U.S. junior coach ready for 'great test' against Finland

Thursday, 08.07.2014 / 10:25 AM | Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- United States national junior team coach Mark Osiecki said he's hoping his team plays the same strong, 200-foot game against Finland on Thursday that it featured in a 7-1 defeat of Sweden on Wednesday.

"We have to stick to what we can do, stick to our game plan, so to speak," Osiecki said after a U.S. practice that saw 11 players on the ice. "It's really not putting a lot in there and throwing a lot at them. But if you get away from what we're trying to do Finland will take advantage of it. It'll be a great test."

In goal for that test will be New York Rangers prospect Brandon Halverson. In parts of three games earlier in the camp he allowed four goals on 34 shots, but stopped all eight shots he faced in 30:29 of ice time for the USA Blue split squad against Finland on Sunday.

"He's played well," Osiecki said. "He's played solid. ... For us it's how has he competed, and it looks like he's competed hard on pucks, he's been positive with the players in practice, competing hard, challenging. And he plays the puck well as well."

Also playing Thursday after sitting out Wednesday are forwards Kyle Connor, a 2015 NHL Draft prospect, and Anders Bjork (Boston Bruins), along with defenseman Anthony Florentino (Buffalo Sabres), who will be the seventh defenseman. Defenseman Brandon Carlo, a 2015 draft prospect, will move into the regular rotation after being the seventh man Wednesday and not seeing any ice time.

Here is the lineup the United States will use against Finland:

Tyler Motte - Jack Eichel - Alex Tuch

Kyle Connor - Auston Matthews - John Hayden

Anthony Louis - Chase De Leo - Anders Bjork

Sonny Milano - Dylan Larkin - Hudson Fasching

Will Butcher - Ryan Collins

Michael Downing - Steven Santini

Brandon Carlo - Jack Dougherty

Anthony Florentino

Brandon Halverson

Brendan Burke

Scratched: Nick Schmaltz, J.T. Compher, Dominic Turgeon, Louis Belpedio, Thatcher Demko, Evan Cowley

Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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