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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 8:18 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Finland, Slovakia win in relegation pool

Aleksander Barkov and Ville Pokka scored two goals each, and Markus Granlund had a goal and three assists as Finland started play in the relegation round with an 8-0 win against Germany on Thursday.

Joel Armia had a goal and two assists, and Miikka Salomaki and Artturi Lehkonen also had goals, and Janne Juvonen stopped all 15 shots as Finland outshot Germany 56-15.

Finland led 3-0 after two periods but blew the game open with five goals in third. Salomaki and Pokka scored in the first five minutes, and then Barkov, Pokka and Armia scored in a 2:30 span in the game's final minutes.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 8:00 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russia and Sweden set for title-game rematch

Russia and Sweden are prepared to drop the puck in the semifinals of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday in Ufa, Russia.

The game is a rematch of last year's gold-medal game, a 1-0 overtime win by Sweden. The winner will advance to this year's gold-medal game Saturday (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) against the United States, a 5-1 winner against Canada in the other semifinal.

The fact Sweden has been able to advance this far in the tournament is a story in itself when you consider the team lost three key defensemen to injury before the tournament even began -- Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), Jonas Brodin (clavicle) and Hampus Lindholm (concussion).

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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 6:24 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. tops Canada, advances to gold-medal game

Early offense and an outstanding goaltending exhibition late by John Gibson allowed the United States to skate away with a 5-1 win against Canada in the first semifinal at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

John Gaudreau scored his second goal of the game with 4:19 left in the third period, and Gibson was at the top of his game as the United States advanced to the gold-medal game for the first time since the 2010 WJC in Saskatoon. They now await the winner of the second semifinal, between Sweden and Russia, in Saturday's championship game (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).

Jake McCabe had a pair of goals and an assist, and Jimmy Vesey also had a goal and an assist for the United States.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 5:36 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. rolling, leads Canada 4-0 after two periods

Despite playing their sixth game in eight days -- and third set of back-to-back games -- the United States remained the faster, more aggressive team and took a 4-0 lead after two periods in their semifinal game against Canada.

John Gaudreau and Jimmy Vesey scored as the United States extended its lead and moved within 20 minutes of playing for the gold medal.

Gaudreau, the hottest American player, scored his sixth goal in the last three games at 2:58 of the period. Gaudreau carried the puck out of his end and crossed the Canada blue line. He dragged the puck around Canada defenseman Ryan Murphy, using him as a screen, and fired a shot that beat Canada goalie Malcolm Subban.

Vesey made it 4-0 at 12:24 when he took a pass from Gaudreau, stepped around Canada's Xavier Ouellet and beat Subban to the far side, over his blocker.

That marked the end of Subban's game, as he was replaced by Jordan Binnington for the first time in the tournament.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 4:46 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. leads Canada 2-0 after one period

Jake McCabe wasn't added to the United States roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship for his offensive skill, but the defenseman scored a pair of goals to give the Americans a 2-0 lead after one period in their semifinal against Canada.

United States coach Phil Housley has wanted all his defensemen to be active in the offensive zone, and McCabe did just that, pinching into the high slot for a pair of scoring chances.

Midway through the first Riley Barber had a pair of opportunities from right in front of the net, but Canada goalie Malcolm Subban stopped both. The puck came back to Barber a third time, and he spotted McCabe alone in the high slot. McCabe fired a shot through a ton of traffic that went past Subban at 7:18 of the period.

Late in the first, Rocco Grimaldi rushed the puck into the Canada end and dropped a pass for McCabe. The American captain, from nearly the same spot he scored his first goal, ripped a shot past Subban's glove with 3:58 left in the period to make it 2-0.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 3:46 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Canada sticking with same lineup vs. U.S.

Here is the lineup Canada will skate with against the United States in their semifinal matchup (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). It's a lineup that looks identical to the one used in the team's preliminary-round finale against Russia:

Jonathan Drouin - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Mark Scheifele

Jonathan Huberdeau - Ryan Strome - Ty Rattie

Philip Danault - Boone Jenner - Brett Ritchie

Anthony Camara - Mark McNeill - Nathan MacKinnon

JC Lipon

Scott Harrington - Dougie Hamilton

Xavier Ouellet - Griffin Reinhart

Morgan Rielly - Tyler Wotherspoon

Ryan Murphy

Malcolm Subban will start in goal, with Jordan Binnington serving as the backup.

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Posted On Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 3:34 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. sticking with same lineup vs. Canada

Here is the lineup the United States will use in its semifinal game against Canada on Thursday (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). After scoring seven goals a day before against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, the Americans will return basically the same lineup.

John Gaudreau - J.T. Miller - Jimmy Vesey

Alex Galchenyuk - Sean Kuraly - Riley Barber

Blake Pietila - Cole Bardreau - Ryan Hartman

Rocco Grimaldi - Vincent Trocheck - Tyler Biggs

Mario Lucia

Jake McCabe - Seth Jones

Patrick Sieloff - Jacob Trouba

Mike Reilly - Connor Murphy

Shayne Gostisbehere

John Gibson will start in goal, with Jon Gillies the backup.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 10:28 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Tied through three

Nikita Kucherov scored a power-play goal with 1:36 remaining in the third period to give the Russian Junior National Team a 3-3 tie with Switzerland in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Sven Andrighetto had given Switzerland its first lead, 3-2, 8:57 into the third when he scored off his own rebound. The Swiss will be entering their fourth straight overtime period at the WJC.

The winner will play defending gold-medalist Sweden in the semifinals of the medal round on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 9:48 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russia, Swiss deadlocked after two periods

Switzerland and Russia are locked in a 2-2 stalemate after two periods of action in the quartefinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

The winner of the game will face defending gold-medalist Sweden in the semifinals of the medal round on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET (NHLN-US).

Switzerland pulled into a 2-2 tie 12:37 into the second when Martin Ness scored off an uncontested spin-o-rama to stun those in attendance at Ufa Arena. Samuel Guerra controlled the puck along the right wing half-boards before launching a shot at Andrei Vasilevskiy. Ness, who was standing alone in the slot, neatly controlled the rebound before cleaning up.

Switzerland will begin the third period on a two-man advantage for 45 seconds.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 8:46 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Swiss and Russia all even after one period

Switzerland continues to surprise at the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

Minnesota Wild prospect Christoph Bertschy scored a shorthanded goal midway through the first period on Wednesday to give the Swiss a 1-1 tie with favored Russia in the quarterfinals of medal round competition at Ufa Arena.

Russia opened a 1-0 lead 6:07 into the first when Alexander Khokhlachyov connected for a power-play goal. The Swiss just missed scoring shorthanded at the start of the Russian power-play when lightning-quick Bertschy stole a pass and just missed tucking home a shot into the right-hand corner on Andrei Vailevskiy at the 4:59 mark.

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This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares