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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 5:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Housley happy with U.S. effort despite loss

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It wasn't the way Phil Housley was hoping this week's National Junior Evaluation Camp would end, but the U.S. coach said there were things to like even with Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to Finland.

"I really liked the effort all the way to the end of the game," Housley said. "We battled and we were able to tie it up toward the end. I was happy with that. The disappointing thing was we turned the puck over too many times and played right into Finland's hands. They're a passive team when they can't get on the forecheck; they sit back and we played right into it. It was a great, valuable learning experience in how we have to play in December (at the World Junior Championship)."

Tyler Biggs scored game-tying goals twice in the third period after Finland goalie Janne Juvonen had shut down Team USA for almost 50 minutes. Housley said he believes that shows the players have faith that if they stick with the game plan implemented by the coaching staff they'll have a chance to be successful.

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 5:27 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Leafs prospect Biggs has big game for U.S.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- To be good, it takes a helping of luck, and Tyler Biggs had a double helping of that Saturday.

Biggs scored both goals in Team USA's 3-2 overtime loss to Finland on the final day of the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, but neither goal could be classified as a work of art.

"I got pretty lucky with some opportunities," he told NHL.com. "I'm standing in front on the power play, Griz [Matthew Grzelcyk] throws one, bounces off me and goes up and in. I throw one across, it bounces off a guy, comes right back to me."

Each goal tied the game, with his second, with 2:44 remaining regulation, forcing overtime.

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 4:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland heading home happy after win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With a schedule that saw Finland play five games in six days here at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, a 3-2 overtime win against the United States on Saturday will send the Finns home happy.

"To win this game was very important for us because it was the fifth game and we had four losses in a row," Finland coach Harri Rindell told NHL.com. "So we needed to have this. It's always nice to have that kind of end of the tournament."

Miro Aaltonen, who led Finland in scoring this week with three goals and three assists, broke in alone for the winning goal in overtime, knocking his rebound past U.S. goalie Jon Gillies.

Rindell said he was a bit surprised to see his team still be able to finish those kind of plays with all the hockey they played this week.

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 3:13 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Final score: Finland 3, U.S. 2 (OT)

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Miro Aaltonen scored at 2:11 of overtime, giving Finland a 3-2 win against the U.S. to close the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation camp here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Aaltonen broke in alone on U.S. goalie Jon Gillies and knocked in his own rebound as Finland won for the first time in five games here.

Tyler Biggs scored a pair of goals in the third period as the U.S. twice rallied from one-goal deficits to tie the game.

Biggs' first goal, a re-direction of a Matthew Grzelcyk shot at 10:17 of the third, tied the game at 1-1, but Finland's Artturi Lehkonen banged in a loose puck in front to put Finland up 2-1 at 14:33.

Biggs again tied the game with 2:44 left, when he lifted a loose puck in front over a fallen Finnish goalie Janne Juvonen.

Back with more from both locker rooms.

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

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 2:26 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Second period: Finland 1, U.S. 0

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It took until their sixth chance of the game, but Finland finally took advantage of the U.S. with the man-advantage, getting the game's only goal to lead after 40 minutes here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Back-to-back penalties on U.S. forwards Stefan Matteau for slashing and Ryan Hartman for roughing left the U.S. with tired penalty killers. With Hartman in the box, Finland took advantage by cycling the puck in the left corner. Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Barkov then made a nifty pass through the zone to Markus Hannikainen, who batted in his own rebound at 18:35.

Philadelphia Flyers prospect Anthony Stolarz, who started the game in goal for the U.S., stopped all 16 shots he faced in 29 minutes of action.

The U.S. failed on its one power-play chance in the period, and now is 0-for-3 in the game.

Back with more after the final horn.

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

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 1:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S., Finland scoreless after one period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Each team had multiple chances to crack the score sheet, but a physical, tight-checking game ended scoreless after 20 minutes.

Finland went 0-for-3 on the man-advantage, and now is 1-for-19 on the power play in its time in Lake Placid.

The U.S. outshot Finland 13-7, but failed on a pair of power plays.

Back with more after the second period.

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

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 1:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sabres happy with Armia's progress

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With a home in the Olympic region, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula has been a frequent presence at this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. He's kept an especially watchful eye on Finland forward Joel Armia, the team's first round pick in 2011.

Heading into Saturday's camp finale against the U.S., Armia has just one goal in four games, but some of that lack of production can be attributed to Finland's brutal schedule this week -- Saturday's game will be their fifth game in six days.

"I think Joel's first game here on Monday I thought was the best I'd ever see him," Sabres director of pro scouting Jon Christiano told NHL.com. "I thought he was a real difference-maker in that game. He saw the puck a lot, he made things happen with it. I really liked his vision, how he distributed the puck and I liked his compete level. He was trying to play the man, trying to play through guys on the forecheck. It was good to see that growth there. I think his last couple games have been a little less. I don't know if that's four games in five nights taking its toll. The way he played the first day is the way he's going to have to play more often."

Armia admitted this year's trip here hasn't been his best hockey, in part because of the schedule and in part because of the fact Finland entered Saturday's game 0-4 in Lake Placid.

"It hasn't been so good. I don't know why," he told NHL.com. "Sometimes it was decent play, good on the ice. Then I'm not. It's hard to say."

A 6-foot-3, 187-pound right wing taken by the Sabres with the 16th pick in 2011, Armia had 18 goals and 20 assists in 54 games with Pori in SM-liiga, but a knee injury limited him to just three playoff games, and delayed his off-season workout plan.

Christiano said Armia will play at least one more season in Finland, but said he's seen positive progression in the big forward's development.

"I think he still needs to get stronger," Christiano said. "I saw him in Finland last year. I was happy with his level of involvement. Going into some tougher areas, hanging around the front of the net, working the corners, keeping his feet moving. He's still a young kid, and there has to be growth in more areas. We have seen some, we have seen growth through our development camp last month. He's probably on pace where we're pleased, but like all these young guys they have to keep building on what their skills are and getting better in the areas where they're delinquent."

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

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 12:30 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Lineups for Finland, U.S.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Here are the lineups the U.S. and Finland will use Saturday for the final game of this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Among those seeing action will be Nashville Predators prospect Jimmy Vesey, the only skater not to play in the last two games. He'll start on a line with center Cole Bardreau and top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Ryan Hartman.

Also seeing action will be goalies Anthony Stolarz and Jon Gillies, both playing for the first time since the split-squad games Monday. Stolarz, a 2012 second-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, is listed as the starter. He'll likely play half the game, with Gillies, a 2012 third-round pick of the Calgary Flames, finishing the game.

Sitting out for the U.S. are forwards Alex Galchenyuk, J.T. Miller, John Gaudreau, Stefan Noesen, Sean Kuraly and Mario Lucia; defensemen Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba, Mike Reilly and Shayne Gostisbehere; and goaltenders John Gibson and Garret Sparks.

Finland will pack three of its top scorers on line. Chicago Blackhawks 2012 first-round pick Teuvo Teravainen will center Juuso Ikonen, who has a team-high four goals, at right wing, and Miro Aaltonen, tied with Ikonen for the team scoring lead with five points, playing left wing. Ikonen and Aaltonen both are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft -- Ikonen for the first time, Aaltonen after going unpicked last year.

Janne Juvonen, who played well in relief of Richard Ullberg in Friday's 5-2 loss to Sweden, will start in goal for Finland.

U.S.

Stefan Matteau - Steven Fogarty - Tyler Biggs

Reid Boucher - Vincent Trocheck - Nicolas Kerdiles

Jimmy Vesey - Cole Bardreau - Ryan Hartman

Blake Pietila - Travis Boyd - Colin Blackwell

Thomas Di Pauli

Brady Skjei - Connor Murphy

Jake McCabe - Matthew Grzelcyk

Patrick Sieloff - Garrett Haar

Andy Welinski

Anthony Stolarz

Jon Gillies

FINLAND

Artturi Lehkonen - Robert Leino - Joel Armia

Miro Aaltonen - Teuvo Teravainen - Juuso Ikonen

Toni Kallela - Nico Nyberg - Markus Hannikainen

Heikki Liedes - Aleksi Salonen - Matti Lamberg

Alexander Barkov

Olli Maatta - Ville Pokka

Mikko Lehtonen - Rasmus Ristolainen

Joonas Valkonen - Niklas Tikkinen

Esa Lindell

Janne Juvonen

Richard Ullberg

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

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Posted On Saturday, 08.11.2012 / 11:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Bardreau auditioning for more than WJC

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The players invited by USA Hockey to attend this week's national junior evaluation camp spent their time making a first impression in a quest to earn a spot with Team USA for the 2013 World Junior Championship.

That group includes Cole Bardreau, but he's working toward something more -- finding an NHL job.

Bardreau, a 5-foot-10, 184-pound center, is an NHL free agent after being passed over in the draft the last three years.

Bardreau said he isn't dwelling on that disappointment, instead focusing on the opportunity he has now to showcase himself against high-level competition.

"I try not to think about it," he told NHL.com. "I try to go out there and have some fun and play hockey. At the same time, it's a great opportunity so I'm going to try to take advantage of it every shift."

He's done that this week in Lake Placid, impressing the coaching staff with on-ice presence and defensive abilities. U.S. coach Phil Housley used him as one of his primary penalty-killing forwards in his four games this week.

"I think he's a smart player," U.S. coach Phil Housley told NHL.com. "He's in shooting lanes, he does the little things well. That's why he's been killing penalties."

Bardreau had just four goals and four assists in 34 games as a freshman at Cornell University last season, and understands if he does make Team USA for the WJC, it'll be in a more defensive-oriented role.

"That's one of the most important parts of my game," Bardreau said of his defensive play. "Especially after my [age] 17 year at the [United States National Team Development Program]. I got into a different role there, wasn't much of a scorer, and I had to become more of a defensive player. I get limited time out there, but while I am out there I try to take advantage of it."

Has he done enough to draw a few more scouts for another look this season at Cornell?

"I think I'm showcasing my skills pretty good," he said. "There's a few plays I'd like to have back, but I think for the most part I'm playing pretty well."

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 7:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden happy with performance at camp

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg said it wasn't a perfect game, but he'll leave this year's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp on a positive note after a 5-2 win against Finland at Herb Brooks Arena on Friday.

Sweden went 3-1 in its four games, capped by Friday's win.

"I think we actually looked a little bit tired after a long tournament," Ronnberg told NHL.com. "It was a good game, but not the best. It's still OK, but we know we can play better, especially in the power play. We have to be more effective there."

Sweden went 2-for-8 on the power play, but one came on a five-on-three advantage.

That goal was a rocket by team captain and Edmonton Oilers prospect Oscar Klefbom, who skated into a slap shot from above the right circle that nearly tore through the back of the net.

"He has been all over me that he should be on the power play and now he showed me why," Ronnberg said.

Ronnberg also was happy with the play of Victor Rask, who had a goal and an assist in the win.

"I think he has been one of the most consistent players in our team," Ronnberg said. "He's really strong on the puck and he's a really reliable two-way player for us."

Rask, a 2011 second-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, is one of six players who came to this year's camp with the experience of having won the 2012 World Junior Championship.

"I know what it takes to win the world championship," he told NHL.com. "I'm just trying to help the other guys coming into the team."

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 6:10 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden defeats Finland, 5-2

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland's Juuso Ikonen scored the only goal of the third period, but that was all it could get as Sweden finished its time in Lake Placid with a 5-2 win.

Carolina Hurricanes prospect Victor Rask had a goal and an assist, and Jakob Lilja, Rasmus Bengtsson, Oscar Klefbom and William Karlsson each added a goal. Goalie Niklas Lundstrom made 38 saves.

Janne Juvonen, who gave up all eight goals in Sweden's 8-2 win against Finland on Tuesday, stopped 11 shots after starting the third period in goal.

More from both locker rooms in a bit.

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 5:40 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden leads Finland 5-1 after two periods

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden extended its lead over Finland in the second period, scoring three times to take a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Victor Rask started the scoring when he finished off a nice cycle play with linemates Jeremy Boyce Rotevall and Viktor Arvidsson nine minutes into the period.

Oscar Klefbom rocketed a shot from just above the right circle during a two-man advantage to make it 4-0 at 11:23.

Finland finally got on the board when Robert Leino got in front of the net and tipped a Rasmus Ristolainen shot for a power-play goal at 15:24, but the momentum lasted just 30 seconds, as William Karlsson scored at 15:54 to make it 5-1.

Back with more after the final whistle.

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 4:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden leads Finland 2-0 after first period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Goals by Jakob Lilja and Rasmus Bengtsson have given Sweden a 2-0 lead after one period here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Lilja got the scoring going when he banged in the rebound of a shot by Jeremy Boyce Rotevall 4:36 into the game.

Later in the period, with Sweden on its first power play of the game, Bengtsson's shot from the blue line went through traffic deflected straight down off the crossbar and over the goal line at 16:15.

Finland had chances to get on the board, but it's anemic power play continues to hurt it. They went 0-for-2 in the period, and now are 0-for-13 in their week in Lake Placid.

Back with more after the second period.

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 3:50 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Lineups for Sweden, Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Here are the lineups Sweden and Finland will use for Friday's game.

Sweden will be without two regulars. They'll go without a backup goalie as Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oscar Dansk is out with an injury to his right knee. Niklas Lundstrom, who allowed all 10 goals against the U.S. Thursday, again will be in net.

Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Wennberg, who dressed as the backup Thursday against the U.S., will return to his normal position, centering a line with Pontus Aberg and Mika Zibanejad.

It's unknown what Sweden will do if something were to happen to Lundstrom.

Also sitting out for Sweden is forward Mikael Wikstrand, an Ottawa Senators prospect. It's unclear why he won't be playing, but Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg had said after the team's morning skate Thursday that he had some "question marks" for today's lineup.

The most interesting line for Finland could see Chicago Blackhawks' 2012 first-round pick Teuvo Teravainen centering Joel Armia and Toni Kallela. Armia, the Buffalo Sabres' 2011 top pick, has looked especially strong in camp.

Also, this marks the first time Finland coach Harri Lindell has split up his top defense pairing of Olli Maatta and Rasmus Ristolainen. Maatta will skate with Dallas Stars prospect Esa Lindell, while Ristolainen, a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, will skate with Aleksi Salonen.

SWEDEN

Max Gortz - William Karlsson - Filip Forsberg

Jeremy Boyce Rotevall - Victor Rask - Viktor Arvidsson

Pontus Aberg - Alexander Wennberg - Mika Zibanejad

Jakob Lilja - Joachim Nermark - Linus Froberg

Emil Lundberg - Oskar Sundqvist

Jonatan Nielsen - Oscar Klefbom

Hampus Lindholm - Rasmus Bengtsson

Linus Arnesson - Tom Nilsson

Niklas Lundstrom

FINLAND

Toni Kallela - Teuvo Teravainen - Joel Armia

Miro Aaltonen - Alexander Barkov - Juuso Ikonen

Artturi Lehkonen - Robert Leino - Markus Hannikainen

Heikki Liedes - Nico Nyberg - Matti Lamberg

Olli Maatta - Esa Lindell

Rasmus Ristolainen - Aleksi Salonen

Joonas Valkonen - Niklas Tikkinen

Mikko Lehtonen - Ville Pokka

Richard Ullberg

Janne Juvonen

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 3:14 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. players feel the history in Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It doesn't take long upon arriving in Lake Placid to see all the reminders of the 1980 Winter Olympics. That includes the Olympic Center and the ice sheet in what now is known as Herb Brooks Arena, which hosted the most memorable moment in North American sports history, the "Miracle on Ice" game.

"Everybody knows where you were in 1980," U.S. coach Phil Housley, who was 15 when the United States memorably beat Russia, told NHL.com. "I skipped school that day to watch that game."

The aura that hovers around that ice sheet is easy to feel for Housley as well as the players taking part in this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

It's the first time since 2007 the camp has been held on the Olympic-size ice sheet in Herb Brooks Arena, because the tournament has been in North America the past five years. The players here this week all were born nearly 15 years after the Miracle happened, but they all know the stories.

"Every day your first steps out on the ice you think about it," defenseman Andy Welinski, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, told NHL.com. "It's something people are never going to forget. It's always in the back of your head when you step out on the rink."

Forward Steven Fogarty, a New York Rangers prospect, said he certainly appreciates his surroundings.

"When you see these signs about this is where it happened, it's really special," he told NHL.com. "To think that something so great in history happened in the same building we're skating in is so cool. … It's really special to be thinking I was skating on the same ice as those guys."

Goaltender Jon Gillies, who grew up about four hours southeast in Concord, N.H., played in a tournament in Lake Placid as a youngster, but still appreciates every chance he has to stand in the same crease legends Jim Craig and Vladislav Tretiak stood in.

"It's kind of surreal you get to experience this," he told NHL.com. "I played on this ice when I was younger and that's a memory I treasure."

Playing on a legendary surface certainly has provided an extra boost of motivation for most players.

Phoenix Coyotes prospect Connor Murphy said, "It still has that kind of feel that you go out there and you have that extra jump in your step because you know you're playing on that ice."

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 2:53 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Goalies getting extra work at development camp

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- John Gibson has started the past two games in net for the United States with Garret Sparks serving as his backup. That's left Jon Gillies and Anthony Stolarz to spend extra time with goalie coach Joe Exter.

For Stolarz, the Philadelphia Flyers' 2012 second-round pick, that could be the best thing that's happened to him.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder had a 2.84 goals-against average and .920 save percentage with Corpus Christi of the North American Hockey League last season, numbers that become even more impressive when you consider Stolarz said working with Exter is the first time he's had a real goaltending coach.

"I never really had a goalie coach," Stolarz told NHL.com. "Throughout the week, coach Exter has been working with me. I've learned more this week than the entire year I was in Corpus. He's been a very big help to me."

Exter said the raw talent Stolarz possesses is obvious.

"Anthony is coming along and learning how to use all this strengths and turn that into being a solid goaltender," Exter told NHL.com.

Gillies, a 2012 third-round pick of the Calgary Flames, came to camp a more polished prospect after spending the past two seasons with the Indiana Ice of the United States Hockey League.

"I think Jon is very well-grounded fundamentally as a goaltender," Exter said.

The pair has worked together in the past, and Gillies said this camp has about continuing to refine his technique.

Next is getting into a game, which could happen Saturday against Finland. Coach Phil Housley wouldn't comment on a starter, but with Saturday's game being the final one of the camp, the two goalies and forward Jimmy Vesey are the only players not to get into the past two games.

"We want to try to get everybody some work," Housley told NHL.com. "That's the main part about being here."

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 2:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Vesey ready to show his skills

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- One day after his team's 10-2 rout of Sweden, U.S. coach Phil Housley had a small group of players on the ice for a short practice Friday.

With a lot of ice time during the National Junior Evaluation Camp, Housley said being able to keep most of the team off the ice, giving them a full day of freedom from workouts or video, was the best plan.

"We were trying to look through our schedule and since we didn't have a lot of practice time after the first three games when we had everybody out there, certainly the way they played [Thursday], they got rewarded with a day off," Housley told NHL.com.

The team will reconvene Saturday for the final day of the camp, capped by a game against Finland. Housley said he and his staff still are undecided on the look of the lineup, but said there are a few players he would like to see more of in game situations. Among them are forward Jimmy Vesey and goalies Anthony Stolarz and Jon Gillies. They're the only three players to not get into one of the past two single-squad games, against Sweden and Finland.

Vesey, a left wing taken by the Nashville Predators in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft, will play against Finland. He had 48 goals and 91 points in 45 games for the South Shore Kings of the Eastern Junior Hockey League, but the Boston native knows playing in this week's camp is a major step up in competition.

"It's been a good experience playing against such high-end guys," he told NHL.com. "I'm coming out of a low level competing in the [EJHL]. Just to see how they [other players] prepare and how fast and strong they are out there, I think it's going to give me confidence going forward."

Housley said he's liked what he's seen from Vesey so far in practice, but is hoping there's even more when the game starts.

"I think he's got to carry his game to another level and we've talked about that," Housley said. "Certainly he's very gifted offensively. Hopefully he can bring that to the table [Saturday]. He'll get a nice opportunity to play against Finland."

Vesey said his goal entering camp was to make an impression on the USA Hockey management staff, and plans to continue doing that Saturday.

"I'm just trying to work as hard as I can in practice and show the coaches I can contribute once I get in the lineup," he said. "They expect me, if I'm going to be on the team, to contribute offense, so I'm just going to show that I have a good presence in the offensive zone and I can bury the puck."

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 11:12 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Thursday loss 'teaching moment' for Sweden coach

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg said Thursday's 10-2 loss to the United States was a perfect teaching moment for his team.

After what Ronnberg viewed as a solid first period, the game turned when Vincent Trocheck scored 1:31 into the second to make it 3-1. Just 21 seconds later, Alex Galchenyuk scored to make it 4-1. The U.S. team scored six times in the second, and added two goals in the third.

"We have to look at it, we have to see what happened, [and] we have to deal with it," Ronnberg told NHL.com after his team's morning skate Friday. "It happened, and on one hand we played against a really good team, but we were playing with this frustration for two periods, the second and third. We have to deal with that. We have to rely on our system even if they are leading 3-1. We have to still be consistent in our system and continue to play after our system. We didn't [Thursday], and it's a good example for us of what happens if we go away from the system. If we stick to the system, we would be harder to play against for the U.S."

Ronnberg said the loss Thursday was something his team earned. He said he hasn't been particularly happy with the way his team has played despite a 5-1 win against a U.S. split squad Monday and an 8-2 rout of Finland on Tuesday.

"It was the perfect teaching moment and something to learn from," Ronnberg said. "The worst thing as a coach is if you come away easy. Two games here, against U.S. and Finns, we have come away easy because we haven't played that good and still had easy wins on the scoreboard. I don't think the scoreboard has reflected our games. It's hard to convince the players the game isn't good enough when you win 9-2."

Ronnberg said what he's looking for from his team Friday against Finland is discipline.

"It's discipline to staying to the game plan," he said. "Discipline staying out of the [penalty] box. Those are two things that are real important."

Ronnberg said goaltender Oscar Dansk, who injured his right knee Tuesday against Finland, is questionable for Friday's game. He sat out Thursday, with top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Wennberg, a center by trade, dressing in Dansk's gear as the backup goalie.

"He has been in the net for fun a couple times and he thought it was a good thing for him," Ronnberg said. "We thought, 'Why not?'"

Despite the lopsided score, Ronnberg said he never thought about bringing Wennberg into the game.

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 10:18 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland back on the ice

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- After a much-needed day of rest, Finland coach Harri Lindell had his team on the ice for a short spin Friday morning, ahead of an afternoon game against Sweden.

Finland had played three games over the previous three days, losing to a split-squad U.S. team Monday, to Sweden on Tuesday and to the full-squad U.S. team Wednesday.

"We really needed that [day off] because it was a tough start to the season," Lindell told NHL.com. "Now that we have relaxed, now it's important today to have the right mental toughness again because playing three games in a row, then having a day of rest, then all of a sudden you need to battle again -- battle really hard. That's why we had a half an hour on the ice this morning, and having some one-on-ones, two-on-twos, to make sure that we are ready."

In Tuesday's 8-2 loss to Sweden, Finland played well at the start and had a 2-1 lead in the first minute of the second period. Things fell apart from there, however.

Lindell said one of the places he's looking to improve is puck control, especially in the neutral zone. And getting a power-play goal wouldn't hurt, either -- Finland is 0-for-11 in three games, and didn't have a power-play chance against Sweden.

"We need to play better on the power play, but we haven't had that many power-play chances," Lindell said. "And we really need to improve the game in the [neutral] zone. We have lost too many pucks there. Our puck control hasn't been that good. We have to focus on that."

Lindell said Richard Ullberg will start in goal Thursday. He allowed five goals on 24 shots in Monday's 5-1 loss to USA Blue. Lindell said Ullberg likely will be his top goalie for the 2013 World Junior Championship, and wants to see how he performs against Sweden, last year's tournament champion.

"We are thinking about him for the World Junior Championship," Lindell said. "These are tough games. … He didn't play against Sweden before so we need to see him."

Lindell also said Miikka Salomaki, a Nashville Predators prospect, will miss his third straight game with an upper-body injury. Salomaki skated Friday morning with the team, but Lindell said it wasn't worth risking further injury by playing him now. Lindell said there's a chance Salomaki could play Saturday against the United States.

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

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Posted On Friday, 08.10.2012 / 9:54 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Senators: Zibanejad staying in North America

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Mika Zibanejad got a short taste of hockey and life in North America last season, after the Ottawa Senators picked him No. 6 at the 2011 NHL Draft.

This season, he'll be on this side of the Atlantic far longer.

Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray told NHL.com that Zibanejad will spend the 2012-13 season in North America, either in the NHL with the Senators or with the club's American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.

"He's staying no matter what," Murray said. "Whether its Ottawa or Binghamton, we're not sending him back. So he's here."

Zibanejad, currently here with Team Sweden for the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, started last season in Ottawa, but was returned to his Swedish team, Djurgardens, in late October.

"We wanted to keep him, that was the intent," Murray said. "Just the longer it went, you could see with him the loss of confidence. The NHL is a tough league for anybody, especially an 18-year-old kid coming from Europe for the first time. I thought he played pretty well. He had some good games. I think it was the right thing to do to send him back. Hopefully that comes through in the next couple years."

Zibanejad, who scored the overtime goal in the championship game at the 2012 World Junior Championship, remains eligible for the 2013 tournament. Murray said there's a chance the Senators could let Zibanejad play in the tournament. It's a similar situation they faced last year with goalie Robin Lehner. The Senators opted to keep Lehner in Binghamton rather than release him for Team Sweden.

"For the World Juniors, obviously then that's not a decision we have to make today," Murray said. "He's obviously on their team. … We'll just have to do what we think is right for him. Is he playing 18 minutes a night in Ottawa? Is he playing 23 minutes a night in Binghamton? Who knows? Potentially he will be back playing in this tournament, but if I had to put odds on it I wouldn't even know where to place the odds."

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 10:07 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Gostisbehere stole the show for Team USA

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Most of the attention Thursday was focused on U.S. defensemen Seth Jones and Jacob Trouba, but it was another blueliner who stole the show in Team USA's 10-2 rout of Sweden.

Shayne Gostisbehere, a 2012 third-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, scored a pair of power-play goals and had an assist. He also played solid defensively, which U.S. coach Phil Housley was quick to point out.

"His all-round game was good," Housley said. "His defense is getting better throughout the whole week. The stick is definitely good. He can skate it out of trouble. He moves the puck quite well. He's improving all week, and I think he played excellent tonight."

Gostisbehere, who had 22 points in 41 games to help Union College reach the Frozen Four last season, has had a memorable summer. Start with the NHL Draft in June, when even he was surprised to hear his name called with the 78th pick.

"I wasn't expecting third [round]," he told NHL.com. "I was expecting more fourth or fifth. It was a big surprise for me."

He also got his first experience at a professional development camp last month, and now he's still a big part of the evaluation process for USA Hockey.

"Make new friends and play well and play for your country," Gostisbehere said of his expectations for this week's National Junior Evaluation Camp. "I wasn't hoping (to just make the cut). I went through it, tried my hardest and thankfully it turned out well for me."

Listed at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, Gostisbehere isn't going to intimidate anyone in the defensive zone, but he has performed well in camp by outsmarting bigger, stronger forwards.

"It's using your stick first," he said. "Use your body as your last form of defense. Use your stick first and keep everyone in front of you and you won't have any problems."

He certainly didn't appear to have any problems against Sweden.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 7:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Lineup changes put charge in U.S. power play

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The biggest beneficiary of the lineup changes for the United States on Thursday might have been the team's power play.

Inserting defensemen Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Mike Reilly against Sweden paid immediate dividends when the extra-man unit scored Team USA's first two goals and went 4-for-5 in a 10-2 win.

Without those three Wednesday, the U.S. team went 0-for-3 with the extra man in a 5-2 win against Finland.

Shayne Gostisbehere, who partnered with Trouba on one unit, had a pair of power-play goals. Reilly, who was paired with Jones on a second unit, set up a pair of extra-man goals.

"With Reilly and Jones on the one unit and Trouba and Gostisbehere on the other unit, it brought a lot of offense from our defensive side of the puck," U.S. coach Phil Housley said. "They really created and were the quarterbacks. It made a big difference, especially early. We got two power-play goals early which really helps us get off to the right start."

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 7:35 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Gibson's play big part of U.S. win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It's not often a goalie is one of the stars of a 10-2 game, but U.S. netminder John Gibson was a big part of Team USA's win over Sweden on Thursday.

Gibson, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, stopped 35 of 37 shots, including a number of outstanding saves. There was a strong glove stop with 2:20 left in the first period with the game tied 1-1, and a spectacular lunging glove save to deny William Karlsson on a shorthanded attempt midway through the second.

Gibson helped hold Sweden to 1-for-7 on the power play, with the only goal coming when it had a five-on-three advantage.

"It wouldn't have been 10-2 without John," U.S. defenseman Jacob Trouba told NHL.com. "He played great. He had some sweet saves and he was there to back us up whenever we made a mistake."

U.S. coach Phil Housley said, "In the second period when we really needed saves, he made a glove and a pad save that kept the game out of reach for Sweden and was a big-time difference-maker. His game has come a long way this week. It's great to see everybody improving, but John certainly provided us with solid goaltending."

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 6:22 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

USA defeats Sweden 10-2

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Mario Lucia, Jacob Trouba and Sean Kuraly scored in the third period as the United States finished its rout of Sweden 10-2 in a game at the National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Shayne Gostisbehere led the U.S. team with a pair of goals and an assist, and Jacob Trouba, J.T. Miller, Tyler Biggs and John Gaudreau each had a goal and an assist.

John Gibson had an excellent game in net, further solidifying his position as the team's No. 1 goalie for the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Mika Zibanejad and Joachim Nermark had the goals for Sweden. Niklas Lundstrom let in all 10 goals as his team had no backup. Oscar Dansk was out with a knee injury, and Alexander Wennberg, a center projected to go in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft, dressed as the emergency backup goaltender.

Back with more from the locker rooms.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 5:28 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. extends lead over Sweden to 8-1 after two

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The U.S. turned up their level of play in the second period, turning what was expected to be a close game against the defending World Junior Championship gold medalists into a rout.

Vincent Trocheck and Alex Galchenyuk scored 21 seconds apart in the first two minutes of the period to make it 4-1. Trocheck, a Florida Panthers product, drove to the net to bang in a loose puck at 1:31. Then Galchenyuk, the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, got a gift when Sweden goalie Niklas Lundstrom stopped his shot under his pads. But when he stood up, the puck trickled over the goal line at 1:52.

They cranked up the pressure minutes later, scoring a pair of goals 24 seconds apart.

Shayne Gostisbehere, a Philadelphia Flyers' 2012 draft pick, scored his second power-play goal of the game when he wired a shot from the right circle short-side past Lundstrom at 6:19 to make it 5-1, and then Anaheim Ducks prospect Nicolas Kerdiles scored at 6:43 to make it 6-1.

Tyler Biggs made it 7-1 with a nice give-and-go goal with John Gaudreau at 15:16 of the period, and then J.T. Miller scored a power-play goal at 18:28 to make it 8-1.

Back with more when the game ends.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 4:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. holds 2-1 lead over Sweden after first period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Special teams were the difference in the first period of Thursday's game between the U.S. and Sweden here at Herb Brooks Arena, as the U.S. took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

All three goals in the period were scored with the man advantage, capped by John Gaudreau's power-play goal with 55.9 seconds left. Defenseman Mike Reilly led a rush up the ice and sent the puck to Gaudreau, who beat Sweden goalie Niklas Lundstrom.

Shayne Gostisbehere put the U.S. up 9:23 into the game late in a Team USA power play when he took a pass from defense partner Jacob Trouba, skated into the right part of the slot and beat Lundstrom.

Gostisbehere wasn't a hero for long, as he took a delay of game penalty 28 seconds after Reid Boucher had been sent off for slashing. Sweden's Mika Zibanejad took advantage of the five-on-three power play, getting low to bang in the rebound of an Emil Lundberg shot.

More after the second period.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 4:28 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Top 2013 prospect Wennberg scratched

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Wennberg, a center originally listed as a defenseman, is not in the lineup for Sweden for Thursday's game against the U.S.

Sweden originally listed two players wearing No. 7, Wennberg and Tom Nilsson, a defenseman. With the U.S. opting to dress eight defenders Thursday, Sweden answered in kind and made Wennberg a scratch.

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 3:32 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

USA-Sweden lineups

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Here are the lineups the U.S. and Sweden will use for Thursday's game here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Some new faces for the U.S., but the top line of Sean Kuraly with Mario Lucia and Stefan Noesen remains intact.

Alex Galchenyuk and J.T. Miller will have a new linemate -- Reid Boucher, Galchenyuk's teammate with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. Boucher played at times on a line in Sarnia with Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov, so that familiarity should bode well for Galchenyuk, who still is looking to rediscover his game after sitting out for most of last season recovering from a knee injury.

Sitting out for the U.S. are forwards Stefan Matteau, Ryan Hartman, Thomas Di Pauli, Cole Bardreau, Steven Fogarty and Jimmy Vesey; defensemen Jake McCabe, Andy Welinski and Connor Murphy; and goaltenders Anthony Stolarz and Jon Gillies.

The big change to the Sweden lineup comes in goal, where Niklas Lundstrom will start in place of Oscar Dansk, who sustained a minor knee injury in Tuesday's game against Finland.

With the U.S. opting for eight defensemen today, top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Wennberg, a center, is listed on the roster as a blueliner, so it should be interesting to see how that works out. Earlier this week I asked Wennberg if he had always played center. He said he did try playing defense as a youngster, but it didn't work for him.

"I've always been a center," he told NHL.com. "I didn't like to play [defense]. I like to play offense."

U.S.

Mario Lucia - Sean Kuraly - Stefan Noesen

John Gaudreau - Vincent Trocheck - Nicolas Kerdiles

Reid Boucher - Alex Galchenyuk - J.T. Miller

Blake Pietila - Travis Boyd - Colin Blackwell

Tyler Biggs

Mike Reilly - Seth Jones

Matthew Grzelcyk - Jacob Trouba

Garrett Haar - Shayne Gostisbehere

Patrick Sieloff - Brady Skjei

John Gibson

Garret Sparks

SWEDEN

Pontus Aberg - William Karlsson - Filip Forsberg

Jeremy Boyce Rotevall - Joachim Nermark - Mika Zibanejad

Emil Lundberg - Victor Rask - Viktor Arvidsson

Linus Froberg - Oskar Sundqvist - Max Gortz

Jakob Lilja

Hampus Lindholm - Oscar Klefbom

Rasmus Bengtsson - Jonatan Nielsen

Mikael Wikstrand - Alexander Wennberg

Linus Arnesson

Niklas Lundstrom

Oscar Dansk

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 12:04 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Some new looks for U.S. lineup

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The U.S. morning skate Thursday included players who didn't skate in Wednesday's game plus the group wasn't playing Thursday, so there was no way to discern forward lines or defense pairings.

The U.S. will dress 13 forwards, eight defenseman and two goalies against Sweden.

Four defensemen who played Wednesday against Finland will remain in the lineup, with Shayne Gostisbehere, Matthew Grzelcyk, Garrett Haar and Brady Skjei being joined by Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba, Patrick Sieloff and Mike Reilly.

Up front, the team's top line of Sean Kuraly centering Mario Lucia and Stefan Noesen will play again Thursday and is expected to stay together. Other forwards who will stay in the lineup are Alex Galchenyuk John Gaudreau, J.T. Miller and Nicolas Kerdiles. They'll be joined by Colin Blackwell, Reid Boucher, Travis Boyd, Blake Pietila, Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey.

Sitting out will be forwards Thomas Di Pauli, Cole Bardreau, Ryan Hartman, Stefan Matteau, Steven Fogarty and Tyler Biggs; defensemen Jake McCabe, Connor Murphy and Andy Welinski; and goalies Jon Gillies and Anthony Stolarz.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 11:58 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. ready for tougher foe in Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The U.S. team will see a higher level of competition Thursday when they face Sweden here at Herb Brooks Arena.

The 2012 World Junior Championship gold medalists have six players in Lake Placid from last year's team, and are coming into Thursday's game after a full day away from the rink.

"Sweden has had some really quality practice time," U.S. coach Phil Housley told NHL.com. "You can see it in their breakouts, their transition game. Certainly this is a really good test for us. Just watching them the last couple days, they seem to be in sync. All their passing, they move the puck extremely well. So you can see they've spent time together."

There will be a few changes to the lineup, especially on defense, as Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Patrick Sieloff will be on the ice. That trio all stands at least 6-feet tall and around 200 pounds. That's Housley's plan for countering Sweden's size and skill up front.

"They transition so well," Housley said. "It goes back to making the right decisions in the neutral zone. They also shoot the puck a lot. They attack the net well. Our [defensemen] are going to have to pick up guys behind them. We're going to have to contain them, keep them to the outside. They have some big forwards that can control the puck. We're going to have to shore up our [defensive] zone and try to eliminate their chances."

One of the things that won't change for the U.S. is the starting goalie. John Gibson, who allowed one goal on 13 shots in 35 minutes of play Wednesday against Finland, will start Thursday against Sweden. Garret Sparks, who stopped nine of 10 shots in relief of Gibson on Wednesday, will dress as the backup.

"We want to give him work," Housley said of Gibson, one of three players in camp who was on the U.S. World Junior team last year. "He's been there before; it's a big game, so to speak. Sweden is a very good team. We want to give him some work. Gibson and Sparks have played extremely well. Yesterday was a great test for them at key times of the game and they came through it for us. We want to see more of Gibby [Gibson] playing against really stiff competition."

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 10:42 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Back to work, as Sweden prepares for U.S.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The Sweden players and staff spent Wednesday enjoying the picturesque scenery here in Lake Placid.

But Thursday morning it was time to get back to work, as the team had a game against the U.S. Thursday afternoon to get ready for.

Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg said the biggest thing he's looking for is a better start to the game. His team routed Finland 8-2 on Tuesday, but Ronnberg said he wasn't happy with his team's effort in the opening 20 minutes.

"I think we were playing sloppy," Ronnberg told NHL.com. "We weren't focused, we weren't ready to work hard enough. We allowed the Finns to outplay us, and that's not the way we would have liked it."

Of the 22 players Sweden brought here, Ronnberg said 10-15 will make the team that goes to Russia for the 2013 World Junior Championship. Among the group here is Mika Zibanejad, who scored the overtime goal that won the gold medal.

Ronnberg, though, isn't sure he'll have Zibanejad for a repeat attempt at the gold. Taken with the sixth pick of the 2011 draft by the Ottawa Senators, Zibanejad started last season in the NHL before being returned to Djurgardens in the Swedish Elite League after nine games with the Senators.

"We are not counting on Mika for the World Juniors," Ronnberg said, "but if he's available I'm more than pleased [to have him]."

Ronnberg also said St. Louis Blues prospect Niklas Lundstrom will start in goal while Oscar Dansk rests a minor knee injury. Dansk was hurt in Tuesday's 8-2 win against Finland.

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

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Posted On Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 10:00 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden goalie Dansk banged up

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- When Sweden faces the U.S. on Thursday at Herb Brooks Arena, St. Louis Blues prospect Niklas Lundstrom will be in goal.

Oscar Dansk, taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the first pick of the second round at the 2012 NHL Draft, sustained a minor knee injury during Tuesday's 8-2 win against Finland.

"Oscar is suffering from a small injury in his knee so we're going to rest him [Thursday]," Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg told NHL.com.

Lundstrom, a fifth-round pick of the Blues in 2011, stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 5-1 win against a Team USA split squad Monday.

Ronnberg said he's been happy with what he's seen from both his goaltenders in Lake Placid.

"I like them both," he said. "I think they are well-educated. We have a really good number of good goalie coaches in Sweden and that reflects on the goalies. Those guys are well-educated, they're good in the basics, they have a good game plan in how they should play in all situations. They give us the chance to win every night."

Ronnberg said there are two other goalies he'll evaluate at the next camp, in the Czech Republic in September, and it could be one of the more difficult decisions he has to make in building a team that can compete for a second-straight gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

"I have more guys at home," Ronnberg said. "We'll see. It's a hard situation to pick the best two."

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 8:43 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

USA goalies impress against Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- John Gibson stopped 12 of 13 shots in just over 35 minutes of action Wednesday in Team USA's 5-2 win against Finland. While it's assumed the starting job for the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship is Gibson's to lose, the Anaheim Ducks prospect isn't ready to put himself in any spot in the lineup just yet.

"Obviously I've had conversations with the coaching staff, but regardless of what's said I want to play my best and not really think about No. 1 or whatever," Gibson told NHL.com. "I just want to go out and play and earn my spot."

His best save came midway through the first period, when Finland's Robert Leino got loose on a shorthanded breakaway, but Gibson got his pads on Leino's shot.

Gibson was replaced by Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Garret Sparks with 4:49 left in the second period and he stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced. The only puck to get past Sparks was with two minutes left in the second when Miro Aaltonen beat him between his pads on a mini-break.

He recovered to make a nice save on Buffalo Sabres top prospect Joel Armia early in the third when the U.S. team led 3-2, then in the final minute he did the splits to stop a drive by Finland captain and Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick Olli Maatta on a five-on-three Finland advantage.

U.S. coach Phil Housley said he was happy with how both his netminders played.

"For the most part the goals that they got we sort of gave it to them," he said. "As far as our goaltenders, they're making stops at the right time. Both of them made key stops when they were in the net at times in the game where we needed a big save."

With the U.S. team playing again Wednesday, it's expected Jon Gillies and/or Anthony Stolarz will get the chance in goal. With two games left to evaluate the 34 players at camp, Housley has said he wants to get every player an opportunity in a game.

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 8:31 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland ready for some rest

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- After three games in three days, Finland coach Harri Lindell is looking forward to getting his team some rest.

"We need that, absolutely," he told NHL.com after his team's 5-2 loss to the United States on Wednesday. "We need it. Let's see if we can find something special for the team to get their thoughts away from hockey and just relax."

Finland lost 5-4 to a U.S. split squad Monday, then was routed 8-2 by Sweden on Tuesday.

Lindell said despite the loss Wednesday he was happy with how his team played.

"This game was a very tough game because it was the third game in three days," he said. "It was a great team we were playing against. … We were trying to be mentally prepared

for this game, [and] I think we got a response there."

One place the Finns didn't respond was on special teams. They went 0-for-4 with the man advantage, including a power play 20 seconds into the game and another that was called with 0.6 seconds left in the first period.

That performance came after they went 0-for-7 against the USA Blue team Monday and didn't have a power play against Sweden.

Compounding the problem Wednesday was a stretch of four minutes midway through the first that saw the Finns down a man for all but six seconds.

Lindell said he hopes the time off cures those issues as well as allows him to get forward Miikka Salomaki back in the lineup.

The Nashville Predators' 2011 second-round pick was expected to play a top-two-line role for the Finns, but was a late scratch from Tuesday's game and didn't play Wednesday due to what Lindell said was an upper-body injury. Lindell said it's not a serious injury, but he found no need to risk making it worse at this time of year. He said there's a chance Salomaki could play Friday against Sweden or Saturday against the United States.

"If it was a playoff game or a championship game, he could play," Lindell said. "We don't want to risk him because he's important player. There will be a good chance he can play one or two more games."

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 6:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. defeats Finland, 5-2

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The United States wrapped its 5-2 win against Finland with a pair of goals 1:05 apart in the third period.

Nicolas Kerdiles scored from the right side off a Tyler Biggs rebound at 14:59 to push the U.S. lead to 4-2. Moments later, Stefan Noesen was stopped twice in front of the Finland net, but he scored on his third chance to close the scoring at 16:04.

Garret Sparks made the lead stand up, with his best saves coming when he stopped Joel Armia on the doorstep with 13:40 left, then in the final minute when he did the splits to stop an Olli Maatta blast with the Finns skating on a five-on-three advantage.

Things got chippy in the game's final seconds when Finland's Heikki Liedes was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for a hit from behind on U.S. defenseman Connor Murphy.

We'll have more in a bit from both locker rooms.

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 5:25 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. leads Finland 3-2 after two periods

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sean Kuraly, a San Jose Sharks 2011 fifth-round pick, scored his team-high fifth goal of the camp to put the U.S. ahead.

Kuraly led a rush with linemates Mario Lucia and Stefan Noesen. Lucia fired a shot on net that Finland goalie Richard Ullberg stopped, but Kuraly pounced on the rebound, spun to create space for himself and fired a shot past Ullberg at 6:28.

Calgary Flames prospect John Gaudreau put the U.S. up 3-1 when he scored off the rush at 16:14, but Finland answered at 18:00 when Miro Aaltonen scored his second of the game. He had a mini-break, deked goalie Garret Sparks to the ice and slipped the puck between his pads to make it 3-2.

Sparks, a Toronto Maple Leafs seventh-round pick in 2011, replaced John Gibson in goal with 4:49 left in the period. He'll likely play the remainder of the game as coach Phil Housley uses the final period as a chance to evaluate one of the three candidates who will serve as Gibson's backup in Russia.

More after the third period.

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 4:43 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Team USA and Finland tied 1-1 after one period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The U.S. opened the scoring but Finland answered with a late goal to send the teams off tied 1-1 after 20 minutes here at Herb Brooks Arena.

Stefan Matteau banged in a loose puck in the crease to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead at 15:00 of the period, but Miro Aaltonen snapped a shot past U.S. goalie John Gibson from the high slot at 18:16 to make it 1-1.

Each team had chances to take control earlier in the first. The U.S. went 0-for-3 on the power play, including a four-minute span midway through the period that saw the Americans up a man for all but six seconds.

Finland had a shorthanded chance with 6:35 left when Robert Leino got loose on a breakaway, but Gibson denied him with his right pad.

Finland had a power play just 20 seconds into the game but couldn't take advantage. The Finns will have another power play to start the second as J.T. Miller was whistled for slashing with 0.6 seconds left in the first.

More after the second period.

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 3:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Barkov on top line for Finland vs. USA

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland will have a bit of a different look when it faces the United States here at Herb Brooks Arena on Wednesday.

Top 2013 NHL Draft prospect Alexander Barkov will center the top line, with Toni Kallela at left wing and Buffalo Sabres top prospect Joel Armia on the right side. Barkov is the youngest player on the Finnish team, but he already has experience playing in Finland's top league, SM-liiga, as well as with Finland's team at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Robert Leino, who centered the top line in Tuesday's 8-2 loss to Sweden, will be on the third line, skating with Artturi Lehkonen and Markus Hannikainen.

Richard Ullberg, who allowed five goals on 22 shots in Monday's split-squad game against USA Blue, will start in net.

Missing from the lineup for the second straight game is Nashville Predators prospect Miikka Salomaki. The 2011 second-round pick was a late scratch from Tuesday's game against Sweden.

You can check out the U.S. lineup here.

Here's how the rest of the Finland lineup will look as the team plays its third game in as many days:

Toni Kallela - Alexander Barkov - Joel Armia

Miro Aaltonen - Teuvo Teravainen - Juuso Ikonen

Artturi Lehkonen - Roberto Leino - Markus Hannikainen

Heikki Liedes - Nico Nyberg - Matti Lamberg


Olli Maatta
- Rasmus Ristolainen

Esa Lindell - Ville Pokka

Joonas Valkonen - Niklas Tikkinen

Mikko Lehtonen - Aleksi Salonen


Richard Ullberg

Janne Juvonen

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 12:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Housley ready for first look at trimmed-down team

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The U.S. will play its first game Wednesday since trimming the initial 45-player roster to 34, and coach Phil Housley said he's looking forward to seeing how the 22 players who suit up against Finland fare in game competition.

It's the first of three games the U.S. will play this week -- they'll play Sweden on Thursday and have a re-match with Finland to close the camp Saturday.

"We're just trying to get every look we can right now because we only have three games left," Housley told NHL.com. "We're going to try to use those three games to evaluate the guys."

Among the players he'll be watching are his goalies, John Gibson and Garret Sparks. Housley said Gibson will start, but he was unsure if he would play the whole game or split time with Sparks.

Gibson, who was the backup on last year's World Junior team, played just one game in Alberta -- coincidentally, it was against Finland. However, Housley said that had nothing to do with Gibson getting the start today.

"Last year was last year," he said. "This is a new, fresh year. We're going in to give him some work. Both our [1993-born] goalies are solid as well as our '94s. We're going to give those guys … everybody is going to be playing."

One of the top lines could be the trio of Sean Kuraly centering Mario Lucia and Stefan Noesen. That trio combined for four goals and three assists against Finland in a split-squad game Monday.

While their offensive output was nice, Housley said he liked what the trio did besides scoring.

"I thought they played terrific away from the puck," he told NHL.com. "A lot of their chances came off good defensive plays that had back pressure, or making the nice little play on the wall and following up the play. Especially the third goal, Lucia makes a nice play on the wall, gets up the ice, beats his man and gets an odd-numbered situation. Those types of things are great. Our play away from the puck is going to be stressed, it's going to be important."

Another interesting trio could be the line of Alex Galchenyuk with John Gaudreau and J.T. Miller. Galchenyuk and Gaudreau have flashy offensive skills, and Miller will have a chance to bring some power to that line.

"I think he [Galchenyuk] is getting more comfortable as the week goes on," Housley said. "Gaudreau, these are guys that have to think alike and hopefully J.T. can add to that line."

We had a look at the lineup earlier here. After playing games the last two days, including Tuesday's 8-2 loss to Sweden, Finland opted not to skate Wednesday morning, so their lineup won't be announced until later.

The puck drops at 4 p.m. ET.

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 12:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Scoring, winning nothing new for Lucia

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Mario Lucia led the U.S. with a hat trick Monday in a split-squad game against Finland.

Being the top scorer on a winning team is nothing new for Lucia, a left wing taken by the Minnesota Wild in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Last season, Lucia led the British Columbia Hockey League with 42 goals (in just 56 games) as he helped his Penticton Vees team to a league-best 54-4-2 record. That included a remarkable 42-game win streak that started Nov. 11 and ended with the last game of the regular season. They then went 12-2-1 in the playoffs to win the league championship.

"I don't think I'll ever be part of anything like that ever again," Lucia, who was third in the league with 94 points, told NHL.com. "The season was unbelievable, everything from my billet family to the team to the coaching staff to our fans -- everything was perfect. We obviously had a lot of Canadians and Americans put together, so you'd think there'd be a little bit of a rivalry, but it was the closest team I've ever been on. That's what I think pushed us through that winning streak and into the playoffs. The closest teams always seem to do well."

Two of the players Lucia was closest with in Penticton are with him this week in Lake Placid -- defenseman Mike Reilly and center Steven Fogarty. Reilly, a 2011 fourth-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, led BCHL defensemen and was eighth in the league with 83 points; Fogarty, a 2011 third-round pick of the New York Rangers, was ninth in the league with 82 points.

"I've known them pretty much my whole life," Lucia said. "It's good to have buddies here you want to make the team. You push each other to get better every day, and we did that up there [Penticton]. That season helped us get a lot better. We worked hard every day. We had so many good players in practice and that's where I think we benefited the most. We had hard practices and we worked hard in the weight room and everything is falling into place now. Hopefully we all make the team."

Lucia has done a good job of that with his play on a line with center Sean Kuraly and right wing Stefan Noesen. That trio combined for four goals and three assists Monday against Finland, and will be together again today against Finland.

Lucia and Kuraly were linemates last season at the World Junior A Challenge in Langley, B.C., and the strong play they showed there has been evident in Lake Placid.

"We had some chemistry up there, we did well up there," Lucia said. "That chemistry has stuck. … He's gritty, he works hard. He's got a good shot and he's quick. He's battling, he gets the puck out of the corners, and he can make things happen with his big body."

Coach Phil Housley said he's been impressed by how the trio has performed so far.

"I thought they played terrific away from the puck," he told NHL.com. "A lot of their chances came off good defensive plays that had back pressure, or making the nice little play on the wall and following up the play. Especially the third goal -- Lucia makes a nice play on the wall, gets up the ice, beats his man and gets an odd-numbered situation. Those types of things are great."

After the camp ends, Lucia will prepare for his first season at Notre Dame. First he'll spend some time at home in Minnesota. He won't be able to attend the Wild's training camp, but he's certainly paid attention to the team's big offseason.

"Hopefully they'll have a good, prosperous season this year with [Zach] Parise and [Ryan] Suter coming in," he said. "Hopefully that'll be good for the fans, get the Minnesota Wild back on track. … Hopefully I'll be able to play for the Wild someday."

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

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Posted On Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 9:31 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

U.S. team's projected lineup vs. Finland

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With its first game Wednesday against Finland, the U.S. took the ice at 9 a.m. for a quick morning skate that featured only the 22 players skating in today's game.

Here are the line combinations and pairings U.S. coach Phil Housley put together:

Mario Lucia - Sean Kuraly - Stefan Noesen

J.T. Miller - Alex Galchenyuk - John Gaudreau

Tyler Biggs - Stefan Matteau - Steven Fogarty

Thomas Di Pauli - Cole Bardreau - Ryan Hartman

Nicolas Kerdiles


Jake McCabe
- Connor Murphy

Matthew Grzelcyk - Garrett Haar

Shayne Gostisbehere - Andy Welinski

Brady Skjei


John Gibson

Garret Sparks


That leaves 12 players sitting out: forwards Colin Blackwell, Reid Boucher, Travis Boyd, Blake Pietila, Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey; defensemen Seth Jones, Mike Reilly, Patrick Sieloff and Jacob Trouba; and goaltenders Jon Gillies and Anthony Stolarz.

The Kuraly line could be one to watch. Against Finland on Monday, that trio combined for four goals and three assists, including a hat trick by Lucia.

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 8:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Ducks lead camp with six prospects

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Twenty-six NHL teams have at least one prospect in attendance at this week's National Junior Evaluation Camp, but none has more than the six members of the Anaheim Ducks organization who started the week here.

Forward Nicolas Kerdiles, goalie John Gibson, and defensemen Andrew Welinski and Brian Cooper from the United States, and defenseman Hampus Lindholm and center William Karlsson from Sweden took part in the camp, and with the exception of Cooper -- cut from the U.S. team Tuesday -- will play in the remainder of the exhibition games.

"We've drafted kids that we like and we've had our fair share of picks in the top three rounds in the last two years," Ducks director of amateur scouting Martin Madden told NHL.com. "They've continued to develop and are doing well within their own countries' system. It's encouraging for us, for sure."

Lindholm, whom the Ducks took with the sixth pick of the 2012 NHL Draft to the surprise of some, had an assist in Sweden's 8-2 win against Finland on Tuesday. Madden said he's liked what he's seen from the 6-foot-3, 195-pound blueliner.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 8:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Ducks prospect Karlsson stars in Sweden's win

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- A year ago, William Karlsson made Sweden's team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship as a fourth-line player who wasn't expected to see a lot of ice time.

He had had a goal and an assist in six games, and by the time Sweden had won the gold medal, he was playing on the second line and was a key contributor to the team's championship.

Karlsson, a 2011 second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks, kept that strong play going through the second half of his season in Sweden, and it carried into Sweden's game against Finland on Tuesday at Herb Brooks Arena -- he had a hat trick in an 8-2 win.

Teammate Viktor Arvidsson scored a pair of goals, and Filip Forsberg had a goal and two assists. Pontus Aberg and Max Gortz also had a goal each, and goalie Oscar Dansk stopped 23 of 25 shots.

Robert Leino and Juuso Ikonen scored for Finland. Goalie Janne Juvonen allowed eight goals on 39 shots.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 7:49 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

'New journey' starts for Sweden

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg isn't ready to completely forget about the 2012 World Junior Championship, but he said the time to celebrate that gold medal is long past.

"It's a new journey," he told NHL.com. "We have started a new journey. This is a new team. We are chasing another gold. We have to take confidence from last year, but we also have to understand how much hard work was behind the gold."

That hard work has started, including an 8-2 win against Finland on Tuesday here at Herb Brooks Arena. William Karlsson, one of six players at this week's Junior Evaluation Camp who was a part of last year's gold-medal win, had a hat trick in the victory.

Ronnberg could have brought more players from last year's team, but said he's using the mix of returnees and new players as a test to see who still can perform at the high level set last year.

"We want to see how we play together as a team," he said. "We want to set the standard or norm for this team starting with the hard work and then with the way we should play our tactics. And then we want to see all the players individually, how they play, and see if we can find any new players for [2013] World Juniors."

Rather than impress on his players that last year's gold medal doesn't necessarily earn them a spot on the team that will go to Russia as defending champions, Ronnberg said he'd have no problem taking all of those players with him.

"I don't work that way," he said. "I want to work close to my player. I want them to play good. I'm working with another perspective, I want them to make the team, I want them to be a big part of the team. I want the guys coming back to have a huge impact on my team."

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 5:28 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Sweden holds 5-2 lead over Finland after second

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Finland started the second period with the same pressure it ended the first with, but after 40 minutes, Sweden holds a big lead.

Teuvo Teravainen made a great juggling play to keep a puck in the Sweden zone and found a cutting Juuso Ikonen for the 2013 NHL Draft-eligible forward's third goal in two games, making it 2-1 just 55 seconds into the second.

That was the lone highlight for the Finns, as Sweden went ahead with a pair of goals 59 seconds apart. First Viktor Arvidsson scored his second of the game from in close at 4:45, and then at 5:44, William Karlsson ripped a shot from the dot in the left faceoff circle to put Sweden ahead.

Max Gortz took advantage of a Finland turnover at 11:48 to make it 4-2, and then at 14:09, Pontus Aberg scored up high on Finland goalie Janne Juvonen to make it 5-2. Sweden has been trying to shoot high on Juvonen all game, as the netminder -- listed at 6-feet tall -- has been dropping into his butterfly far too early.

Back with more after the game.

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 4:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland-Sweden tied 1-1 after one period

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- After 20 minutes here at the Herb Brooks Arena, Finland and Sweden are tied 1-1.

Finland carried the play in the early part of the first period, but Sweden took advantage of back-to-back penalties on Finland's top defense pair of Olli Maatta and Rasmus Ristolainen to score the game's first goal.

Early in the two-man advantage, Mika Zibanejad skated the puck into the Finland end and dropped a pass for Viktor Arvidsson. He ripped a shot from the left circle that zipped past the glove of Finland goalie Janne Juvonen at 8:32.

Finland had a chance 39 seconds later when Artturi Lehkonen was awarded a penalty shot after being pulled down by William Karlsson, but Sweden goalie Oscar Dansk easily stopped Lehkonen's low shot with his right pad.

The Finns did even the score in the final minute of the first period as Robert Leino banged a loose puck in the slot past Dansk with 50 seconds left.

More to come after two periods.

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 3:50 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland-Sweden lineups

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Here are the lineups Finland and Sweden will put on the ice for Tuesday's game at the Junior Evaluation Camp.

Worth watching is the top Finnish defense pair of team captain Olli Maatta, a Pittsburgh Penguins 2012 first-round pick, and Rasmus Ristolainen, a candidate to be picked in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

After this morning's practice, coach Harri Rindell wasn't sure if he was going to keep his two best defensemen on the same pair or break them up to spark other players.

Also worth keeping an eye on is Joel Armia, the Buffalo Sabres' 2011 first-round pick. Among those in attendance is Sabres owner Terry Pegula.

One change to the initial roster: Finland has scratched Nashville Predators prospect Miikka Salomaki and replaced him with Toni Kallela. Salomaki was listed as left wing on a line with Robert Leino and Joel Armia. No reason was given for the lineup change.

For Sweden, Mika Zibanejad will start at right wing on the second line, with Jeremy Boyce Rotevall on the left side and Joachim Nermark in the middle. Zibanejad, a 2011 first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators, scored the overtime goal that gave Sweden the gold medal at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Oscar Dansk, a 2012 second-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will get the start in net for Sweden.

Defenseman Oscar Klefbom, an Edmonton Oilers' 2011 first-round pick, will serve as team captain.

FINLAND

Toni Kallela - Robert Leino - Joel Armia

Miro Aaltonen - Teuvo Teravainen - Juuso Ikonen

Matti Lamberg - Saku Salminen - Markus Hannikainen

Artturi Lehkonen - Alexander Barkov - Nico Nyberg

Olli Maatta - Rasmus Ristolainen

Esa Lindell - Ville Pokka

Joonas Valkonen - Aleksi Salonen

Heikki Liedes

Janne Juvonen

Richard Ullberg

SWEDEN

Pontus Aberg - William Karlsson - Filip Forsberg

Jeremy Boyce Rotevall - Joachim Nermark - Mika Zibanejad

Emil Lundberg - Victor Rask - Viktor Arvidsson

Jakob Lilja - Alexander Wennberg - Max Gortz

Oskar Sundqvist

Hampus Lindholm - Oscar Klefbom

Rasmus Bengtsson - Jonatan Nielsen

Mikael Vikstrand - Tom Nilsson

Linus Arnesson

Oscar Dansk

Niklas Lundstrom

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 2:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

New year, new result for Biggs

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- A year ago at this time, Tyler Biggs already was on his way home from USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp.

A first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs just weeks earlier, Biggs admittedly was nervous when he arrived, and didn't think he showcased himself in the best way.

"I think last year I was pretty nervous," he told NHL.com. "The '92s [1992-born players] were a pretty special group of guys. Although they didn't do as well last year, you could see what they did at under-17s, under-18s the years before at NTDP. Going into that, I think I was a little bit nervous."

With a year of experience, Biggs said he felt better prepared for this year's camp and believes it showed in his play. He had one goal in three games but said his comfort level was far higher.

"A year under my belt, coming with the guys that I know already, I think I had a big compete level [and] it just carried over," he said.

Coach Phil Housley was impressed, especially with how the 6-foot-2, 205-pound right wing used his size to his advantage.

"We understand he's a big guy and big guys need a little bit more time," Housley told NHL.com. "He's working hard, he's competing, he's starting to win battles. He certainly has to raise his level of play. We need him to be on the puck first. That's what we're going to be watching the next couple days. … He got better every day. And that's a good sign."

Next for Biggs are training camp with the Maple Leafs in September and a season with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League. Biggs had nine goals and eight assists last season at Miami University, but decided to move on after school ended.

"I think it was more my choice of moving on from the college experience," he said. "I think it was a great path for anyone and I would recommend it to anybody. But at that point in my career I think it was time to move on. … I got better at a lot of things from Miami University, so I was pretty fortunate to go there, [but] at this time in my career I thought it was time to move on and see how far I could go."

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 1:56 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Housley happy with first small-group practice

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The first single-squad practice for Team USA here at the National Junior Evaluation Camp lasted about an hour Tuesday, and was filled with what coach Phil Housley called "teaching moments."

After trimming the initial 45-player roster to 34 early Tuesday morning, Housley and his staff had the players on the ice for about an hour and used the time to continue to install the systems and style of play he wants to see from the team that eventually will head to Russia for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

"I thought it went really well," he told NHL.com. "We're just trying to hammer in some of our system play still. They played three games in three days, mentally they're tired. We had a meeting at 7 a.m. to make the cut-down to the number we have right now, so we didn't really want to do anything very, very physical. Just wanted to incorporate some team concepts."

It wasn't always perfect, as Housley at one point stopped the drills and screamed at the players for about 10 seconds. After that, the crispness and speed went up, which is what the coach wanted.

"We talked about that before practice, that we didn't want to be out there long, but we wanted to get something accomplished," he said. "I understand they played three games in three days and they're tired. But if we worked at the things we wanted to accomplish we were going to get off early. I needed a little more urgency. They were a little down. It wasn't very long what we did, a lot of teaching moments. I'm glad they responded the way they did."

Team USA has off the rest of Tuesday then returns to play Finland on Wednesday. Housley wouldn't comment on what his lineup for the game will look like, but it's possible John Gibson will get the start in goal. Gibson, one of three returning players from last year's U.S. WJC team, played one game at last year's tournament -- a 23-save effort in a 4-1 loss to Finland.

All four goalies survived the initial cut -- Gibson, Jon Gillies, Garret Sparks and Anthony Stolarz. And with four games coming, all four could get one full game. However, Housley wasn't ready to commit to that plan.

"I'll leave it up to [goalie coach] Joe Exter," Housley said. "We'll have a conversation about. Certainly Gibson is going to see some work, and Sparks, and we'll see what happens after that point. We have to give our guys some work and see where they're at."

Other players who made the cut were the two youngest players at the camp -- defenseman Seth Jones and forward Ryan Hartman, both of whom are expected to be first-round picks at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Jones -- who had a spot on the 2012 WJC team until a shoulder injury in the final exhibition game sidelined him -- especially has been impressive.

"I realized why he was going to be on the team last year," Housley said.

At this early stage, Housley said he wasn't ready to start pointing out individual players. He said the 34 who remain in Lake Placid all have made positive impressions.

"These guys left an impression on us, that's why they're here," he said. "They earned it. That's not to say the guys we let go ... we're going to continue to track those players, [but] I'm really focused on the guys that are here. They certainly left an impression on our coaching staff and evaluation staff, [and] we're rewarding them."

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 10:30 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Finland looking for more power

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With one game under its belt, the Finnish team here at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp is feeling pretty good about itself.

Finland rallied from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits late in the game before losing to the USA Blue squad 5-4 on a goal with 35 seconds left.

"The first game we played a good game, but we had a few bad plays there and we couldn't win the game," Finland captain and 2012 Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick Olli Maatta told NHL.com. "I thought we were a better team, but we didn't win the game."

One issue was a power play that went 0-for-7, failing to convert on a pair of two-man advantages. Coach Harri Rindell had his team spend extra time working on the power play at Tuesday's morning skate ahead of an afternoon game against Sweden.

"The power play, we got five-on-three two times and we didn't score," he told NHL.com. "Those international games, you need to score there."

Otherwise, Rindell said he's pleased with what he's seen from his team, especially in Monday's game.

"I was very happy when watching the attitude, the mental toughness, because we were back 3-1, we were back 4-3, and we came back and that's not the case very many times against North American teams," he said. "So the mental toughness the guys showed from the start of the game was very good."

No word on what the Finland lineup could look like, but one interesting defense pair could be Maatta and Rasmus Ristolainen, a top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft. The pair was together Monday and could stay a unit against Sweden.

"We're going to see if it continues," Rindell said. "We don't know if that's the right decision, to have our two best defensemen together. Maybe during the tournament we're going to change just to see how they're working if they're not playing together. For now, they're our first [defense] pair."

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

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.07.2012 / 8:04 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

USA Hockey makes first cuts

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp ended Tuesday morning for 11 prospects, among them two 2012 first-round draft picks.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Jordan Schmaltz and Phoenix Coyotes forward Henrik Samuelsson were among those released as the roster was cut from an initial group of 45 to 34.

"The first three days of camp have been impressive and we have been pleased with the players' level of competition," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and the general manager of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team. "The players being released today are still among those being evaluated for the team in the coming months. For the players retained, this week's upcoming international games in Lake Placid give us an opportunity to further assess their skills."

Also sent home were forwards Adam Reid (free agent), Alex Broadhurst (Blackhawks), Logan Nelson (Sabres) and Brian Hart (Lightning), and defensemen Brian Cooper (Ducks), Joakim Ryan (Sharks), Robbie Russo (Islanders), Connor Carrick (Capitals) and Mike Paliotta (Blackhawks).

The smaller group -- which now consists of four goalies, 11 defensemen and 19 forwards -- will practice Tuesday and play its first international game Wednesday, against Finland.

Here's a look at the trimmed-down roster:

GOALTENDERS-- John Gibson (Ducks), Jon Gillies (Flames), Garret Sparks (Maple Leafs), Anthony Stolarz (Flyers)
DEFENSEMEN-- Shayne Gostisbehere (Flyers), Matt Grzelcyk (Bruins), Garrett Haar (Capitals), Seth Jones (2013 Draft eligible), Jake McCabe (Sabres), Connor Murphy (Coyotes), Mike Reilly (Blue Jackets), Patrick Sieloff (Flames), Brady Skjei (Rangers), Jacob Trouba (Jets), Andrew Welinski (Ducks)
FORWARDS-- Cole Bardreau (free agent), Tyler Biggs (Maple Leafs), Colin Blackwell (Sharks), Reid Boucher (Devils), Travis Boyd (Capitals), Thomas Di Pauli (Capitals), Steve Fogarty (Rangers), Alex Galchenyuk (Canadiens), John Gaudreau (Flames), Ryan Hartman (2013 Draft eligible), Nicolas Kerdiles (Ducks), Sean Kuraly (Sharks), Mario Lucia (Wild), Stefan Matteau (Devils), J.T. Miller (Rangers), Stefan Noesen (Senators), Blake Pietila (Devils), Vince Trocheck (Panthers), Jimmy Vesey (Predators).

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

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Posted On Monday, 08.06.2012 / 9:15 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Lucia stars, but mixed results for U.S. squads

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- For the first time since arriving in Lake Placid on Friday, the 45 campers invited by USA Hockey to this week's junior evaluation camp got to skate against competition from another country on Monday, as the USA Blue team faced Finland and USA White skated against Sweden.

In the opener, USA Blue's Mario Lucia, a 2011 second-round pick of the Minnesota Wild, capped a hat trick with the game-winning goal with 35 seconds left in a 5-4 win. Sean Kuraly had a goal and an assist, and Alex Galchenyuk, the third pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, had a goal for USA Blue. John Gibson played the first half of the game, allowing one goal on 11 shots. Jon Gillies replaced him in the second period and stopped six of nine shots.

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Posted On Monday, 08.06.2012 / 7:46 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp blog

Camp under way

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp got into full swing Monday, with split squad exhibition games against Finland and Sweden.

We'll have reports on those games a bit later. For now, take a minute to familiarize yourself with some of the top junior talent that is using the week-long camp as the first auditions for shots at the 2013 World Junior Championship, which runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.

Among the 45 players U.S. coach Phil Housley is evaluating are just three players from last year's team that finished seventh in Alberta.

Sweden will have seven players from last year's team that won the gold medal, including Mika Zibanejad, who scored the championship-winning overtime goal against Russia. Finland's team is led by Alexander Barkov, a top candidate to be taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

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

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