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U.S. coach enjoys first practice with smaller group

Tuesday, 08.06.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor / World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

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World Junior Evaluation Camp blog
U.S. coach enjoys first practice with smaller group

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- With a smaller group for the first time, United States coach Don Lucia said Tuesday’s practice allowed him to really drill into his players how he wanted them play in all facets of the game.

"We got a lot accomplished today," he said after the 60-minute workout. "We had good tempo with our group. We tried to do some concepts with our guys, the way we want to try to play. It was the first time we've had the opportunity to do that. We got a lot of repetitions with that many guys on the ice. All in all, a good practice."

With six lines of forwards and five pairs of defensemen, it was tough for him to keep his eyes on everybody at all times, but Lucia said one line that continued to stand out was the trio of Daniel O'Regan centering Nicolas Kerdiles and Riley Barber.

"When you look at Kerdiles and O'Regan and Barber, that's three guys we feel pretty good about as a power-play unit," Lucia said. "The rest is a work in progress."

The practice mainly focused on special teams play, with Lucia taking time to implement how he wanted his teams to react to situations on the power play as well as the penalty kill. But there was time to work on other concepts, as well.

"We had an opportunity to work on our neutral-zone concepts, attack patterns, little forechecks in smaller areas, 3-on-2 and then a full forecheck, which was a little chaotic at times," he said. "The key was getting our guys lots of reps, in neutral-zone defense, specialty team work. With one hour and that many players, we got a lot done today."

Here is how the lines and pairings looked during the skate Tuesday:

Zach Stepan - Andrew Copp - Thomas Di Pauli

Adam Erne - Boo Nieves - Stefan Matteau

Tyler Motte - J.T. Compher - Hudson Fasching

Nicolas Kerdiles - Daniel O'Regan - Riley Barber

Jake Guentzel - Dominic Toninato - Henrik Samuelsson

Taylor Cammarata - Quentin Shore - Michael McCarron

Brett Pesce - Patrick Sieloff

Steven Santini - Matthew Grzelcyk

Brady Skjei - Michael Brodzinski

Connor Carrick - Will Butcher

Ian McCoshen - Connor Clifton

Jon Gillies

Anthony Stolarz

Thatcher Demko

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp