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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 6:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Ristolainen's OT winner gives Finland WJC gold

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen scored 9:42 into overtime to give Finland a dramatic 3-2 victory against Sweden in the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship before 12,023 on Sunday at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Ristolainen, a first-round pick (No. 8) of the Buffalo Sabres last June, collected a pass from captain Teuvo Teravainen along the right-wing wall inside the opposing blue line and curled toward the cage before tucking a backhand underneath goalie Oscar Dansk to give Finland its third WJC title and first since 1998.

"I saw that they played man-on-man defense in their own end," Ristolainen told the IIHF website. "It was empty in front of the net. I just skated there. I tried to put the puck somewhere hard and it went in."

Teravainen, a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012, led the tournament with 13 assists and 15 points. He notched three assists on Sunday.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 5:36 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

2015 World Junior brackets announced

The pools for both Group A and Group B of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Montreal and Toronto were revealed on Sunday at the conclusion of the 2014 tournament in Malmo, Sweden.

The 11-day tournament will run Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2015. It will be the 11th time Canada has hosted the event, but the first time it will come to Toronto. Montreal hosted in 1978.

In Group A, Canada will play the preliminary round at Bell Centre in Montreal along with defending champion Finland, the United States, Slovakia and Germany.

In Group B, 2014 silver medalist Sweden will join bronze-medalist Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Denmark at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Norway, which lost a best-of-3 series to Germany in the 2014 WJC relegation round, will play in the Division I Group A in 2015.

The schedule will be determined at a later date.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 5:16 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden's Forsberg named MVP at WJC

Rasmus Ristolainen, who scored the golden goal midway through overtime to give Finland a 3-2 victory against Sweden in the gold medal game at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday, was also awarded the Directorate Award for best defenseman at the 11-day event.

Ristolainen finished the tournament with three goals and a plus-1 rating in five games. He was sidelined early in the tournament with the flu, but certainly made up for lost time when it mattered most as the Finns celebrated their first gold medal since 1998.

The Directorate's Most Valuable Player Award and Top Forward Award were given to Sweden center Filip Forsberg, who finished with four goals, 12 points and a plus-3 rating. The Nashville Predators prospect is the first Swede to be honored as an MVP since the awards were introduced in 2004.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 8:37 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany wins relegation series

Germany’s Frederik Tiffels had a goal and an assist and Marvin Cupper made 34 saves as Germany beat Norway 3-1 Sunday to survive the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Top 2014 NHL Draft prospect Leon Draisaitl had two assists and Dominik Kahun and Patrick Klopper each had a goal as Germany won the final game of the best-of-three relegation series and will take part in the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto.

It will be the third straight year Germany remains at the top level of elite under-20 international hockey, the longest such streak since a run from 1992-98.

“It’s awesome," Draisaitl told the IIHF website. "It’s our goal to be a top-10 nation and that’s what we did [Sunday]. It’s going to be probably the greatest experience you’ll ever have next year, playing in Toronto and Montreal. Those are huge cities. They’re crazy about hockey. We’re just really happy about what we did today."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 8:19 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden's Pettersson suspended for gold-medal game

Sweden forward Jesper Pettersson has been suspended by the IIHF Disciplinary Panel for the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday against Finland (1 p.m ET, NHLN-US).

Pettersson was suspended for leaving the penalty box to engage in an altercation with a Russian player during Sweden’s 2-1 win against Russia in the semifinals on Saturday.

Pettersson had been in the penalty box after being whistled for slashing with 19 seconds left in the game. When the final buzzer sounded, Pettersson left the penalty box and entered a scrum along the wall. Pettersson grabbed Russia’s Andrei Mironov and the pair began exchanging punches.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.05.2014 / 1:15 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russia takes WJC bronze with 2-1 win against Canada

Russia scored twice in the first period and Andrey Vasilevskiy shut down the Canadian offense as Russia won the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 2-1 win Sunday at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Mikhail Grigorenko and Eduard Gimatov each had a goal and Vasilevskiy made 30 saves as Russia ended Canada's medal hopes in the third-place game for the second straight tournament. At the 2013 WJC, Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime in the bronze-medal game.

It also marked the fourth straight tournament in which Canada lost to Russia in the medal round, following a 5-3 loss in the 2011 gold-medal game and a 6-5 loss in the semifinals in 2012.

The win gave Russia a medal in nine of the past 10 World Juniors. They've also medaled in four straight tournaments, with gold in 2011, silver in 2012 and now back-to-back bronze medals.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 5:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Rivals Finland, Sweden set for WJC title showdown

When it comes to European-based international hockey, the best rivalry could be the one between Sweden and Finland.

"It's a dream final for us, Finland and Sweden," Finland forward Henri Ikonen told reporters following his team’s 5-1 win against Canada on Saturday in the semifinals. "It's a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can't imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully I can sleep well [Saturday]."

That acrimony will be at its highest level Sunday when the two countries play at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden, in the gold-medal game of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It will be preceded by the bronze-medal game between Canada and Russia (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US).

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 4:59 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Finland defeats Canada, will play Sweden for gold

Finland scored three times in the second period en route to a 5-1 victory against Canada on Saturday at Malmo Arena in the semifinals of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Finland will face Sweden in the gold-medal game Sunday (1 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It's the first time Finland will play for the gold since losing to the Czech Republic in the 2001 championship game.

Finland last won WJC gold in 1998.

"It's a dream final for us, Finland and Sweden," Finland forward Henri Ikonen told the IIHF website. "It's a great rivalry. Young players like ourselves can't imagine a better situation than that. Hopefully I can sleep well [Saturday]."

It's a big comeback for Finland, which finished seventh at the 2013 WJC and hasn't won a medal since taking the bronze in 2006.

Captain Teuvo Teravainen had two goals and an assist, Joni NikkoArtturi Lehkonen and Rasmus Ristolainen each scored, and Juuse Saros made 22 saves.

Jonathan Drouin scored for Canada and goaltender Zachary Fucale stopped 18 of 22 shots.

Canada will play Sunday (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) in the bronze-medal game against Russia for the second straight year. Russia beat Canada 6-5 in overtime in the third-place game at the 2013 World Juniors in Ufa, Russia, snapping Canada's 15-year streak of winning a medal at the WJC.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 3:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Dansk's heroics lead Sweden into WJC final

Oskar Sundqvist scored the decisive goal early in the third period, and goalie Oscar Dansk made it stand with a spectacular 26-save performance, to lead the Swedish National Junior Team to a 2-1 victory against Russia in the semifinal round of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Saturday before a crowd of 11,725 at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Sweden advanced to its third straight gold medal match and will play Finland, which defeated Canada 5-1. The championship round is scheduled Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (NHLN-US) at Malmo Arena. Tre Kronor will look to win gold on home ice for the first time in its history, having come up short in 1979, 1984, 1993, 2000 and 2007.

Russia will face Canada in the bronze medal game at 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US) on Sunday.

"I think we played pretty good," Sweden forward Alexander Wennberg told the IIHF website. "Russia's a great team. At the end, it was tough. They had a lot of scoring chances against us. But we had a nice game and I think we deserved the win."

Sweden has won nine of its past 10 meetings against Russia, dating back to 2008. Additionally, six have been decided by one goal, including a shootout when Russia won gold in 2011, and two in overtime when Sweden won gold in 2012. The host nation also earned a 3-2 win in preliminary-round play on New Year's Eve.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

German forward Laub suspended one game

Forward Lukas Laub of the German National Junior Team was suspended one game by the International Ice Hockey Federation disciplinary panel Saturday for his hit on Norway defenseman Erlend Lesund on Friday in Game 2 of the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

Laub will miss the final game for his country as a result of the suspension that occurred in the second period of Germany's 4-3 win. Germany and Norway play in the third and final game of the relegation round on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET to determine which team will remain in the top level at the 2015 WJC in Toronto and Montreal. The best-of-3 series is tied, 1-1.

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Posted On Friday, 01.03.2014 / 3:35 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany forces deciding relegation game vs. Norway

Leon Draisaitl scored two goals, including the game-winner midway through the third period, to rally Germany to a 4-3 victory against Norway in Game 2 of the relegation round at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at Malmo Isstadion, in Malmo, Sweden.

The victory sets up a one-game showdown Sunday in the best-of-3 series that will determine which team will remain in the top division at the 2015 WJC. The loser will be relegated to the Division I tournament. 

Game time is 6 a.m. ET.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 8:54 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Semifinals: Sweden vs. Russia; Canada vs. Finland

The semifinal round of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will take the spotlight Saturday when Sweden plays Russia and Canada battles Finland at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

The survivors will meet in the gold-medal game slated for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET (NHLN-US). The bronze-medal game is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Canada is making its 16th consecutive appearance in the tournament semifinals. Sweden is making its eighth straight semifinal-round appearance, and this will mark the fourth straight for Russia. Finland failed to advance to the medal round at the 2013 WJC, and this is only the second time in eight years the country will have a chance to play for a medal.

A new champion is guaranteed Sunday since Russia beat the United States, the defending gold medalist, 5-3 in the quarterfinal round Thursday. In other quarterfinal action Sweden defeated Slovakia 6-0; Canada defeated Switzerland 4-1; and Finland defeated Czech Republic 5-3.

Here is a closer look at the semifinal matchups Saturday:

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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 4:51 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Reinhart leads Canada into WJC semifinals

Griffin Reinhart showed again why he was worth the wait for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The defenseman had a goal and an assist to lead Canada to a 4-1 win against Switzerland on Thursday in a quarterfinal game played at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden, and a spot in the semifinals.

Reinhart sat out the first three games of the tournament while serving the carryover of a four-game suspension for a high-sticking incident during the semifinals of the 2013 World Juniors.

After a solid defensive performance in the 3-2 win against the United States on New Year's Eve to finish preliminary-round play, Reinhart, taken by the New York Islanders with the fourth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, showcased more of his skills Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russia rides power-play goals to WJC semifinals

Russia defenseman Nikita Zadorov scored two second-period power-play goals to help rally his team to a 5-3 victory against the United States in the quarterfinals of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden on Thursday.

The triumph enables Russia to advance to the semifinals on Saturday against the winner of the quarterfinal later Thursday between Sweden and Slovakia (1:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). The Russians lost 3-2 to Sweden in the final game of the preliminary round in the Group B pool Tuesday.

"We want to play Sweden," Zadorov told the IIHF website. "It was a close game last time and we're going to watch some video and play better."

After earning medals in two of the past three World Junior tournaments, including the gold at the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia, the Americans will go home this year without a medal.

Stefan Matteau had a goal and an assist, and Ryan Hartman and Nicolas Kerdiles also scored for the U.S. Goalie Jon Gillies made 20 saves.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 1:35 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Discipline, penalty kill send U.S. home early from WJC

The trip home this year for the United States National Junior Team will not be nearly as memorable as the one the team made last year.

After celebrating a third gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, the United States will arrive home empty-handed in 2014 after dropping a 5-3 quarterfinal game against Russia on Thursday at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

"It's definitely disappointing," U.S. forward Ryan Hartman told NHL.com. "We came in with a goal to win gold and obviously fell short. It's a learning experience for the guys coming back next year; it's a good learning tool for them."

Hartman, U.S. captain Riley Barber and goalie Jon Gillies were the three returnees from the team that won the gold last year in Ufa, Russia. Hartman pointed to struggles on the penalty kill that led to the early dismissal this year.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 10:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sutter puts Canada through rough practice

Since Brent Sutter was named coach of Canada's team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, he has preached getting better every day.

That included Wednesday, when he put his team through a rough practice in preparation for its quarterfinal game against Switzerland on Thursday (11 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

"When you get to this point, every game is like a Game 7," Sutter told Canadian Press. "We have to make sure our emotions are in control and our details are good. It doesn't matter who your opponent is, you have to be at the top of your game. We've got to practice like it's for keeps. You can't just turn a switch on."

Canada rallied for a 3-2 win against the United States on Tuesday to earn the top spot in Group A and a medal-round opener against Switzerland, which finished fourth in Group B.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 9:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

IIHF suspends Czech defenseman for illegal hit

Czech Republic defenseman Patrik Marcel was given a one-game suspension Wednesday by the IIHF disciplinary panel and will not be available for the Czechs in their quarterfinal game Thursday against Finland (8:30 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) at Malmo Arena in Malmo, Sweden.

Marcel, a top-four defenseman during the tournament, earned the suspension for a knee-on-knee hit against Slovakia's David Minarik in a preliminary-round match Tuesday. Marcel was assessed a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct on the play, which occurred in the second period of the Czech Republic's 4-1 win.

Marcel will be eligible to return to the lineup if the Czech Republic advances to the semifinal round Friday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 6:43 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. ready for quarterfinal game vs. Russia

The United States National Junior Team will look to rebound from its first loss at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship when it faces Russia in the quarterfinal round of the tournament Thursday (6 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHL.com) at Malmo Arena in Sweden.

The Americans are 3-4-0 against Russia in the past 10 World Junior tournaments, including a 2-1 preliminary-round loss at the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia. The U.S. has six wins and 20 losses against Russia in all-time at the WJC, though three of the victories have come in the past seven meetings.

The last meeting in the quarterfinal round was a 6-1 Russia win in 2002. In the last medal-round match between the teams, Russia won 4-2 in bronze-medal game at the 2008 WJC.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 4:02 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada edges U.S., takes first place in Group A

Canada got a pair of goals 2:19 apart early in the third period to rally for a 3-2 win against the United States on Tuesday in the finale of preliminary-round play in Group A at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Nicolas Petan, Connor McDavid and Curtis Lazar scored for Canada, and goalie Zachary Fucale stopped 24 shots in a game played at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

The win gave Canada first place in Group A and a spot in the quarterfinals Thursday against Switzerland (11 a.m. ET, NHLN-US), which finished fourth in Group B.

Canada has beaten the U.S. seven straight times in preliminary-round play, a stretch that dates to the 1999 World Junior Championship.

Riley Barber and Stefan Matteau scored for the Americans and goalie Jon Gillies made 21 saves. The U.S. finished second in Group A and will play Russia, the third-place team in Group B, on Thursday in the quarterfinals (6 a.m. ET, NHLN-US).

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 9:10 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. readies for Canada with Group A top seed on line

The United States and Canada are prepared to renew acquaintances in preliminary-round action of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden on Tuesday (11:30 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHL.com).

The top seed in Group A is on the line, meaning a quarterfinal-round match Thursday with the fourth-place team in Group B is at stake.

The United States enters atop Group A with three victories and nine points, outscoring its opposition 19-4. Canada needs to defeat the U.S. in regulation to gain the necessary three points to grab the top seed. Canada has two regulation wins and one shootout loss for seven points.

"I think right now the guys know we're playing for the top seed and it doesn't matter if we're playing Canada or the Czechs or Sweden … that's our No. 1 focus," U.S. coach Don Lucia told NHL.com. "I think it'll be good that we play a good, quality team like Canada because it will help us get ready for that quarterfinal game when it's single elimination.

"Playing a good opponent with high-end talent and full of first-round draft picks (11) means there's little margin for error. Every player must be on top of his game."

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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 3:56 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Petan scores twice as Canada rallies past Slovakia

There isn't a player in the Canadian Hockey League who can match the offensive prowess of Nicolas Petan of the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks over the past two seasons.

That success has certainly carried over into the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship as a member of the Canadian National Junior Team.

Petan, who has 186 points in the past 103 games to lead all scorers in the CHL since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, scored two of the biggest goals of his career on Monday to help rally Canada to a 5-3 victory against Slovakia in preliminary round action before 2,558 fans at Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

After spotting Slovakia a 3-1 lead in the second, the Canadians roared back to score four unanswered goals to earn their second win in the Group A bracket. Canada will conclude play in Group A against the United States on New Year's Eve at 11:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com). Slovakia will meet Czech Republic in its final preliminary-round match on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. ET.

"This win was a huge boost of confidence for us," forward Jonathan Drouin told TSN.ca. "Every team is good in this tournament and we had a great comeback by our team. But it's behind us and now we have a big game [against the United States]."

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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 8:53 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Germany’s Draisaitl suspended for hit on Copp

Germany captain Leon Draisaitl was suspended by the IIHF for one game for a hit from behind on the United States’ Andrew Copp during the teams’ game Sunday.

Draisaitl sat out Germany’s game Monday against the Czech Republic.

Copp was pursuing a puck in the Germany end 10 seconds into the second period when Draisaitl hit him from behind, driving him head-first into the boards. Draisaitl was assessed a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct.

Draisaitl, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft who plays for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, had two assists in Germany’s first three games.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 2:10 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Special teams spark U.S. past Germany

One of several areas the United States National Junior Team has certainly excelled at during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship has been specialty teams.

That theme continued Sunday in an 8-0 victory against Germany at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

The United States broke open the game with four power-play goals in the second to take a 6-0 lead. U.S. coach Don Lucia acknowledged that his team is beginning to gain "traction" on specialty teams.

"We have a lot of different pieces we can use on [the power play]," Lucia told NHL.com. "[Assistant coach Greg Brown] has control and he's coaching them up. We have defensemen who can make some plays and three units going. We've been a plus in every game so far on specialty teams and that goes a long way in helping you win games."

The United States, in fact, has only given up one even-strength goal in the tournament.

The Americans, who finished 6-for-10 with the man advantage against Germany, held a 22-4 shot advantage in the second when their opponent was assessed 33 penalty minutes. The United States held a 53-15 advantage in shots for the game.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 1:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Fucale to start for Canada against Slovakia

Canadian National Junior Team goalie Zachary Fucale, a second-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in June, is expected to make his debut between the pipes on Monday when his team faces Slovakia in preliminary round play of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

Canadian coach Brent Sutter confirmed the decision Sunday after his team's practice. Jake Paterson (Detroit Red Wings) was the starter in Canada's previous two games, a regulation win against Germany and a shootout loss to the Czech Republic. Paterson has a 3.36 goals-against average and .867 save percentage.

Fucale, who would be making his first appearance for Canada at the WJC, is 19-7-1 with a 2.51 GAA and .902 save percentage for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 8:27 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Stolarz earns start against Germany; Stepan returns

Zach Stepan will return to the lineup and Anthony Stolarz will earn his first start in goal when the United States National Junior Team faces Germany in preliminary round action at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

The United States enters Sunday's game in first place in Group A pool with six points. A matchup against rival Canada looms on Tuesday at the Isstadion at 11:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).

Stepan (Nashville Predators), who missed Saturday's victory against Slovakia with a lower body injury, will return to the lineup against Germany and will likely begin the game alongside center Nicolas Kerdiles (Anaheim Ducks) and right wing Riley Barber (Washington Capitals). Daniel O'Regan (San Jose Sharks) will not play against Germany and is listed day to day.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 3:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Czech Republic records shootout upset over Canada

Dominik Simon scored the winning goal in the shootout, giving the Czech Republic a 5-4 win against Canada in a preliminary-round game Saturday in Group A of the 2014 World Junior Championship played at Malmo Issatadion.

Simon skated in on Paterson and deked forehand to backhand. As he skated to the left, Paterson followed him but Simon left the puck on his backhand and tucked it behind Paterson for the winner.

"As soon as the coach told me I was taking the shootout, I knew I was going to do it," Simon told the IIHF website. "It was the last shot, so I knew the goalie would react to my first move so I moved to the forehand and then went back. Fortunately, it was successful.

"I haven't tried it a lot but it's harder in practice because the goalie isn't scared of your moves. You look like a jerk when it doesn't work, but in a game it's a good play.”

The Czechs led the game four different times en route to the nation's first WJC win against Canada since 1993, when the country was known as Czechoslovakia.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 11:32 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. pulls away in third, doubles up Slovakia 6-3

Forwards Ryan Hartman and Jack Eichel and defenseman Matthew Grzelcyk each had a goal and an assist and goalie Jon Gillies made 27 saves to lead the United States National Junior Team to a 6-3 victory over Slovakia on Saturday in the preliminary round of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship at Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

The U.S. entered the third period holding a precarious 3-2 lead, but broke the game open by outscoring the Slovaks 3-1. The Americans outshot Slovakia, 47-30, including a 16-8 margin over the final 20 minutes.

While it wasn't textbook hockey, U.S. coach Don Lucia will certainly take it. His team remains unbeaten in the Group A pool with six points in two games.

"When you get into a tournament like this, there will be a lot of close games in the third and you have to be a good strong finishing team and we did a good job," Lucia said. "We got the puck down low and that's when our team is at its best; we're not a fancy team, that's not our identity."

The U.S., which has scored 11 times in two games and received goals from 10 different players, will next face Germany in preliminary round play on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).

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Posted On Saturday, 12.28.2013 / 7:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

United States set for Slovakia; Stepan out

The United States National Junior Team will go for its second straight win in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a Group A game Saturday against Slovakia at the Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

The Slovaks are coming off a 9-2 victory against Germany on Friday, led by two goals each from Milan Kolena and Columbus Blue Jackets 2013 first-round pick (No. 27) Marko Dano. The United States defeated the Czech Republic 5-1 in their tournament opener Thursday.

The U.S. leads the all-time series with Slovakia nine victories, three losses and one tie in 13 games. At the 2013 WJC the Americans beat Slovakia 9-3 in the preliminary round on the way to winning a gold medal. The U.S. has won the past three meetings against the Slovaks.

The only change to the U.S. lineup will come with the forward group as only 12 forwards will be in the lineup, rather than the 13 used in the opener.

Nashville Predators prospect Zach Stepan, who played left wing on the fourth line, exited the game against Czech Republic midway through the third period with an apparent lower-body injury. He did not practice with the team Friday and has been listed as day-to-day.

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Posted On Friday, 12.27.2013 / 11:52 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Dano scores two to lead Slovakia past Germany

Marko Dano scored two goals and added an assist as Slovakia beat Germany 9-2 in a Group A preliminary-round game Friday at Malmo Isstadion on Day 2 of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Dano, taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the 27th pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, scored at 12:38 of the first period to give Slovakia a 2-0 lead, and again 1:57 into the second to make it 4-0.

Slovakia's top line dominated the offense. Captain Milan Kolena had two goals and an assist, Martin Reway, a 2013 fourth-round pick (No. 116) of the Montreal Canadiens, had a goal and three assists, as did David Griger. Goalie Richard Sabol stopped 19 of 21 shots.

"We got off to a really good start and just kept on going," Kolena told the IIHF website.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.26.2013 / 3:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Five score for U.S. in WJC win against Germany

The United States National Junior Team received goals from five different players on the way to a workmanlike 5-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the opening game of preliminary-round action in the Group A field at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday at the Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

The defending tournament champion, which received goals from captain Riley BarberWill Butcher,Hudson FaschingJaccob Slavin and Vince Hinostroza, will next face Slovakia on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).

Goalie Jon Gillies (Providence College; Calgary Flames) made 23 saves in his first career start at the WJC.

"It says a lot about our team to have five different scorers," Gillies said. "We're clicking and all lines are going. It was a great team win."

Though he didn't need to be spectacular, Gillies made some key saves at key moments in the game. His shutout bid was denied by Czech defenseman Michal Plutnar, who ripped a shot home from between the circles with his team on the power-play 5:47 into the third period. By that time, the U.S. had already built a 4-0 lead.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.26.2013 / 11:50 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Mantha hat trick gives Canada win in WJC opener

Anthony Mantha had a hat trick as Canada opened play at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship with a 7-2 defeat of Germany at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist and Jonathan Drouin had three assists. Bo HorvatJosh Anderson and Nicolas Petan also had goals and Jake Paterson stopped 22 shots.

"You always want to win the first game of the tournament," Anderson said on TSN. "Now we're just looking forward to the next game."

Dorian Saeftel and Janik Moser scored for Germany. Goalie Marvin Cupper, who plays for the Shawinigan Cataractes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, made 23 saves.

Germany scored the game's first goal 95 seconds into the game and tied the game 2-2 with 4:01 left in the first period, but Canada scored twice in a 53-second span to take a lead it would not relinquish.

"The first seven or eight minutes were [slow]," Canada coach Brent Sutter said on TSN. "Then we started playing the game, doing things the way we talked about the way we wanted to do it. We started making plays, making passes stick to stick, having speed through the neutral zone, being a better puck-possession team, creating opportunities offensively."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.26.2013 / 8:38 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. to open 2014 WJC against Czech Republic

The United States National Junior Team will open the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship today against the Czech Republic at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden (11:30 a.m. ET).

The United States leads the all-time series against the Czechs with nine wins, one overtime win, seven losses, one overtime loss and one tie in 19 games. The Americans have won four of the past five meetings, including a 7-0 decision in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia.

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.25.2013 / 2:55 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. makes final cut for 2014 World Juniors

The final roster for the United States National Junior Team that will compete in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, was finalized Wednesday with the release of University of Michigan forward Tyler Motte.

Motte, a 2013 fourth-round pick (No. 121) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 NHL Draft, has five goals and eight points in 14 games this season.

The U.S. National Junior Team roster consists of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies. The defending gold medalists will open preliminary-round play in the tournament Thursday against the Czech Republic (11:30 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, NHL.com.

Miami University forward Riley Barber (Washington Capitals) will serve as captain, with University of Michigan forward Andrew Copp (Winnipeg Jets) and Boston University defenseman Matthew Grzelcyk (Boston Bruins) are the alternates.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 11:57 PM

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Sweden blanks Canada in WJC exhibition

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 8:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Predators loan Forsberg to Sweden

Nashville Predators general manager David Poile announced Sunday that the club has loaned forward Filip Forsberg to the Swedish National Team for the 2014 World Junior Championships, taking place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Malmo, Sweden.

Forsberg, 19, has five points (one goal, four assists) in 12 games with Nashville, and eight points (three goals, five assists) in seven games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League this season.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 5:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Barber named captain of U.S. WJC team

United States National Junior Team general manager Jim Johannson on Sunday reduced the select camp roster by two players with the release of forward Henrik Samuelsson and defenseman Brett Pesce.

Johannson will need to cut one more player to reach the maximum of 23 players eligible to participate for the defending gold medalist at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden.

It was also announced Sunday that forward Riley Barber (Miami University; Washington Capitals) would serve as the team's captain. Forward Andrew Copp (University of Michigan; Winnipeg Jets) and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (Boston University; Boston Bruins) will be the country's alternate captains.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 5:45 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada cuts Girard from WJC roster

Canada trimmed its roster to the 23-player limit for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday by cutting Nashville Predators forward prospect Felix Girard.

A 2013 fourth-round pick (No. 95) of the Nashville Predators, Girard has four goals, 16 assists and a plus-12 rating in 28 games with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Canada's roster now features 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies. The final roster doesn't become official until Dec. 25, so there could be further changes if there are injuries or suspensions.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 2:08 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Gillies leads U.S. past Finland in WJC exhibition

Providence College goalie Jon Gillies made 38 saves, including a penalty shot in the second period, to lead the United States National Junior Team to a 3-2 victory Sunday during a World Junior Championship exhibition match at Lindab Arena in Angelholm, Sweden.

Gillies, a third-round (No. 75) pick of the Calgary Flames in the 2012 NHL Draft, served as the backup to John Gibson for the gold medal-winning U.S. National Junior Team at the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia. He is the likely starter for the U.S. at this year's event in Malmo, Sweden, from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.

The United States begins defense of its gold medal against the Czech Republic on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, NHL.com).

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 1:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Forsberg likely to join Swedish WJC team: report

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg is on schedule to join the Swedish National Junior Team on Monday to compete in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden, beginning Dec. 26. The Swedish media outlet Aftonbladet reported the news Saturday.

Forsberg, who served as captain for silver medal-winning Sweden at the 2013 WJC, is currently on a conditioning stint with Nashville's American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. He scored two goals in a 4-0 victory against the San Antonio Rampage on Friday, his first game played since sustaining a head injury Nov. 15 while playing for the Predators.

The native of Ostervala, Sweden, has played in the past two WJC tournaments. He has three goals and six points in 12 WJC games for the Swedes. He was selected in the first round (No. 11) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals. In 17 NHL games, all with the Predators, Forsberg has one goal and six points.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.21.2013 / 4:28 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Top prospect Kapanen out of WJC with injury

Kasperi Kapanen, one of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft and expected to be one of the top players for Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, has a shoulder injury that will keep him out of the tournament.

Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting, tweeted Saturday that Kapanen will miss three weeks because of the injury. Finland's WJC team is in Sweden for final preparations before the tournament begins Dec. 26 in Malmo, but Stubb said Kapanen is expected to return to Finland.

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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 8:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Sweden tops U,S. Juniors in WJC tune-up

Alexander Wennberg, a 2013 first-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, had a goal and three assists to lead the Swedish Junior National Team to a 4-2 victory against the United States in an exhibition game Friday in Angelholm, Sweden.

The U.S. National Junior Team will play a final exhibition match against Finland on Sunday before beginning preliminary-round action in Group A of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26.

The U.S., which outshot Sweden 38-23, received third-period goals by Ryan Hartman (Plymouth Whalers; Chicago Blackhawks) and Daniel O'Regan (Boston University; San Jose Sharks). Goalie Anthony Stolarz (London Knights; Philadelphia Flyers) made 19 saves.


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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 6:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada cuts two from WJC roster

Canada cut two players from its roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Friday.

Sent home were forward Hunter Shinkaruk, a Vancouver Canucks prospect, and defenseman Damon Severson, a New Jersey Devils draft pick. Neither player skated in Canada's 4-2 victory against Finland on Friday in a pre-tournament game in Angelholm, Sweden.

The moves leave Canada's roster at 23 players; one more player must be cut prior to the start of the tournament, which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014 in Malmo, Sweden.


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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 4:35 PM

NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

World Junior Championships moments

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 4:32 PM

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USA World Juniors: Henrik Samuelsson interview

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 4:29 PM

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USA World Juniors: Connor Carrick interview

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 4:27 PM

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USA World Juniors: Riley Barber interview

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 4:18 PM

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USA World Juniors: 2014 tournament pool preview

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Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 3:33 PM

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USA World Juniors - Jon Gillies' mask

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Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 3:32 PM

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USA World Juniors - Jim Johannson interview

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Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 3:31 PM

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USA World Juniors - Jon Gillies interview

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Posted On Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 1:07 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Drouin feels close to return from concussion

TORONTO -- Jonathan Drouin said Sunday that he is getting closer to taking the ice with the Canadian junior national team.

Unfortunately, that won't happen before the Canadians depart for Europe later today. He does, however, plan to skate during the team's run-up to the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Malmo, Sweden. Canada has a week-long European training camp and also plays three exhibition games.

Drouin has been sidelined for nine days with a concussion, but he has ridden a stationary bicycle for each of the past two days and has not reported any symptoms related to a concussion. Drouin said he has experienced no post-concussion symptoms for the past three days.

"Riding the bike is not the funnest thing, but it is part of the protocol," Drouin said Sunday, the first time he has spoken to reporters since he arrived for the three-day camp on Thursday evening. At that time, he said he was still experiencing light headaches, but was hopeful that they were the result of the flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia. "But, I'm getting used to it and hope to get on the ice soon."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.14.2013 / 5:53 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada junior team wins exhibition, 3-0

TORONTO – Canada's hopefuls for the national team that will play in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship were workmanlike in a 3-0 victory against a collection of local college hockey stars in an exhibition Saturday afternoon at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence.

Workmanlike was enough for the team's coach Brent Sutter.

"I was pleased with a lot of things," he said.

Connor McDavid scored on a second-period power play to open the scoring. Josh Anderson added a goal in the first 15 seconds of the third period and Charles Hudon finished a strong game with an empty-netter in the final minute.

The two goalies, Zachary Fucale and Jake Paterson, were not severely tested, but handled everything that came their way.

"When you think about it, we've had one practice for an hour long and getting everybody together and quickly go through some things," Sutter said, referencing the late-afternoon session here on Friday. "Some things we weren't able to get done through practice time, but we were able to do it through a meeting and some stuff on the board."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.14.2013 / 5:43 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada's Drouin rides bike, making progress

TORONTO – Forward Jonathan Drouin did not play Saturday in Canada's 3-0 victory against a select team of area college players, but coach Brent Sutter said the Halifax Mooseheads star is making process from a concussion sustained eight days ago.

"Everything went good today," Sutter said after the game. "He rode the bike today and had no symptoms. That's a really good thing. [Sunday] we'll get him to go a little bit harder. Then, we'll get him back on the ice overseas if that goes well."

Canada leaves for Europe after a morning practice at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence here Sunday.

Drouin, who has 50 points this season in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play, was injured this past Friday after a hit from Adam Erne of the Quebec Remparts. He is expected to be the top offensive threat for Canada in the tournament, which begins Dec. 26.

Bo Horvat, Josh Morrissey, Nic Petan and Griffin Reinhart also did not dress. All except for Morrissey were healthy scratches. Morrissey, a defenseman with Prince Albert in the Western Hockey League, is dealing with general soreness, the coach said.

"Morrissey is still a little banged up, came into here a little banged up and we didn't want to chance that," Sutter said. "He's a little sore, so we figured keep him off the ice for a few days and get him back on the ice when we get over to Europe."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.14.2013 / 3:51 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sets lineup against CIS Selects

TORONTO – Canada Under-20 national team coach Brent Sutter used an exhibition Saturday against the CIS Toronto Selects to try to figure out what his roster and lines will look like when the team leaves Sunday evening for Malmo, Sweden, site of the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Sutter scratched Jonathan Drouin, Bo Horvat, John Morrissey, Nic Petan and Griffin Reinhart for the game. Drouin was unavailable as he is still dealing with a concussion suffered eight days ago.

Connor McDavid, the 16-year-old prodigy, was given a high profile, playing center on a line with Hunter Shinkaruk and Sam Reinhart. Meanwhile, Aaron Ekblad, the 17-year-old defender, played with Adam Pelech.

Here is how Canada looked at the start of the game:

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Posted On Friday, 12.13.2013 / 4:46 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada's Drouin doesn't practice, but feels he's close

TORONTO -- Left wing Jonathan Drouin did not practice with the other hopefuls for the Canadian national Under-20 team on Friday at the Mastercard Center for Hockey Excellence.

The star with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is sidelined with a concussion suffered a week ago in a league game against the Quebec Remparts.

Upon his arrival on Thursday for Hockey Canada's three-day World Junior Championship Selection Camp, Drouin said he was close to being able to skate

"It's getting better," Drouin told reporters on Thursday, after arriving at Pearson International Airport. "I'm not at the point of skating right away. We're taking it day-by-day. When I see the medical staff from Team Canada … when they [give] me the OK, I am going to go on [and play]."


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Posted On Friday, 12.13.2013 / 4:05 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Wendel Clark altered role to chase World Junior glory

TORONTO -- One of the dominant messages when it comes to the World Junior Championship is that elite players will have to adjust roles.

For Canadian kids, that is especially true as the country's developmental system produces wave after wave of players capable of playing on the international stage at the Under-20 level. Virtually everyone who shows up at Canada camp is a star on his club team, but that will not be the case for those players when the final roster is picked for the tournament in Sweden, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Some players will have to check egos and play lesser rolls with passion if Canada hopes to find gold.

If the players on hand at Hockey Canada's 2014 Selection Camp at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence need extra motivation to alter their game, or their expectations, they need to look no further than Wendel Clark, one of the game's most legendary players.


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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals