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2011 World Junior Championship

NHLN-US, TSN to showcase game's future at WJC

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 2:12 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

NHL.com

The future of the NHL will be evident Monday night on NHL Network-U.S. and TSN during the semifinals of the 2011 World Junior Championship. The signature game is USA-Canada at 7:30 p.m. ET, while the puck drops for Russia-Sweden at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The tournament features some of the best under-20 players in the world, and in Monday's two games, there could be 27 first-round Entry Draft picks playing.

Russia will face Sweden. Russia pulled off the comeback of the tournament, led by Washington Capitals 2010 first-round pick Evgeni Kuznetsov. Trailing 3-1 with under 3 minutes to play, Kuznetsov and Los Angeles Kings prospect Maxim Kitsyn scored 2:03 apart to force overtime, and Kuznetsov won it at 6:44 of the extra session.

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Exter enjoying role shaping Campbell, U.S. goalies

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 10:42 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"Every goalie is different but you always have to make sure you work with all of them so that they have a grasp of the same fundamentals. It's your job to help them play to their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses while developing a mentality that can help them have success on a shot-by-shot basis." -- Joe Exter

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. National Junior Team goalie Jack Campbell would be the first to tell you his success didn't happen overnight.
 
He's received some pretty positive reinforcement over the years, particularly from the coaches he worked with at the U.S. National Team Developmental Program.
 
Joe Exter, named the first-ever full-time goalie coach with the NTDP in August 2007, is one such mentor.
 
For the last three years, Exter has been Campbell's go-to man when it comes to everything regarding goaltending. From the confidence he exudes in pressure moments and his rock-solid fundamentals, to the ability to immediately shake off anything that crosses the line behind him.

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No longer soft, Sweden ready for Russia

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 10:27 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The players representing the Swedish National Junior Team carefully were selected.
 
No longer is the Swedish federation solely interested in the having the quickest and most prolific point producers from the country on the roster. However, coach Roger Ronnberg, who has been one of the most outspoken coaches of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, believes he possess the best group of forwards in the tournament.
 
Can you blame him? After all, unbeaten Sweden enters Monday's semifinal-round clash with Russia (3:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) having outscored the opposition, 21-9. The team is gunning for its first WJC gold medal since 1981, when current defenseman Tim Erixon's father, Jan, played for the team.
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Late rally leads Russia past Finland

Sunday, 01.02.2011 / 10:17 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

BUFFALO -- With a stunning display of individual brilliance Sunday night, Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov not only authored one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the World Junior Championships, but willed his desperate country one step closer to a medal in the 2011 edition of the tournament.

With his team left for dead -- trailing by two goals to Finland with 3:41 left in regulation and being stymied by the brilliance of goalie Joni Ortio -- Kuznetsov refused to capitulate, opting instead to fight almost singlehandedly what appeared to almost all to be a losing battle.

Yet, when Kuznetsov finished putting his stamp on the quarterfinal at HBSC Arena, the Russians were victorious, winning 4-3 in overtime -- on Kuznetsov's second goal in a 10-minute and 25-second span -- and celebrating the unlikeliest of all berths in Monday's semifinal against top-seeded Sweden.

"It's like a miracle," said Kuznetsov, property of the Washington Capitals. "Today was like a miracle."

Which, it appears, makes Kuznetsov a miracle worker in this tournament.
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Canada beats Swiss; will face U.S. in semis

Sunday, 01.02.2011 / 6:17 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It wasn't until less than two minutes remained when the chanting began.
 
"We want U.S.A., we want U.S.A.," bellowed those fans of the Canadian National Junior Team. This after Zack Kassian had just sealed a 4-1 victory over Switzerland with an empty-net goal of the quarterfinal-round of the World Junior Championship at HSBC Arena on Sunday.
 
After dropping a disheartening 6-5 shootout decision to Sweden in the final game of preliminary-round action on Friday, Canada showcased plenty of character and a little moxie in rallying to a 4-1 victory over the Swiss to enable the Canadians to advance to Monday's semifinal-round showdown with the United States at HSBC Arena (NHLN-US, 7:30 p.m. ET).
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Team USA catches its breath before WJC semifinals

Saturday, 01.01.2011 / 6:23 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For the first time in three years, the players and coaching staff of the U.S. National Junior Team have earned the right to catch their breath at the World Junior Championship.
 
A two-day break and an automatic berth into the tournament semifinal round were the fruit of some rock-solid defense, timely scoring and the unshakable goaltending of Jack Campbell.
 
The last time the U.S. earned an automatic pass was 2008 in the Czech Republic -- but the Americans lost 4-1 to Canada in the semifinal round and then fell 4-2 to Russia in the bronze medal game.
 
The U.S., the Group A winner, will play the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal-round match between Canada and Switzerland on Monday in the semifinal round at HSBC Arena (NHLN-US, 7:30 p.m. ET). The other semifinal will feature Group B winner Sweden against either Finland or Russia on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
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Canada's loss may mean earlier bout with U.S.

Saturday, 01.01.2011 / 6:10 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. National Junior Team could very well be meeting their rivals from the north a lot sooner than anticipated.
 
And, really, that's exactly how Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg had planned it all along.
 
"I would love to sit in the stands and watch the semifinal between the U.S. and Canada," Ronnberg told NHL.com hours before his team would ultimately take the ice and score a stunning 6-5 shootout decision over Canada on Friday. The victory forced Canada into a quarterfinal-round match with Switzerland on Sunday -- the winner meeting the U.S. on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at HSBC Arena.
 
Following their 2-1 victory over Switzerland on Friday, several U.S. players were asked if a possible semifinal-round showdown with Canada instead of a gold-medal rematch would be disappointing. The U.S. ended Canada's five-year reign as WJC gold medalists last year with a dramatic 6-5 overtime win in Saskatoon.
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Russia, Finland roll into quarters

Saturday, 01.01.2011 / 1:21 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

NHL.com

Russia needed a win in its final preliminary-round game to avoid the ignominy of relegation play, and they got just what they needed Friday.

Eight different players scored goals, and St. Louis Blues 2010 first-round pick Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and 3 assists as Russia routed the Czech Republic on Friday, 8-3.

Washington Capitals prospects Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitri Orlov, as well as Daniil Sobchenko, had a goal and 2 assists each.
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Team USA edges Switzerland 2-1 to make WJC semis

Friday, 12.31.2010 / 11:05 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. National Junior Team got all the motivation it would need to play with some conviction after watching their neighbors and rivals from the north suffer their first loss of the World Junior Championship just hours earlier.
 
Mitch Callahan's first goal of the tournament 13:53 into the second period proved to be the difference on Friday night as the U.S. beat Switzerland 2-1 in the final preliminary-round game in Group A at HSBC Arena. The victory enabled the U.S. to earn an automatic bye into the semifinal round of the playoffs on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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Sweden has had Canada game circled for a while

Friday, 12.31.2010 / 12:18 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO -- Sweden coach Roger Ronnberg isn't looking for any moral victories in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
 
He expects victory and he and his players want to celebrate gold for the first time since 1981. Ronnberg knows a bye into the semifinal round of this year's tournament would help in reaching that goal, but in order for that to happen, his club will have to pull off a pretty significant upset Friday against Canada at HSBC Arena (4 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).
 
"We've been waiting for the whole season for this moment," Ronnberg told NHL.com. "To come out here, listen to those (Canadian) fans in the first (period) and then in the third, listen to the silence."
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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness