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WJC semifinal round under way

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 4:00 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / 2011 World Junior Championship Blog

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2011 World Junior Championship Blog
WJC semifinal round under way
The first game of today's back-to-back semifinal in the World Junior Championship is under way here at HSBC Arena in Buffalo.

It'll be interesting to see if the Russians are skating on fumes in the later stages of the game after needing overtime to dispose of the feisty Finns on Sunday in the quarterfinal round. Sweden has goalie Robin Lehner between the pipes and Russia counters with Dmitri Shikin, the winning goalie against Finland.

In case you missed Sunday's recap of Russia's miraculous victory over Finland, check out the recap provided by NHL.com managing editor Shawn Roarke. Another story posted early Monday was on Sweden's change in attitude and how coach Roger Ronnberg feels the country is no longer considered a "soft" international foe.

At 7:30 p.m. ET (NHLN-US), all eyes will be on Canada against the United States in what should be one heck of a game. U.S. coach Keith Allain has already confirmed that forwards Jason Zucker and Jeremy Morin will return to the lineup. That will give him a four full lines to work with against a relatively healthy Canadian Team.

Here's a preview of tonight's big showdown.

Also, in case you missed it, I had a chance to speak with U.S. goalie coach Joe Exter, who provided some great insight into the mindset of U.S. goalie Jack Campbell.

Quote of the Day

I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final