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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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