game against the U.S. Peter Hrasko will sit for three games, and Martin Marincin was banned for four.

Hrasko was assessed a match penalty for a hit to the head and neck area of U.S. forward Jerry D'Amigo 6:42 into the game. According to the IIHF release: " Hrasko deliberately targeted the head of the American player, using his elbow and upper arm to deliver the blow and causing D’Amigo to be thrown violently into the boards. As a result, D’Amigo struck his head against the glass, sustaining an injury."

The match penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension. Today, IIHF head disciplinarian Dan Marouelli tacked on two extra games.

Midway through the third period, Martin Marincin received a match penalty for his hit on U.S. forward Jason Zucker, and his one-game suspension had three games tacked on. Marouelli ruled Marincin's hit on Zucker, "was a premeditated act as the puck had long left the vicinity of the play. Marincin took advantage of a defenseless and unsuspecting opponent and deliberately targeted the head and neck area, resulting in an injury to Zucker."

While D'Amigo was able to continue Tuesday, Zucker was knocked out of the game and his status for Thursday's game against Germany is unknown.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 11:55 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada's Kassian to miss next two games

International Ice Hockey Federation tournament disciplinarian Dan Marouelli has levied an extra one-game suspension on Team Canada forward Zack Kassian for his second-period hit on Czech Republic defenseman Petr Senkerik on Tuesday.

Kassian will miss Wednesday's game against Norway and, now, Friday's big matchup with unbeaten Sweden. He was ejected from his team's 7-2 victory at the 5:53 mark of the second when his shoulder connected with the chest and neck of Senkerik. He was assessed a match penalty, which brought with it an automatic one-game suspension.

Marouelli announced this morning that he had doubled the punishment.

Senkerik was removed from the ice via a stretcher and, following numerous tests, returned to his hotel late Tuesday night. He was held out of the team's practice Wednesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 11:41 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

De Haan out for Canada?

Canada already will be without forward Zack Kassian for their next game, and they also might be without defenseman Calvin de Haan.

De Haan was forced to leave the game early in the second period with what TSN is reporting is a leg injury after he was hit hard into the boards by the Czech Republic's Michal Hlinka. De Haan limped to the bench and headed directly to the dressing room.

De Haan, taken by the New York Islanders with the 12th pick of the 2009 Entry Draft, isn't the only Isles prospect hurting -- U.S. forward Brock Nelson was held out of tonight's game with an upper-body injury. Nelson was taken by the Isles with the 30th pick of the 2010 Draft.

And at last year's tournament another Islanders prospect, defenseman Travis Hamonic suffered a serious shoulder injury playing for Canada.

Canada definitely will be without Kassian, who received a match penalty for a hit in the second period. Mike Morreale has all the details here.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 9:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. opens big lead on Slovakia

The U.S. National Junior Team has a 6-1 lead on Slovakia through two periods in preliminary-round action of the World Junior Championship at HSBC Arena.
 
Kyle Palmieri scored a pair of goals in the first period when the U.S. held a 22-1 advantage in shots on the Slovaks, who were coming off an inspiring 2-1 overtime decision against Germany on Monday. In that victory, Slovakia goalie Dominik Riecicky made 47 saves. Against the United States, however, Riecicky was pulled in the second period in favor of Juraj Holly after yielding six goals on 42 shots.
 
Charlie Coyle and Chris Brown scored goals in the early stages of the second period before Slovakia finally connected on Tomas Jurco's goal. The U.S. quickly re-established its dominance, though, scoring twice more in a span of 3:25 to take a five-goal advantage into the third period.
 
The U.S. holds a 43-11 advantage in shots. Goalie Jack Campbell, who made 32 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory against Finland on Sunday, has 10 saves.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 9:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Sweden nearly finished with Russia

While most eyes are watching the U.S. and Slovakia, another group is at nearby Dwyer Arena watching one of the premiere game of Group B between Sweden and Russia.

As the game winds down, it looks like Sweden will keep pace with Canada, while Russia will fall to 0-2.

The game turned in a 3:22 span in the second half of the first period, as first Anton Lander and then Jesper Fasth scored. Robin Lehner has been perfect in goal.

Playing Canada and Sweden right off the hop was a tough draw for Russia, and it makes their final two games of the preliminary round -- against Norway on Thursday and the Czech Republic on Friday -- must-wins.

We'll be back with more later when the game ends.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 4:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada leads Czechs, 2-1, after first period

After spotting the Czech Republic an early lead, Team Canada settled down to connect for two power-play goals in the later stages of the opening period to grab a 2-1 lead into the first intermission at HSBC Arena.

Brayden Schenn scored off a shot from the left circle that beat Czech Republic goalie Filip Novotny between the legs at 14:43 before Jaden Schwartz fired home an attempt, from low in the left circle, that entered the long side at 16:40. Team Canada outshot the Czech Republic, 14-2, in the first.

Schenn also assisted Schwartz' power-play goal and defenseman Ryan Ellis chipped in with 2 assists.

Antonin Honejsek had given the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the period when he picked up a loose puck and snapped a shot from the left circle that clipped the long-side catching glove of Olivier Roy, into the cage. It marked the second time in two games the Canadians yielded the opening goal of the game. Team Canada defeated Russia, 6-3, on Sunday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 3:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Finland shuts out Switzerland in Group A match

Joonas Nattinen, Jaakko Turtiainen, Teemu Pulkkinen and Julius Junttila had goals and Joni Ortio made 15 saves as Finland earned its first win of the 2011 World Junior Championship with a 4-0 victory against Switzerland on Tuesday at HSBC Arena.
 
Nattinen, a 2009 third-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, connected in the first period as Finland held a 17-5 advantage in shots. Nattinen, who has 2 goals in two games, was named Finland's Player of the Game. Switzerland goalie Benjamin Conz, who was the top goalie of the 2010 WJC, finished with 34 saves and was named Swiss Player of the Game.
 
Turtiainen struck 4:37 into the second to extend the lead to 2-0. Pulkkinen, a 2010 fourth-round draft pick of the Detroit Red Wings, and then Junttila connected in a span of 3:14 in the third to close the scoring.
 
Finland, which played extremely well in a 3-2 overtime loss to the U.S. on Sunday, continued its strong, aggressive approach in every zone against Switzerland. Switzerland was coming off a 4-3 victory against Germany -- a game they led 4-0 before allowing Germany back into the game. 
 
Finland goalie Joni Ortio, a 2009 fifth-round pick of the Calgary Flames, needed to make just 15 saves to record his first WJC shutout. Ortio started for Finland at last year's tournament.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 2:42 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Top prospect Landeskog suffering

Sweden's Gabriel Landeskog, projected to be an early first-round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft, will miss his team's first big test of the World Junior Championship, Tuesday's game against Russia.
 
Gabriel Landeskog, Team Sweden
According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, Landeskog is dealing with an ankle injury that occurred in his last Ontario Hockey League game with the Kitchener Rangers. He's scheduled to undergo an MRI. McKenzie reported that Landeskog could miss the rest of the tournament with the ailment.
 
Landeskog had 1 goal, 1 assist and a plus-3 rating in a 7-1 victory against Norway in Sweden's tournament opener Sunday.
 
Landeskog has 25 goals and 45 points for the Rangers, where he is team captain. NHL Central Scouting had Landeskog rated No. 1 in its preliminary rankings for OHL players. He's just the second European-born and -trained player to captain an OHL team, following Slovakia's Tomas Marcinko (Islanders, fourth round, 2006), who captained the Barrie Colts in 2007-08.
 
Prior to being named Kitchener's Rookie of the Year and becoming a member of the OHL's All-Rookie First Team in 2009-10 after totaling 24 goals and 46 points in 61 games, he was the youngest player to suite up for Djurgarden in the Swedish Elite League, at 16 years, 90 days.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 12:12 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. forwards Morin and Nelson out against Slovakia

After dealing with a pretty adverse situation in their World Junior Championship opener against Finland -- needing an overtime goal to earn the victory -- the U.S. National Junior Team will now be forced to operate two men short for the foreseeable future.

U.S. coach Keith Allain confirmed on Tuesday following his team's practice at HSBC Arena that forward Jeremy Morin and Brock Nelson would be sidelined for the game against Slovakia tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

Both players, who have missed the last two practices, are reportedly sidelined with upper-body injuries and are listed day-to-day. There is no timetable for their return.

"We'll just have to play with the guys we have and push onward," Allain said. "Slovakia has great speed and tremendous one-on-one skill. From what we've seen, they've been pretty aggressive in the neutral zone and they have gotten good goaltending. We're still building our team game."

The U.S. will certainly have their hands full with Slovakian goalie Dominik Riecicky, who made 47 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory over Germany on Monday night.

"I didn't come to watch and didn't see too much of (Riecicky) but we'll throw a lot of pucks on net and see what happens," U.S. defenseman Justin Faulk said. "We have our systems and we'll just have to make sure we compete every game."

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Posted On Monday, 12.27.2010 / 10:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Slovakia beats Germany; Czechs stop Norway

If a hot goalie is the equalizer, the U.S. National Junior Team better have paid strict attention to Slovakia's Dominik Riecicky.

Riecicky was an absolute one-man machine in the Slovakia net Monday, turning aside 47 shots on the way to leading his country to a 2-1 overtime victory against Germany in preliminary-round action in Group A at HSBC Arena. It would be surprising if Slovakia coach Stefan Mikes didn't have Riecicky right back between the pipes against Team USA on Tuesday (8 p.m.  ET, NHLN-US).

Riecicky, of course, wants that opportunity.

"I'd like to play against U.S. and for me it's high motivation because the championship is on their own soil," Riecicky said. "I'd love to see what happens."

Riecicky made 16 saves in the first, 17 in the second and 13 in the third. Marek Hrivik, who is eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft, deflected home a picturesque feed from Slovakia captain Richard Panik in the slot 3:39 into overtime to give Slovakia the decision.

"The first two periods were very tough for us, they had 34 shots and we had 17," Riecicky said. "But I thought in the third we were a better team and we had the momentum."

Panik, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, had a goal and an assist in the first game of his third World Junior Championship. Germany had pulled into a 1-1 tie 16:46 into the second when Norman Hauner jammed in a rebound in the crease.

Slovakia forward Tomas Jurco, a possible first-round pick in the June draft, was elated his country came away victorious and feels anything is possible against the U.S.

"It was a pretty hard game and we're really happy," Jurco said. "We're happy we stayed focused to the end, and it's a really big win for us. Our goalie was awesome. He had a few great saves and he's the goalie, so he's very good for us.

"If he plays against the U.S. like he did tonight, I'd say it's going to be a really hard game for USA because we can also play good defensively."

Meanwhile, at Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University, Tampa Bay prospect Tomas Rachunek and Antonin Honejsek of the Western Hockey League's Moose Jaw Warriors had goals to lead the Czech Republic to a 2-0 victory against Norway in Group B action.

Marek Mazanec turned aside all 21 shots he faced for the Czechs. Norway's Steffen Soberg made 36 saves in defeat.

Germany next will face Finland on Wednesday at HSBC Arena, while the Czech Republic will play Canada on Tuesday (4 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN), also at HSBC. Norway next plays Wednesday, against Canada (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).

In case you missed it, NHL.com spoke to Czech Republic assistant coach Jiri Fischer about the future of Czech hockey on an international stage.
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Posted On Monday, 12.27.2010 / 8:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Germany-Slovakia; Czech Republic-Norway

The only two games on the docket for Monday in the World Junior Championship are under way.

Germany is facing Slovakia at HSBC Arena and Czech Republic and Norway are meeting in Dwyer Arena.

The Slovaks lead the Germans, 1-0, on a second-period goal by captain Richard Panik, drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round in 2009. The Czechs and Norway are scoreless after one period.

Starters for Slovakia
Forwards
Jaray Majdan-Tomas Jurco-Andrej Kudrna
Oliver Jokel-Andrej Stastny-Michael Vandas
Marek Hrivik-Richard Panik-Miroslav Preisinger
Dominik Simcak-Dalibor Bortnak-Tomas Matousek-Peter Sisovsky
Defense
Adam Janosik-Martin Marincin
Lukas Kozak-Peter Trska
Peter Hrasko-Henrich Jabornik
Peter Ceresnak
Goalie - Dominik Riecicky

Starters for Germany
Forwards
Tom Kuhnhackl-Tobias Rieder-Laurin Braun
Norman Hauner-Thomas Brandl-Marcel Ohmann
Marcel Noebels-Mirko Hofflin-Bernhard Keil
Marc El-Sayed-Matthias Plachta-Marius Mochel
Defense
Konrad Abeltshauser-Jannik Woidtke
Dominik Bittner-Corey Mapes
Peter Lindlbauer-Benjamin Hufner
Dieter Orendorz
Goalie - Philipp Grubauer

Starters for Czech Republic
Forwards
Andrej Nestrasil-Roman Horak-Robin Soudek
Michal Hlinka-David Tuma-Jakub Orsava
Martin Frk-Jakub Culek-Petr Holik
Tomas Rachunek-Ondrej Palat-Antonin Honejsek-Petr Straka
Defense
Dalibor Reznicek-Jakub Jerabek
Petr Senkerik-Adam Sedlak
Oldrich Horak-Martin Planek
Goalie - Marek Mazanec

Starters for Norway
Forwards
Andreas Stene-Jonas Oppoyen-Mats Rosseli Olsen
Rasmus Juell-Sondre Olden-Joacim Sundelius
Magnus Lindahl-Michael Haga-Hans Kristian Hollstedt
Petter Roste Fossen-Eirik Borresen-Nicholas Weberg-Simen Brekke
Defense
Nicolai Bryhnisveen-Tobias Skaarberg
Daniel Rokseth-Robin Andersen
Kenneth Madso-Adrian Danielsen
Jens Ulrik Bacher
Goalie - Steffen Soberg

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Posted On Monday, 12.27.2010 / 5:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Morin, Nelson day-to-day for U.S.; Roy in for Canada

Updating an earlier report, U.S. National Junior Team forwards Brock Nelson and Jeremy Morin were on the ice for the team picture Monday, but immediately left prior to the start of practice.

No one from USA Hockey would provide an update on the injuries, although TSN reported that both players are considered day-to-day with upper-body ailments.

When asked to comment on the extent of the injuries, coach Keith Allain said, "I'm not commenting on injuries."

U.S. forward Ryan Bourque was asked if the team would have to make some major adjustments if Nelson, a prospect of the New York Islanders, and Morin, who played in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks this season, were sidelined for an extended period of time.

"I can't really comment on it and everything's day to day," Bourque said. "I don't know much anyway.  I think depending on what happens in the next few days, we'll see and obviously that's part of the tournament. Guys are going to have to step up and guys will be held accountable. We'll see what happens."

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was asked about Morin following his team's morning skate on Monday.

"I don't know anything. I didn't see the play," he said. "I didn't hear exactly how he was hurt, but I heard it was an upper-body injury. Whatever the case, I'm sure we're going to do what's best for the kid. I'm sure that's what the plan is, but I haven't heard."

Quenneville also said he didn't know whether or not the injury would sideline him the remainder of the tournament.

On the Canadian front, coach Dave Cameron named Olivier Roy his starter for Tuesday's game against the Czech Republic. Roy made 24 saves, including all seven in the third period, when Team Canada earned a 6-3 decision over Russia on Sunday.

Cameron was noncommittal when asked if Mark Visentin would get the nod against Norway on Wednesday.

"We'll go game by game and Mark will get in at some point," Cameron said.

Roy is excited about getting another opportunity.

"It's another great challenge and we have a great team for sure," Roy said. "We have to get ready for that next one.

"We knew entering camp that it would be a battle for spots on this team. It was pretty exciting playing (against Russia) but as the game went on, the excitement went down and I settled down. It was great to play in that game."
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Posted On Monday, 12.27.2010 / 10:33 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Is U.S. hurting?

According to TSN, the U.S. win against Finland might have come at a big price. Forward Jeremy Morin reportedly suffered a shoulder injury that could sideline him for the remainder of the tournament, although there has been no confirmation from USA Hockey.

Morin was an important late addition to the U.S. team after the Blackhawks released him to participate. He had been up and down between the Blackhawks and AHL Rockford all season, scoring 2 goals in nine NHL games.

Also hurt for the U.S. on Sunday was center Brock Nelson. The Islanders prospect was hit hard into the wall by a Finland player in the third period and immediately left the ice.

The U.S. will have a practice today; their next game is Tuesday against Slovakia (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). Check back with NHL.com later in the day for the full story.
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Posted On Monday, 12.27.2010 / 9:18 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

WJC is off and running

Well, that was some start to the 2011 World Junior Championship on Sunday. Canada showed its power -- literally and figuratively -- in its win against Russia, while the U.S. showed outstanding resiliency in never letting down against Finland.

From my snowbound basement, the thing that impressed me most about Canada was its work ethic. And to me, that was best shown by Casey Cizikas on a first-period penalty kill. Cizikas captured the puck in the Russia end and pinned it to the wall. He lost it, got it back and pinned it again. He won battles against two Russia forwards to keep the puck deep and single-handedly kill 30-40 seconds off Russia's power play.

It also was fun to watch local boy Marcus Foligno get off to a great start. The Buffalo native and Sabres draft pick scored Canada's first goal, and his line with Ryan Johansen and Zack Kassian, was very good.

For the U.S., this overtime win wasn't as dramatic as their last one -- the gold-medal game in Saskatoon in January -- but they displayed the same never-say-die attitude. Finland plays a tight defensive game and can be very frustrating to play against. However, the U.S. kept pressing and pressing. Kyle Palmieri had a few great chances before Nick Bjugstad won it in extra time.

Jack Campbell was solid in goal and made all the big saves, and defenseman Justin Faulk showed he can bomb the puck from the point for the first U.S. goal.

Today's a bit of a quieter day -- the only games are Slovakia vs. Germany at the HSBC Center and the Czech Republic vs. Norway from Dwyer Arena in Niagara. But stay close to NHL.com, as we'll have full coverage.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 9:41 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. leads 2-1 after 40 minutes

The U.S. was able to maintain a one-goal lead through two periods at HSBC Arena after exchanging goals with Finland in the second period.
 
Jason Zucker responded just 1:18 after Finland had pulled into a 1-1 tie, ripping a snap shot past goalie Joni Ortio from the right circle at the 15:08 mark. The goal was set up when Chris Brown checked a Finland player off the puck, providing Zucker, a Minnesota Wild prospect, his unassisted attempt.
 
Finland had squared the contest at 13:50 when Joonas Nattinen slammed home a shot from the slot off a turnover behind the U.S. net. Toni Rajala set up Nattinen after tracking the puck.
 
U.S. goalie Jack Campbell came up big on two occasions in the second period, denying Erik Haula, another Wild draft pick, on a point-blank attempt from between the circles at the 12:45 mark, and then Iiro Pakarinen's jam in the crease at 18:03. The U.S. outshot Finland in the second, 16-8. Ortio was solid in keeping his team within striking distance, turning aside 15 shots.
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 9:06 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. leads 1-0 after one

It took almost 10 minutes for the U.S. to finally put it into gear, but once they did, the opportunities came fast and furious against Finland in their preliminary-round game.
 
The U.S. cashed in on their second power-play chance of the first when defenseman Justin Faulk ripped a slap shot from the point past Finland goalie Joni Ortio with just 1:05 left. Jonathan Merrill fed Faulk along the blue line after some good work by Chris Kreider down low.
 
Prior to the goal, however, Team USA was aided by the play of returning goalie Jack Campbell, who turned aside nine shots in the first. The Finns, who haven't beaten Team USA in three previous meetings in the WJC, are playing this tournament without playmaking forward Mikael Granlund. The Minnesota Wild's 2010 first-round pick (No. 9) is dealing with post-concussion syndrome.
 
Ortio, a Calgary Flames prospect, finished with six saves in the first. Team USA's top line of Kreider centering Charlie Coyle and Kyle Palmieri, was the trio that finally pumped some life into the U.S. with less than six minutes remaining in the first. The club earned its first chance with the man-advantage, and despite the fact they failed to score, it made a much more concerted effort to sustain some pressure in the Finland end -- and it remained that way.
 
The U.S. players are wearing replica Team USA jerseys from the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Olympic team.
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 7:21 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Sweden finishes rout of Norway

To almost no surprise, Sweden finished off Norway, 7-1, at Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University on Sunday. Patrick Cehlin had a pair of goals, and Sebastian Wannstrom, John Klingberg and Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist each. In goal, Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel stopped 10 of the 11 shots he faced.

The rout started early as Sweden scored on its first shot. Wannstrom, a 2010 second-round pick of the Blues, set up Klingberg just 57 seconds into the game, and then scored himself late in the first.

Cehlin, a Predators prospect, made it 3-0 when he scored his first goal 4:09 into the second. Cehlin had a chance on a penalty shot later in the period when he was upended on a breakaway, but Norway goalie Lars Volden denied him. He made up for it, however, with 16.9 seconds left in the period off a Landeskog feed.

"We had a very good game, even if some of us were nervous in the beginning," Cehlin told reporters. "I'm really happy about today's game, even if the penalty shot didn’t go in."

Sweden increased its lead with a pair of goals in the first 2:01 of the third. Erixon, a Flames prospect, scored just 49 seconds in, and then Landeskog, a favorite to go in the top 10 of the 2011 Entry Draft, scored to make it 6-0.

Erik Borresen scored Norway's lone goal midway through the third, and then Carl Klingberg, like Pettersson-Wentzel a Thrashers prospect, closed the scoring.

"We really thought about how we could beat Sweden, but we made too many mistakes and we allowed them to score goals too easily at the beginning, and that broke us down," Norway captain Andreas Stene told reporters.

Norway comes right back Monday with a game against the Czech Republic, while Sweden is off until Tuesday, when they face Russia. You can expect to see Robin Lehner in goal for Sweden then.

"We want to win the gold and we have to fight hard for it," said Cehlin. "We know we will have a tougher challenge in two days against Russia, and we have to play as well as we possibly can."
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 6:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

All tied after two

Russia and Canada are all even after two periods here at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, 3-3.

Both teams struck for a pair of goals in the second, with Russia's Daniil Sobchenko connecting off a rebound while his team was working the power play to force the 3-3 tie at the 11:51 mark. Washington Capitals prospect Dmitri Orlov notched his second assist of the game on the play.

Florida Panthers prospect Erik Gudbranson had given Team Canada their second lead, 3-2, at 15:15 of the second when his blast from the point zipped past Igor Bobkov to a thunderous ovation. His defense partner, Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Simon Despres, got the play started when he barreled down the slot before moving the puck to Sean Couturier in the right-wing corner. Couturier, a possible top-three selection in the 2011 Entry Draft, fed Quinton Howden at the right point and Howden slid the puck to Gudbranson.

Canada opened a 2-1 lead 10:35 into the second when team captain Ryan Ellis received a lucky bounce off the end boards. He fired a shot off the end boards that bounced back and hit Bobkov's left skate and went over the goal line. Russia countered just 1:16 later when Nikita Dvurechensky snapped a shot from the right circle that beat Canada goalie Olivier Roy through the legs at 11:51.
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 5:47 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Meanwhile, in Niagara ...

While most eyes are focused on Russia and Canada at the HSBC Center, Sweden is opening its World Junior tournament a few miles away in Niagara, where they lead Norway 4-0 after one period.

Sebastian Wannstrom set up a pair of first-period goals, and Patrick Cehlin scored early and late in the second. Cehlin nearly had a hat trick, between his first and second goals of the period, he mis-fired on a penalty shot.

This game should serve Sweden as a nice way to get loose for Tuesday's big game against Russia.

We'll have some more on this game when it ends.
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 5:09 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada and Russia tied after one period

The HSBC Arena was rocking from the minute the puck dropped for Team Canada's preliminary-round opener against Russia on Sunday afternoon. Canadian flags and jerseys decorated the place, which was packed wall-to-wall.

The Canada players were fired up, too. So fired up they threw their weight around at every opportunity to the delight of the sea of Canadian red within the arena. The feistiness probably cost them, though, when Russia struck at the 3:57 mark. Russia's Maxim Kitsyn scored off a turnover in the Canada end. St. Louis Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko did a nice job keeping the puck in play in Canada's end, taking a hit and forcing the puck to make the play.

Both teams had their opportunities throughout the period, but Canada began to really turn on the heat in the later stages, dictating much of the action in the Russia end. If not for the play of Russia goalie and Anaheim Ducks prospect Igor Bobkov, Canada likely would have connected for a few more goals before the first intermission. Buffalo Sabres prospect Marcus Foligno finally solved Bobkov when he roofed a rebound over the fallen goalie at 17:55 on the power play. Foligno, who soon might call HSBC Arena his home away from home, leaped into the glass following his goal, which ignited the fans in attendance. Montreal Canadiens prospect Louis Leblanc took the initial shot that forced Bobkov down to the ice.

Bobkov made 15 saves in the opening period and Canada's Olivier Roy turned aside 10 shots.
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 4:12 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Switzerland defeats Germany, 4-3, in WJC opener

New York Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter had a goal and one assist and goalie Benjamin Conz made 32 saves when Switzerland slipped by Germany, 4-3, in the opening game of the preliminary round of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday afternoon at HSBC Arena.

Niederreiter earned both his points in the first period when Switzerland (1-0), the darlings of the 2010 Tournament following a fourth-place showing, opened a 4-0 lead. Inti Pestoni, who is eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft, opened the scoring 4:31 into the first before Niederreiter connected at 9:21.

Defenseman Roman Loeffel, also eligible for the 2011 Draft, made it 3-0 at 9:48 after taking a pass from Niederreiter and Luca Campershioli closed out the scoring in the opening period. Switzerland went 3-of-4 on the power play in the opening period in building a seemingly insurmountable lead.

"The puck was bounding a lot, but I was able to get a lot of speed (on his first-period goal)," Niederreiter, Switzerland's team captain, said. "We know this isn't going to be easy. I think it was a great lesson to learn to keep going for 60 minutes until we got the victory. It seems we were a little lucky today. I thought (Conz) was phenomenal; he's definitely a key player for us and it's good to know that in key moments, he can step it up. All the guys did a nice job blocking shots and keeping it simple.

"We just have to learn to keep it simple."

Germany rallied with three unanswered goals, beginning with Marcel Noebels' tally 4:22 into the second period, when the underdog Germans held a 15-5 shot advantage. Conz was splendid from that point on, making several big blocks, including a nifty glove save on San Jose prospect Konrad Abeltshauser late in the period. Germany received a pair of third-period goals by Matthias Plachta at 10:10 and defenseman Corey Mapes at 15:19 to pull within one.

The Germans pulled goalie Philipp Grubauer (17 saves) with less than one minute left in the third but couldn't connect for the equalizer. Niederreiter, in fact, slid in front of a last-ditch effort off a point shot before swatting the puck over the blue line.

"We'll just take it game-by-game," said Conz through interpreter Alex Reinhard. "You try to create focus on each game and add the key points we learned from last year into this year … into the game. Maybe we can take it a step further."

Switzerland takes to the ice again against Finland on Dec. 28th at HSBC at 12:30 p.m. Germany will play against Slovakia on December 27th at HSBC at 7 p.m.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 2:31 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Germany, Switzerland kick off 2011 WJC

The Germans and Swiss took the ice at 12:30 p.m. at HSBC Arena on Sunday to kick off the tournament.  too many surprises on who did and didn't make the final roster, although Mathias Niederberger, the top-rated German goalie playing domestically according to NHL Central Scouting, failed to make the cut.

For Team Switzerland, Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter and fellow Portland Winterhawks teammate and Sven Bartschi made the cut but are playing on different lines. They were put together on the Swiss power-play, however.

German roster
G-Philipp Grubauer, Niklas Treutle

D-Konrad Abeltshauser, Jannik Woidtke, Dominick Bittner, Corey Mapes, Peter Lindlbauer, Benjamin Hufner, Dieter Orendorz.

F-Tom Kuhnhackl, Tobias Rieder, Laurin Braun, Norman Hauner, Thomas Brandl, Marcel Ohmann, Marcel Noebels, Mirko Hofflin, Bernhard, Keil, Matthias Plachta, Marc El-Sayed, Marius Mochel.

Switzerland roster
G-Benjamin Conz, Remo Giovannini

D-Romain Loeffel, Nicholas Steiner, Dominik Schlumpf, Dario Trutmann, Luca Camperchioli, Samuel Guerra, Ramon Untersander, Gaetan Haas.

F-Tristan Scherwey, Nino Niederreiter, Benjamin Antonietti, Sven Bartschi, Ryan McGregor, Joel Vermin, Reto Schappi, Gregory Hofmann, Inti Pestoni, Renato Engler, Samuel Walser, Yannick Herren.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 2:02 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

A closer look at the rosters

Mike Morreale will have all the World Juniors info from on-site, but I'll be jumping in from time to time to help out.

With the deadline for official rosters arriving about the same time Santa did, here's a look at one player to watch from each team.

Canada: Mark Visentin -- It looks like Visentin, the Niagara IceDogs goaltender taken by the Coyotes in the first round of the 2010 Entry Draft, will start Sunday against Russia. It wouldn't surprise me to see Olivier Roy see get a start -- or two -- in the preliminary round. Canada coach Dave Cameron saw first-hand last year what happens when you can't count on your goaltending. Best guess is Cameron will give each guy a chance to establish himself and then ride that goalie into the medal round.

Czech Republic: Martin Frk -- The 17-year-old forward jumped to QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads this season, and the early results have been outstanding. The 6-foot, 192-pound right wing is second among first-year league players with 31 points in 34 games. A big tournament here could propel him up the ranks for the 2012 Entry Draft.

Finland: Joel Armia -- At 6-foot-3 and 191 pounds, the right wing has the size and skill -- he's got 12 goals in 30 games with Assat in the Finnish Elite League -- but not cache in North America. Could Armia become this year's Nino Niederreiter?

Germany: Philipp Grubauer -- It seems like every year, there's a team that emerges seemingly from nowhere led by a red-hot goalie. Two years ago it was Jaroslav Janus lifting Slovakia, last year it was Benjamin Conz taking Switzerland to the bronze-medal game. Could Grubauer and Germany do it this year? Grubauer, a fourth-round pick by the Capitals last June, certainly has the talent -- he backstopped Windsor to a Memorial Cup title last year.

Norway: Sondre Olden -- A 6-foot-3, 172-pound left wing, Olden is the only NHL-affiliated player on the team's roster, and he'll be relied upon in a big way. He jumped up a level by going to Modo in Sweden, and has played mostly with their junior team. At last year's Division I WJC, he had 3 goals in five games.

Russia: Nikita Zaytsev -- The stay-at-home defenseman went unselected last year, so he'll be looking to prove himself in front of NHL scouts. He'll also likely be counted on to provide leadership for a team that completely fell apart during last year's tournament.

Switzerland: Nino Niederreiter -- The big forward arrived in Saskatoon mostly unknown and left as a guaranteed first-round pick who went fifth at the 2010 Entry Draft. This year, he's Switzerland's captain and top-line offensive force. He'll see every team's top checking line and defense pair, so he won't be sneaking up on anyone. Can he have the same high level of performance when he's in the spotlight?

Slovakia: Martin Marincin -- The big (6-5, 196) defenseman has dazzled in his first North American season with the WHL's Prince George Cougars, he leads all league defenseman with 35 points in 33 games. With two new goalies as well as four of their top five leading scorers from last year's tournament gone, Marincin will be counted on at both ends of the ice.

Sweden: Carl Klingberg -- At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, Klingberg has the size of a power forward, but can he play that way in North America? Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg would love to see Klingberg adopt some of countrymate Gabriel Landeskog's tendencies. Landeskog plays a heavy forechecking game with a nose for the net, but he can't be the only one if Sweden wants to have success. Klingberg will have to play the same way.

U.S.: John Ramage -- The Flames prospect is the only returning defenseman, and also was named team captain. He won't put up big offensive numbers -- he had 3 assists, including one on John Carlson's gold medal-winning goal -- but coach Keith Allain will rely on him to shut down the elite offensive players in the tournament.
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Posted On Sunday, 12.26.2010 / 8:50 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Let the Games begin..

Well, it's finally arrived. The day most Canadians have anticipated since suffering a 6-5 overtime setback to the United States some 340-plus days ago -- the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Team Canada will open at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday against Russia, certainly no easy task against a team also eager to get back on track following a sixth-place showing in the 2010 WJC in Saskatoon, Sask. Team USA, meanwhile, will open against Finland at 8 p.m. ET. Both games are at HSBC Arena and, in addition to live coverage on the NHL Network, NHL.com will be there to provide features, game reports and blog reports. So keep checking back often.

Canada was perfect in three pre-tournament games, outscoring Finland, Switzerland and Sweden by a combined, 17-3. Most impressive in that set was the triumph against Sweden, of course, which is also considered a medal favorite, with the likes of several top prospects, including Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner, Calgary defenseman Tim Erixon and forwards Calle Jarnkrok (Detroit) and Anton Lander (Edmonton).

But, as Canada coach Dave Cameron has said throughout the exhibition schedule, its anybody's game. Still, the Canadians do have an impressive arsenal at their disposal, despite the fact some may claim it might not be the offensive juggernaut that fans have become so accustomed to. In fact, you could almost say that the Canada and Team USA are mirror-images. They possess NHL-caliber talent and are big, strong, tough, fast and willing to play the roles their given.

In case you haven't seen our prediction at NHL.com, you can see them here. Basically, I'm picking Team Canada based on their tremendous success in recent years in this tournament. Yes, the U.S. won it last year, but it's tough to go against the perennial favorite -- at least for one more season.

The one advantage the U.S. has against Canada is in goal, where the experienced Dallas Stars prospect Jack Campbell returns between the pipes. Canada likely will have Mark Visentin in net. Coach Dave Cameron informed his Sunday starter on Christmas Day but didn't inform the media. Reports from Canada have Visentin getting the nod. Both Visentin and Olivier Roy lack international experience.

Visentin earned a 5-2 victory against Finland and also stopped all 20 shots faced in an 8-0 defeat of Switzerland in exhibition play. Roy got the nod in the 4-1 triumph against Sweden, making 29 saves.

Cameron had top 2011 Entry Draft-eligible prospect Sean Couturier playing with Florida prospect Quinton Howden and Edmonton's Curtis Hamilton in the final exhibition tuneup. Columbus prospect Ryan Johansen, meanwhile, was moved to the top line alongside a couple of Buffalo prospects, Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno.

Team USA coach Keith Allain had San Jose prospect Charlie Coyle centering for the Rangers' Chris Kreider and Anaheim's Kyle Palmieri on the top line and Minnesota's Nick Bjugstad with the Rangers' Ryan Bourque and Chicago's Jeremy Morin.

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, there are two other games on the docket to open the WJC on Sunday. Germany will face Switzerland at 12:30 p.m. ET and Norway meets Sweden at 4 p.m. ET.
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Posted On Friday, 12.24.2010 / 10:20 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

USA and Canada look ready ...

The National Junior Teams for the United States and Canada closed our their exhibition schedule on Thursday with decisive victories.

Team USA scored a 6-1 triumph over Norway -- its first pre-tournament win in three games -- at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena in Jamestown, N.Y. Team Canada earned a 4-1 victory over Finland at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

For the Americans, New York Islanders prospect Brock Nelson scored two first-period goals and goalies Jack Campbell and Andy Iles combined for 18 saves in the triumph over the Norwegians.

"It was a great atmosphere here in Jamestown tonight and we thank the community for their support," said Keith Allain, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. I thought we took a step forward tonight and we're looking forward to opening the tournament against Finland on Sunday."

The big question for Team Canada leading into their first preliminary-round match with the Russians on Sunday is … who will start in goal?

After a 5-2 victory over Finland, no one was willing to provide any insight into the matter.

"We'll wait and see. I don't know yet," Phoenix Coyotes prospect Mark Visentin said after making 18 saves to pick up his second exhibition victory. Canada finished 3-0 against pre-tournament competition.

Edmonton Oilers prospect Olivier Roy proved his ability in a 4-1 victory over tough Sweden on Tuesday.

"Whether I played half, didn't play at all or played the full game, to me it was just to focus on the task at hand," Visintin said. "The task given to me was the full game and I'm really happy we won."

Canada coach Dave Cameron seems to be enjoying the banter regarding the big secret.

"What's a conundrum? Somebody said I had a goalie conundrum. Is that bad?" Cameron asked.

"This has been an ongoing thing through the summer camp, through the regular season, through these three games. It won't be my decision alone, like everything else it will be a coaching staff decision."

Finland opened a 1-0 lead on a goal by Henri Tuominen before Canada captain Ryan Ellis scored to give the Canadians life. Canada's power-play quarterback, Ellis, tied the score 26 seconds into the second, one-timing a pass from Jaden Schwartz past goalie Joni Ortio. Ellis was the 13th different player to score for Team Canada in exhibition play.

Ryan Johansen scored twice, becoming the first Canadian to score more than once in exhibition play and 2011 draft-eligible prospect Sean Couturier also connected.
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Posted On Friday, 12.24.2010 / 10:13 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

John Ramage named captain for Team USA

Calgary Flames prospect John Ramage (Chesterfield, Mo./Univ. of Wisconsin) was named captain of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team on Dec. 24. He'll be joined by alternate captains Ryan Bourque (New York Rangers) and Jeremy Morin (Chicago Blackhawks).

All three players were members of last year's U.S. squad that captured gold at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask.

Ramage, who had 3 assists in seven tournament games last year, recorded the only assist on John Carlson's OT goal in the gold-medal game against Canada on Jan. 5. Ramage participated in the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp and produced 1 assist in six games against teams from Finland, Sweden and the U.S. He sports a plus-9 rating through 18 games at the University of Wisconsin this season -- his second campaign with the Badgers.

Ramage was drafted by the Flames in the fourth round (103rd overall) last June.

Morin, drafted by Atlanta in the second round (No. 45th overall) in 2009 but since traded to the Chicago Blackhawks, tied for fourth in scoring with 5 assists in last year's WJC. Bourque, a third-round pick (No. 80 overall) of the Rangers in 2009, had 3 assists at last year' event.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 11:50 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Team Canada wins; USA loses shootout (again)

Bolstered by the goaltending of Olivier Roy, the Canadian National Junior Team scored a 4-1 victory over Sweden on Tuesday in the second of three pre-World Junior Championship exhibition games at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Meanwhile, across the border, the U.S. National Junior Team dropped its second straight game via a shootout, this time to the Czech Republic, 3-2, at The Sports Centre in Rochester, N.Y.

"I don't think anybody thought we were going to win every game, 8-0," Cameron told The Canadian Press. "There's a lot of good hockey teams here and Sweden is one of them. It's a real challenge to beat them and they pushed us and we found a way.

"It was a real good test. That's how you get better."

Brayden Schenn, Zack Kassian, Ryan Johansen and Cody Eakin scored for Team Canada. Despite the victory, much was made of the Canadians dismal power-play, which went 1-for-8. Max Friberg scored midway through the third period to pull the Swedes within 2-1.

The Americans received a pair of goals by Kyle Palmieri but the Czech Republic notched a 3-2 victory in a shootout, marking the second straight shootout loss for Team USA. Team USA finished 1-for-6 on the power-play and goalie Jack Campbell stopped 30 of 33 shots. Czech goalie Filip Novotny made 32 saves, including 14 in the second period. Defenseman Martin Planek and forward Petr Straka scored for the Czechs.

"We're a team that wants to play with speed," Team USA coach Keith Allain said.

Team USA closes its pre-tournament schedule on Thursday against Norway at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena in Jamestown, N.Y.

Cameron isn't sure who'll start in goal for the final exhibition against Finland on Thursday in Kitchener, Ont. before opening the WJC against Russia on Sunday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 11:30 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

USA Hockey announces roster for WJC

Team USA announced the 22-player roster for the World Junior Championship on Wednesday morning via its Facebook account.

For the scoop on all the returnees -- of which there are eight -- and those who made the final cut, click here.

The members of the U.S. National Junior Team will get a real treat on on Wednesday evening when Joe Dames, a decorated U.S. Army Ranger who served six tours of duty in Iraq between 2006-09, speaks to them in Amherst, N.Y.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 8:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Germany suffering like Norway

If I'm part of the Germany or Norway traveling party for the 2011 World Junior Championship, I'm considering finding alternate means of getting home after the tournament.

It was announced today that Germany would have to move its exhibition game against the Czech Republic, scheduled for Wednesday, to Thursday, because of a delay in their gear arriving.

Players from Norway's team were heading to hockey shops around the Buffalo area to round up equipment for the start of the tournament. Looks like Germany might have to do the same thing.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 10:35 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Norwegians struggle to stay upbeat

When Norway earned a spot in the main draw of this year's World Juniors, never in their wildest dreams did they anticipate this type of loss even before the games had begun.
 
According to Jan-Petter Selvik, who is accompanying Norway's National Junior Team to Buffalo for the tournament, Airline Lufthansa was unable to inform team representatives exactly where and when their missing hockey bags and equipment were lost or even when they will be returned.
 
As a result, Norway has decided to send 11 players to Buffalo to purchase new equipment and other miscellaneous items as needed. Pretty amazing that the Norwegians and coach Geir Hoff are forced to deal with this at a time when they should be concentrating on playing the game they love.
 
"We have agreed to focus forward and do our best," Selvik said in his blog. Norway's scrimmage against Slovakia, originally slated for Monday, now will be played at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, at the Jamestown (N.Y.) Savings Bank Arena.
 
Selvik also mentions in his blog that some players and managers lack personal clothing and medication, but that they are doing the best they can under the circumstances.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 9:32 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Something's missing ...

There are a few things that are absolutely necessary to playing hockey -- sticks, skates, pads.

Unfortunately for Norway's junior team, they had none of those things for their exhibition game Monday against Slovakia. Because their gear didn't arrive in time for the game, the teams now will played at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, at the Jamestown (N.Y.) Savings Bank Arena.

Tonight, however, all eyes will be on the U.S. team that skates against the Czech Republic at 7 p.m. ET at The Sports Centre at MCC in Rochester, N.Y. It's the final opportunity for the U.S. players to impress USA Hockey staff prior to Wednesday's roster cutdown.

There are seven players currently in camp who won gold medals last year in Saskatoon -- that number would have been eight, but Jeremy Morin has been with the Blackhawks while they deal with injury woes. Morin could still be released by the Hawks to play in the World Juniors, which start Dec. 26 in Buffalo, but that decision will have to come soon. The IIHF's final roster deadline is Dec. 25.

NHL.com will have full coverage of the U.S. announcement tomorrow morning, so click back early and often to see which players will go for the gold.

(EDIT: Apparently Morin is in camp. Sorry for the confusion)
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Posted On Monday, 12.20.2010 / 2:21 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Rivalry on pause

The Boston University-Boston College rivalry is like hockey Civil War. Bigger than Eagles and Terriers, however, are Stars and Stripes. That would be the jersey for Team USA, which is what has brought seven members of the spirited rivalry to upstate New York this week.

From the BU side are defenseman Adam Clendening and forward Matthew Nieto, both of whom are expected to be top picks at the 2011 Entry Draft, and forward Charlie Coyle, a 2010 first-round pick of the Sharks.

On the other side are BC forward Chris Kreider, who won gold with Team USA last year, along with defensemen Brian Dumoulin, Patrick Wey and Philip Samuelsson.

NHL.com's Mike Morreale talked to a few of the guys in a nice story you can read here. But Kreider's quote sums it up nicely.

"I played with (BU defenseman) David Warsofsky on last year's WJC team and am still pretty close with him," Kreider told Morreale. "The thing is, when you face each other, you play hard, but when you're gunning for the same goal, there's a mutual respect and you're going to be a good teammate."
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Posted On Sunday, 12.19.2010 / 9:00 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

U.S. loses to RPI in pre-WJC scrimmage

Coyotes prospect Chris Brown scored twice and goalie Jack Campbell, the Stars' 2010 first-round pick, stopped 12 of 14 shots in playing just over half the game. His replacement, Andy Iles, stopped four of shots he faced.

Emerson Etem also had a goal for Team USA.

"I don't know if I'd call it a crazy game, but it certainly was an interesting finish," U.S. coach Keith Allain told USA Hockey's website. "We'll continue to evaluate our players as we get closer to the tournament."

Team USA took a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the first period. Brock Nelson, who the Islanders took in the first round of the 2010 Draft, won an offensive-zone faceoff cleanly to Brown, who fired a shot high past the blocker of Rensselaer goalie Allen York, a Columbus Blue Jackets prospect. York, incidentally, made 34 saves, including 17 of 18 in the opening period when the U.S. was consistently buzzing in the RPI end.

Rensselaer took a 2-1 lead early in the second period, but Team USA responded to tie it when Panthers 2009 draft pick Drew Shore slid a pass through the slot to Emerson Etem, taken by the Ducks with the 29th pick of the 2010 Draft, who fired a quick shot over York's glove.

The U.S. regained its one-goal lead with less than 10 seconds remaining in the second off a three-on-two rush when Brown connected for his second of the night off a shot high to the far post. RPI answered back late in the third to square the game again and send it into overtime. After a scoreless extra frame, RPI needed 12 shootout rounds to defeat Team USA, as Maple Leafs prospect Jerry D'Amigo failed to convert on the final shot.

The contest was the first of three pre-tournament games slated to prepare the U.S. They next play the Czech Republic on Tuesday at The Sports Centre at MCC in Rochester, N.Y.

The defending gold medalists will announce its 22-man roster on Wednesday morning.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.19.2010 / 1:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Ellis to captain Team Canada

Canada named defenseman Ryan Ellis as captain for its 2011 World Junior Championship team.

This will be Ellis' third WJC, making him the seventh player in Hockey Canada history to participate in three tournaments. With a gold in 2009 and a silver last year, he's hoping to become the fourth Canadian player to win three WJC medals, joining Jason Botterill, Jay Bouwmeester and Jason Spezza.

Ellis, taken by the Nashville Predators with the 11th pick of the 2009 Entry Draft, also is captain of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires.

Named as alternate captains were the three other players who won silver alongside Ellis that are returning for this year's WJC -- defensemen Jared Cowen and Calvin de Haan, and forward Brayden Schenn.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 12:13 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canada's in and out

Hockey Canada has made the roster for the National Junior Team official, which you can read about here.

No real surprises, although if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had made the team I wouldn't have been surprised. But coach Dave Cameron is a pretty sharp guy, and he knows what it takes to build a World Juniors winner -- he was an assistant to Pat Quinn for the gold-medal winners in 2009 as well as an assistant to Willie Desjardins last year in Saskatoon.

Offensively, Canada certainly has good size, with Curtis Hamilton, Sean Couturier, Zack Kassian and Carter Ashton all standing at least 6-foot-3. They also look solid defensivley with good puck-movers in Ryan Ellis, Calvin de Haan and Tyson Barrie, as well as big bangers in Jared Cowen and Erik Gudbranson.

Goaltending will be a question, as neither Olivier Roy nor Mark Visentin has World Junior experience. The same was said about Jake Allen and Martin Jones, last year's goaltenders, part of the reason Canada took home the silver.

Canada will play three exhibition games to get ready for its WJC debut, against Russia on Dec. 26.

And stay tuned for more on Canada news today. NHL.com will have a camera at the MasterCard Centre today to record all the day's news from the public unveiling of the team.
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Posted On Wednesday, 12.15.2010 / 10:14 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Report: Canada sets WJC roster

According to TSN, Hockey Canada has made its final nine roster cuts and has its team in place for the 2011 World Juniors.

Only one of the three 2011 Entry Draft prospects invited to the camp will travel to Buffalo -- Drummondville center Sean Couturier. Kitchener defenseman Ryan Murphy and Red Deer center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were sent home. Also released was Everett defenseman Ryan Murray, who will be a top choice at the 2012 Draft.

Four players from last year's silver medalist look like they'll be back -- Brayden Schenn, Jared Cowen, Ryan Ellis (it'll be his third WJC) and Calvin de Haan.

The team will be officially announced today at 11 a.m., so check back with NHL.com for the official list, as well as video interviews with the players who made it.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.14.2010 / 8:30 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Canadian Junior National Team releases nine

Following two days of intrasquad scrimmaging and some serious note-taking, Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League announced the release of nine players from Canada's National Junior Team selection camp on Tuesday morning.

The nine players released were defensemen Jesse Blacker (Toronto, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL) and Brayden McNabb (Davidson, Sask./Kootenay, WHL) and forwards Brendan Gallagher (Delta, B.C./ Vancouver, WHL), Joey Hishon (Stratford, Ont./Owen Sound, OHL), Ryan Howse (Prince George, B.C./ Chilliwack, WHL), Brad Ross (Lethbridge, Alta./Portland, WHL), Reilly Smith (Mimico, Ont./Miami University, CCHA), Linden Vey (Wakaw, Sask./Medicine Hat, WHL) and Garrett Wilson (Elmvale, Ont.).

''It's definitely not a good feeling,'' said Hishon. ''It's probably the first time I've ever been cut by a team, but it's hard to argue with Hockey Canada's decision with their track record.

''I'll be their biggest fan over Christmas. It was tough, the games were pretty scrambly and tough to show your stuff, but I can't make any excuses. I should have played better.''

Blacker actually replaced injured defenseman Brandon Gormley on the pre-camp roster. Gormley sustained a knee injury while playing for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebeck Major Junior League just prior to the selection camp announcement.

Canada coach Dave Cameron had defenseman Erik Gudbranson paired with Jared Cowen in Monday's scrimmage. While nothing has been set in stone, there's little doubt defenders Cowen, Calvin de Haan and Ryan Ellis and forward Brayden Schenn will return to the Canadian lineup this year.

The remaining nine players released will likely be determined on Wednesday, if not earlier, in order to determine the final 22 roster spots at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship. The selection camp roster now stands at 31 players, including four goaltenders, 10 defensemen and 17 forwards.

A roster of players at selection camp will face a CIS all-star team on Dec. 14. Canada will play its first game of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship on Boxing Day, Dec. 26 versus Russia.

Canada has medaled at twelve straight IIHF World Junior Championships including gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010 and bronze medals in 2000 and 2001.

Forward Marcus Foligno, who holds dual Canadian-U.S. citizenship and is the son of former NHLer and ex-Buffalo Sabre Mike Foligno, scored a pair of goals for Team Red in Sunday's exhibition at MasterCard Centre in Toronto.

In Monday's scrimmage, Team White rebounded for a 7-5 victory behind goals from Ryan Johansen, Zack Kassian, Gallagher, Cody Eakin, Jared Cowen, Casey Cizikas and Vey. Quinton Howden chipped in with three assists. For Team Red, Jaden Schwartz, Curtis Hamilton, Ryan Howse, Reilly Smith and Carter Ashton connected.

Cameron said he will evaluate all four goalies -- J.P. Anderson of Mississauga St. Michael's (OHL), Calvin Pickard of Seattle (WHL), Olivier Roy of Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) and Mark Visentin of Niagara (OHL) -- before making his final cuts at the position.

All 2011 draft eligible camp invites -- Ryan Murphy of Kitchener (OHL), Sean Couturier of Drummondville (QMJHL) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Red Deer (WHL) -- remain, as does 17-year-old defenseman Ryan Murray of Everett (WHL). Murray is eligible for the 2012 Draft.
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Posted On Friday, 12.10.2010 / 9:10 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Running tab of WJC camp rosters

So just about all the preliminary rosters for all 10 countries participating in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship beginning Dec. 26 all set.

Here's the rundown:

Group A
USA
Switzerland
Finland
Slovakia
Germany

Group B
Canada
Sweden
Russia
Czech Republic
Norway
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Posted On Monday, 11.29.2010 / 10:15 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

Time to start thinking World Juniors

Don't look now, but the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship is quickly approaching.

This year's tournament will take place Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. A full tournament schedule and ticket information can be found at BuffaloWorldJuniors.com.

Hockey Canada will host pre-competition games in December prior to the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., including three featuring Canada's National Junior Team. Canada is scheduled to play Switzerland in Oshawa on December 20, Sweden in Toronto on December 21 and Finland in Kitchener on December 23. A fourth pre-competition game between Sweden and Switzerland will take place in St. Catharines, also on Dec. 23.

On Nov. 29, Hockey Canada will send out 39 invitations for its selection camp scheduled Dec. 11-15 in Toronto. There will be no NHL junior-aged Canadians on the list, but Hockey Canada will keep roster spots open until Dec. 11 for any players who will be released by their NHL teams in the meantime.

The U.S. National Junior Team will also play a pre-tournament schedule with games in Rochester and Jamestown, N.Y. A total of five games will be played from Dec. 21 - 23 involving the U.S., Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Russia and Slovakia. Team USA will face off against the Czechs on Dec. 21 at The Sports Centre at Monroe Community College in Rochester and the Norwegians two days later at Savings Bank Arena in Jamestown. The Americans will also travel to Troy, N.Y., on Dec. 19 to face Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute at Houston Field House.

Approximately 28 players will be invited to Team USA's pre-tournament training camp to begin Dec. 16 in Albany, N.Y. The final 22-player U.S. roster for the WJC will be unveiled prior to Team USA's pre-tournament game against Norway. Keith Allain, head coach at Yale University, will serve as head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team.
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Quote of the Day

I just think about how much it hurts. The feelings aren't going to go away, probably never. It's just something that sticks with you for a long time.

— San Jose forward Logan Couture to The Canadian Press on the Sharks' first-round loss to the Kings after taking a 3-0 series lead