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Who and what to watch in Canada-U.S. world junior hockey semifinal

Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 12:44 PM The Canadian Press

UFA, Russia - A quick look at Canada's semifinal game against the United States on Thursday at the world junior men's hockey championship:

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Canada

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Canada's captain is the best playmaker in the tournament.

Malcolm Subban — Looked shaky early on, but the Belleville Bulls goaltender stepped up his game for the medal round.

Ryan Strome — If the U.S. contains the Nugent-Hopkins line, the second-line centre will need to score.

United States

Jacob TroubaWinnipeg Jets prospect generates a lot of offence from the U.S. back end.

John Gibson — Canada may have a book on the U.S. goalie because he plays for coach Steve Spott, but he gave up only two goals on 37 shots in their round-robin game.

Seth Jones — Top NHL draft prospect difficult to beat with his range and long reach.

KEYS TO THE GAME

United States — Get another game out of Gibson like they did in their 2-1 loss to Canada in pool play. Use speed through the neutral zone to pressure Canada's defence.

Canada — Get game legs back immediately. Canada will have all 13 forwards for this game which should make for more even-strength scoring chances.

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