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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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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure