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2013 World Junior Championship

U.S. tops Canada, advances to gold-medal game

Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 9:34 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The United States used an early offensive explosion and outstanding play from goalie John Gibson to defeat Canada 5-1 in the semifinals at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jake McCabe had two goals and an assist and John Gaudreau had a pair of goals as the Americans advanced to Saturday's gold-medal game (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN). They'll face the winner of the second semifinal, between Russia and Sweden.

The United States has won the gold medal just twice in WJC history, in 2004 and 2010.

"The guys played very, very hard," American coach Phil Housley told NHL.com. "I'm really proud of them. We got the start we needed. I thought we set the pace there early, getting pucks deep and we got that all-important first goal. The second period we capitalized on some early opportunities and Johnny Gibson made some big momentum saves for us. We really got settled in at that point."

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United States ready for rematch with Canada

Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 2:00 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"I don't think we need to change much against Canada [on Thursday]. We just need more bodies in front of [goaltender Malcolm] Subban. We might not have gotten as much traffic as we really wanted to in the first game, and he saw a lot more pucks than we wanted him to see." -- U.S. defenseman Seth Jones

The United States gets a shot at redemption Thursday when it plays Canada in the semifinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

The anticipated matchup pitting the North American rivals is scheduled for 4 a.m. ET at Ufa Arena (NHLN-US, TSN). The survivor will meet the winner of the other semifinal later in the day featuring defending gold medalist Sweden and Russia. The Russians will be looking to avenge a 1-0 overtime loss to Sweden in the 2012 WJC final.

The gold-medal game will be held Saturday at 8 a.m. ET (NHLN-US, TSN).

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Russians rally, reach semis with SO win vs. Swiss

Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 1:08 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Russian National Junior Team and their fans breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday when Nikita Kucherov scored in the fifth round of a shootout and Andrei Vasilevskiy made one final glove save to give the host country a 4-3 victory against Switzerland in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

The victory sends Russia into the semifinals of the medal round against defending gold medalist Sweden on Thursday at 8 a.m. ET (NHLN-US). Switzerland will face the Czech Republic -- 7-0 losers to the United States earlier Wednesday -- in the fifth-place game on Friday at 8 a.m. ET.

"Our team had a lot of scoring chances, and we took a lot of penalties," Russian coach Mikhail Varnakov told the IIHF website. Russia was whistled for eight minor penalties in the game.

Vasilevskiy, who stopped Switzerland's Alessio Bertaggia with a left glove save to end the game, finished with 41 saves. Swiss goalie Melvin Nyffeler turned away 33 shots. The loss marked Switzerland's fourth straight in extra time, including two via shootout, at the tournament.

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Starman: USA hitting stride just in time for semis

Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 10:22 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Dave Starman - Special to NHL.com

The United States did its part to ensure a rematch with Canada in the World Junior Championship semifinals with a 7-0 pounding of an overmatched Czech Republic squad. The Americans will play their fourth game in five nights when they play Canada on Thursday (4 a.m. ET, NHL.com, NHLN-USA, TSN). The winner plays for gold on Saturday, while the loser play for bronze. That schedule is reminiscent of the old best-of-five the NHL used to play in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 1980's.

NHL Network Analyst Dave Starman, who was the game analyst for the past four WJC's for NHL Network watched the game and takes a look at this one. What he liked was the consistency in the American game and the way they took over the game and never looked back.

What happened: For the Czech Republic, it killed itself early and the Americans were more than happy to make the Czechs pay for it. The American power play was the story of the game. The 5-on-3 goal to open the scoring was off a deflected pass, the second goal by Gaudreau was a good play by him to regain his position on the back door after chasing a loose puck. Not works of art but power-play goals. The key was to score power-play goals when given the chance and not let the Czechs hang around. Mission accomplished. While the Czechs were not a great team, the United States saw a chance to go for the jugular and did so. You have to love that.

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Offensive outburst carries USA into WJC semifinals

Wednesday, 01.02.2013 / 9:20 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"We'll enjoy this victory [over the Czech Republic] a little bit, but know Canada is a very good hockey team. They're undefeated in this tournament for a reason, and we'll have our hands full but our guys will be ready." -- U.S. coach Phil Housley

The United States National Junior Team continued its offensive assault on the competition for the second straight game Wednesday on the way to a 7-0 victory against the Czech Republic in quarterfinal-round action of the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

The win enabled the United States to advance into the semifinal round against rival Canada on Thursday at Ufa Arena at 4 a.m. ET (NHL.com, NHLN-US, TSN). Canada, which beat the Americans 2-1 in preliminary round action, won Group B to earn a bye into the semifinals of the medal round.

In victories against Slovakia on Monday and the Czech Republic on Wednesday, the United States has totaled 16 goals.

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Starman: Discipline, forecheck winning formula for U.S.

Tuesday, 01.01.2013 / 1:30 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Dave Starman - Special to NHL.com

The United States faces a tough test Wednesday against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the 2013 World Junior Championship.

The Czechs have some quality wins and have played well. Traditionally, the Czechs have been a tough out and should be so again Wednesday (4 a.m. ET, NHL.com, NHLN-US).

The United States has some issues that have to be dealt with, if only from a numbers perspective. Against the two lesser teams in its pool, the Germans (who were awful in the opening game) and the Slovaks (who were surprisingly uncompetitive after playing other teams tough) the Americans have scored in bunches, winning 8-0 and 9-3. Against the two top teams in the pool -- Canada and Russia -- the Americans managed just two goals total in a pair of 2-1 losses.

I mentioned that to an NHL scout who is in Ufa, Russia and asked for an interpretation.

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Swedes, Canadians hoping extra rest equals success

Tuesday, 01.01.2013 / 12:10 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

A year ago, Sweden won its group at the World Junior Championship and used the resulting pass into the semifinal round as the foundation for the nation's first WJC gold medal in 31 years.

Will history repeat itself?

Sweden defeated arch rival Finland, 7-4, on Monday to win out in the preliminary round and earn first place in Group A at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Now, it is off until the semifinal round on Thursday, when the Swedes will play the winner of the quarterfinal game on Wednesday between Russia and Switzerland (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US).

On the other side of the bracket, Canada finished atop Group B after its 4-1 win against Russia on Monday. Canada gets an extra day of rest and will face the winner of the quarterfinal Wednesday between the United States and the Czech Republic.

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Drouin's brilliance sees Canada into WJC semis

Monday, 12.31.2012 / 2:15 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Canada coach Steve Spott didn't need long to know Jonathan Drouin would be a big part of the team he was assembling for the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

With his full complement of forwards for the first time in his team's preliminary round finale Monday against Russia, Spott promoted Drouin to the top line and the 2013 NHL Draft prospect continued to perform at a high level.

Drouin scored a back-breaking goal as Canada topped Russia 4-1 to clinch the top spot in Group B and earn a bye into the tournament semifinals on Thursday. They'll face the winner of the quarterfinal match between the United States and the Czech Republic, which will be played Wednesday.

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Sweden bests rival Finland to top Group A

Monday, 12.31.2012 / 12:50 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sweden clinched the top spot in Group A and a bye into the semifinals with a 7-4 victory against Finland on the final day of preliminary-round play at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Viktor Arvidsson scored twice and added an assist and Alexander Wennberg had a goal and an assist. Sweden, the defending gold medalists, next will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between Russia and Switzerland in the semifinals on Thursday.

"Right now, we haven't won anything," Sweden captain Filip Forsberg told IIHF.com. "We're just going to go out in the semis and hunt for the final spot. It's no big deal to calm our guys down."

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Americans advance, Canadiens clinch bye in WJC

Monday, 12.31.2012 / 11:28 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

NHL.com

The United States qualified for the medal round and Canada earned a bye into the semifinals Monday on the final day of the preliminary round at the IIHF 2013 World Junior Championship.

A much-needed offensive explosion helped the Americans defeat Slovakia 9-3 and finish third in Group B. They will face the Czech Republic, which finished second in Group A, in a quarterfinal Wednesday. Should the United States defeat the Czechs, who grabbed the second spot in their group with an overtime win Monday against Switzerland, the Americans would have a rematch with Canada in the semifinals.

The Canadians defeated their rivals from Russia in the last game of the day Monday to finish a perfect 4-0-0 in group play and claim the top spot in Group B. They will have two days off before facing the winner of the United States-Czech Republic contest on Thursday.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic