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Three-goal second leads Canada past Russia

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 2:42 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Sean Monahan, Scott Harrington and Dougie Hamilton each scored goals in the second period and the Canadian National Junior Team held on for a 3-2 victory over Team Russia in the opening game of the Canada-Russia Challenge on Thursday at Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl, Russia.

The host country will look to even the scheduled four-game series on Friday at Arena 2000 at 10 a.m. ET., before both teams resume play in Halifax, N.S., on Monday and Tuesday.

Nail Yakupov, the first pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2012 NHL Draft, had pulled Russia within 3-2 with his team on a two-man advantage with six minutes remaining in the third off a feed from Artyom Sergeyev. Canadian starter Malcolm Subban (Boston Bruins) came up big down the stretch to pick up the victory between the pipes.

Seth Jones returns to camp bigger, more mature

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 11:32 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Seth Jones arrived in Lake Placid, N.Y., for the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp a year ago as a talented 16-year-old defenseman who was looking to make a name for himself as a candidate for future national teams.

One year after an eye-opening performance, Jones returned to Lake Placid not only as a near-lock to play for Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship, but as the potential No. 1 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Physically matured at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Jones has performed at this week's camp like the dominant presence who wowed the USA Hockey staff last year -- but now he's a year bigger, stronger and more experienced.

U.S. wins opener in Five Nations Tournament

Thursday, 08.09.2012 / 10:04 AM / Prospects

Austin Poganski and Kyle Connor scored two goals apiece and Chris Birdsall made 15 saves to lead the U.S. Under-17 Select Team to a 6-2 victory over Germany in preliminary-round action of the 2012 U17 Five Nations Tournament on Wednesday in Chomutov, Czech Republic.

Poganski, who was named U.S. player of the game, scored twice in a span of 55 seconds in the second period to give the United States a 4-1 advantage. Poganski, a native of St. Cloud, Minn., will be a junior at St. Cloud Cathedral High School in Minnesota this season.

"We wanted to come out strong and make sure we got pressure on their defense," said U.S. coach Barry Smith. "I was very happy with our performance tonight. It was a good first game and we'll look ahead to the next one."

Sharks prospect Kuraly starring at USA camp

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 8:29 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It took a while, but Sean Kuraly finally figured out how to get the three components of his game all heading in the same direction at the same time.

Once that happened, he developed into a hard-working offensive talent, and he's had that talent on display during this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Kuraly, a 2011 fifth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks, scored a nifty goal in the second period that put the United States ahead for good in its 5-2 win against Finland on Wednesday at Herb Brooks Arena.

Stefan Noesen had a goal and an assist, and Stefan Matteau, John Gaudreau and Nicolas Kerdiles each had a goal for the U.S. team. John Gibson and Garret Sparks combined in goal for the win.

Miro Aaltonen scored both goals for Finland, which was playing for the third straight day.

Canadian, Russian juniors pay tribute to Lokomotiv

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 1:19 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

While members of the Canadian National Junior Team have had plenty to think about prior to their meeting with Russia in the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge, the sport of hockey was put on hold Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the series opener.

Yaroslavl, the host Russian city for the Challenge series, lost its entire KHL team in a tragic plane crash 11 months ago. The Sept. 7 crash of the Yak-42 plane near Yaroslavl in central Russia killed 36 players, coaches and staff of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. The only player who survived the crash later died of burns. A flight engineer was the sole survivor.

On Wednesday, Canadian and Russian national team players and coaches took part in a memorial ceremony for those victims, lining up in front of the newly built hockey arena, Neftestroy, where locals have been placing flowers ever since the accident. Huge banners were displayed with photos of players and staff that perished in the accident.

Canada's Ryan Murphy hopes third time is charm

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 1:10 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Ryan Murphy finished fifth among OHL defensemen in playoff scoring last season. (Photo: OHL Images)

There's no denying the fact coach Steve Spott is going to have a few sleepless nights as he begins to familiarize himself with the Canadian National Junior Team roster competing in the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge this month.

Defenseman Ryan Murphy is one player who won't require much evaluation, however.

Spott has coached Murphy the past three seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. This year marks the third time Murphy finds himself in a position to represent his country at the World Junior Championship -- he was released prior to the final roster selection the previous two years.

Junior challenge commemorates Summit anniversary

Wednesday, 08.08.2012 / 1:03 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

There's no better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series than to have two familiar hockey powers collide in the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge, beginning Thursday in Yaroslavl, Russia.

The Canada-Russia Challenge will feature Canada and Russia's national junior programs meeting two times in Russia (Thursday and Friday) and twice more in Halifax, N.S., on Aug. 13-14. The event replaces Canada's national junior team summer development camp and will feature players from both sides who could be participating in the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

"I fully expect a Game 7-type of atmosphere," Team Canada coach Steve Spott told "Anytime you get these two countries together, especially when you consider the fact Russia beat Canada last year in Calgary and the year before in Buffalo [at the WJC], I think that there will be some motivation once the boys hit the ice for warmups."

Housley welcomes U.S. roster full of fresh talent

Friday, 08.03.2012 / 10:22 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Phil Housley looks at the roster he'll be overseeing at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation camp and sees a copious amount of talent.

As coach of the team USA Hockey will send to Russia for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, it's Housley's job to mold that talent into a team capable of winning a medal for the third time in the last four years and making up for last year's seventh-place finish at the world's elite under-20 hockey tournament.

Trouba happy to have Merrill as teammate again

Friday, 08.03.2012 / 9:12 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The news that New Jersey Devils top prospect Jonathon Merrill would return to the University of Michigan for his junior season this fall wasn't too surprising.

After all, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman has some unfinished business to attend to after sitting out 22 games of the 2011-12 campaign due to a suspension.

During Devils development camp last month, Merrill told the media that he was "committed to school right now." It was rumored that Merrill, New Jersey's second-round pick in the 2010 draft, might turn pro.

Players announced for All-American Prospects Game

Wednesday, 08.01.2012 / 2:21 PM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

USA Hockey on Wednesday announced the players scheduled to participate in the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 29 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

Among the 40 invitees are defenseman Seth Jones and forward Ryan Hartman, who were each invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., next week. The players selected to compete in the game were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting.

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