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2011 World Junior Championship

Merrill a rock on defense for Team USA

Friday, 12.31.2010 / 12:43 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Defenseman Jonathan Merrill isn't the most outspoken individual -- he prefers to do most of his talking on the ice. U.S. National Junior Team head coach Keith Allain has taken notice during the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
"Jon has been a rock for us," Allain said. "I think he's really played better each game we've had him … through our exhibition schedule series and now two games into the tournament. Quietly, he's a leader by his presence, so we're really pleased with what he's done so far."
When pressed to provide any insight into Merrill's demeanor within the locker room or around the coach, Allain shook his head and laughed.

"I'm sorry, I have no little Merrill stories," he said.

U.S. beats Germany 4-0 to stay unbeaten at WJC

Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 11:50 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. National Junior Team played like world beaters Thursday in moving one win closer to earning a bye into the semifinal round of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The defending gold medalists scored a pair of power-play goals and played airtight defense on the way to a 4-0 victory against Germany in preliminary-round action at HSBC Arena.

A victory against Switzerland on Friday (8 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) will assure the U.S. first place in Group A and a spot in the tournament semifinals.

The U.S. opened a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals 48 seconds apart by Charlie Coyle and Jerry D'Amigo to compromise Germany's defense-reliant game plan. U.S. goalies Jack Campbell and Andy Iles combined on a 14-save shutout.

Sweden ready for New Year's clash with Canada

Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 11:11 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship


Sweden stayed on pace for a New Year's Eve showdown with Canada for first place in Group B with a 6-3 defeat of the Czech Republic on Thursday in a game played at Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University.

Jesper Fasth scored twice and Calle Jarnkrok had a goal and 2 assists. Johan Larsson, Sebastian Wannstrom and Max Friberg also scored for Sweden.

Martin Frk scored twice for Czech Republic, Michal Hlinka had a goal and team captain Jakub Jerabek had a pair of assists.

After his thievery, Schenn knows he owes Howden

Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 11:20 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- As he stood before a throng of reporters to answer questions about becoming only the third Canadian player to score 4 goals in a World Junior Championship game, Brayden Schenn felt it also was the right time to offer an apology.

It was the least he could do following the theft he committed late in the game against Norway on Wednesday, an eventual 10-1 triumph at HSBC Arena.

Already having tucked away 3 goals, Schenn needed one more in the third period to equal former Canada greats Mario Lemieux (1983 vs. Norway) and Simon Gagne (1999 vs. Kazakhstan) for most goals in a WJC game. The moment of truth arrived with 3:25 on the clock when Tyson Barrie's shot from the right circle caromed out to the opposite side, where all Quinton Howden needed to do was make contact to place his first of the tournament into an open net.

Ellis, Schenn help Canada cruise past Norway

Thursday, 12.30.2010 / 12:01 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It was a record-breaking performance for the Canadian National Junior Team on Wednesday at HSBC Arena.
While captain Ryan Ellis was establishing a new scoring standard for defensemen, teammate Brayden Schenn was equaling a mark shared by fellow Canadian greats Mario Lemieux and Simon Gagne when he erupted for four goals as Team Canada cruised to a 10-1 victory over Norway in preliminary-round play at HSBC Arena.
Ellis produced three assists to move into first place on the all-time scoring list for defensemen with 23 points (4 goals, 19 assists) in just 15 WJC games -- eclipsing Finland's Reijo Ruotsalainen (9 goals, 21 points in 24 games, 1977-80).
"It's a pretty awesome accomplishment," Ellis said. "That's something to enjoy afterwards, but it's really cool."

Finland tops Germany to clinch spot in medal round

Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 10:35 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship


Finland continued its strong play at the 2011 World Junior Championship, clinching a spot in the medal round with a 5-1 defeat of Germany in Pool A play Wednesday at HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
Joonas Nattinen scored a goal for the third straight game, and Erik Haula, Joonas Donskoi, Jesse Virtanen and Miikka Salomaki had goals as Finland won its second straight game following its tournament-opening loss to the U.S.
Goalie Joni Ortio stopped 28 of 29 shots in the victory.

Canada's Kassian suspended for 2 games

Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 11:56 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- International Ice Hockey Federation tournament disciplinarian Dan Marouelli has determined the automatic one-game suspensions given to Canada forward Zack Kassian and Slovakian defensemen Peter Hrasko and Martin Marincin for their actions in Tuesday's games was not enough.

Kassian was suspended an extra game for his actions in Canada's game against the Czech Republic, while Hrasko was banned an additional two games and Marincin three for their hits in Slovakia's game against the U.S.
Kassian was ejected from his team's 7-2 victory against the Czech Republic at the 5:53 mark of the second for an illegal shoulder to the chin of defenseman Petr Senkerik. Senkerik was left motionless on the ice for several minutes and had to be removed on a stretcher. Kassian was assessed a match penalty by the on-ice officials, which calls for an automatic one-game suspension.

Palmieri's pair leads USA past Slovakia 6-1

Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 12:24 AM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. National Junior Team forward Kyle Palmieri has been known to have those days when the offense just kicks into high gear.
Against Slovakia in the preliminary round of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship on Tuesday, the 5-foot-10, 178-pound Anaheim Ducks prospect was flying, and his teammates followed his lead.
Palmieri struck for two first-period goals and added an assist to highlight a 57-shot performance as the U.S. scored its second straight victory, beating Slovakia 6-1 in Group A play here at HSBC Arena.

Sweden's Lehner makes 30 stops in shutout of Russia

Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 11:12 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Sweden goalie Robin Lehner knew there would be pressure replacing Jacob Markstrom in goal at the 2011 World Junior Championship. The Ottawa Senators prospect showed Tuesday he was up to the challenge.
Lehner stopped all 30 shots he faced, backstopping Sweden to a 2-0 victory against Russia in preliminary-round action in Group B of the 2011 World Junior Championship, in a game played at Dwyer Arena on the campus of Niagara University.
Anton Lander and Jesper Fasth scored 3:22 apart in the first period as Sweden improved to 2-0 and kept pace with Canada atop Group B standings.

Kassian suspended for Canada's next game at WJC

Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 8:17 PM / 2011 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Canadian National Junior Team will be forced to carry on without the services of power forward Zack Kassian for its next game.
Kassian, whose specialty is providing a physical element for his team, was issued a match penalty and with it, a one-game suspension, for an illegal hit in the second period of Canada's 7-2 victory against Czech Republic in preliminary-round action of the World Junior Championship on Tuesday at HSBC Arena.
Kassian was ejected at 5:53 of the second period for an apparent illegal hit to the chin. He'll sit out Wednesday's game against Norway, per IIHF rules. Tournament disciplinarian Dan Marouelli, will have 24 hours to determine whether supplementary disciplinary action is warranted.
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