After dealing with a pretty adverse situation in their World Junior Championship opener against Finland -- needing an overtime goal to earn the victory -- the U.S. National Junior Team will now be forced to operate two men short for the foreseeable future.
U.S. coach Keith Allain confirmed on Tuesday following his team's practice at HSBC Arena that forward Jeremy Morin
and Brock Nelson
would be sidelined for the game against Slovakia tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
Both players, who have missed the last two practices, are reportedly sidelined with upper-body injuries and are listed day-to-day. There is no timetable for their return.
"We'll just have to play with the guys we have and push onward," Allain said. "Slovakia has great speed and tremendous one-on-one skill. From what we've seen, they've been pretty aggressive in the neutral zone and they have gotten good goaltending. We're still building our team game."
The U.S. will certainly have their hands full with Slovakian goalie Dominik Riecicky, who made 47 saves in a 2-1 overtime victory over Germany on Monday night.
"I didn't come to watch and didn't see too much of (Riecicky) but we'll throw a lot of pucks on net and see what happens," U.S. defenseman Justin Faulk
said. "We have our systems and we'll just have to make sure we compete every game."