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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

U.S. prepares for Germany

Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 9:52 AM

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

The U.S. National Junior Team will look to overtake Finland in preliminary-round competition in Group A on Thursday when it faces Germany for the eighth time since the latter's reunification.

The U.S. holds a 6-0-1 lead in the all-time series -- the last meeting coming two years ago, an 8-2 U.S. victory at the 2009 World Junior Championship in Ottawa. The U.S., incidentally, also owns a 10-0-3 record against West Germany.

While the U.S. will have wing Jerry D'Amigo in the lineup, it remains to be seen whether or not Brock Nelson, Jeremy Morin and Jason Zucker are healthy enough to give it a go.

"Regardless who's in the lineup, regardless of who's in the lineup or not, everyone has the same goals in mind," U.S. center Drew Shore told NHL.com. "That's what we're focused on. Hopefully, we get those guys back as soon as they're ready to go."

The U.S. has featured a balanced scoring attack in the tournament as 13 different players have notched a point. Defenseman Brian Dumoulin leads the team with a plus-3 rating and forwards Kyle Palmieri and Nick Bjugstad share the team lead with nine shots apiece.

U.S. goalie Jack Campbell has certainly picked up where he left off last year, notching two wins, a 1.46 goals-against average and .942 save percentage thus far. It's possible U.S. coach Keith Allain will have Campbell suit up against Germany and backup Andy Iles against Switzerland, as the games occur on back-to-back nights.

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said after their 4-3 OT win vs. Pittsburgh in Game 2, the franchise's first ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory