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2012 World Junior Championship

Top 2012 draft prospect Maatta to sign with Knights

Tuesday, 08.09.2011 / 11:35 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Olli Maatta, a Finnish defenseman taken by the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League with the first pick of the 2011 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, told on Tuesday that he intends to sign with London and play in the OHL this season.

Maatta, who won't turn 17 until Aug. 22, is expected to be a first-round choice in the 2012 Entry Draft. He currently is in Lake Placid as part of Finland's national junior evaluation camp, competing for a spot on the country's roster for the 2012 world junior championship.

"I'll play in London next year," Maatta told "One of the reasons was that I want to play in Canada. It's a little different game in Canada because the rink is a little smaller and I like that. And ice hockey … everybody in Canada loves ice hockey, there's 9,000 people watching games."

Campbell, Zucker among vets who survive first cut

Tuesday, 08.09.2011 / 11:09 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"Jack Campbell has proven himself to be the go-to guy. Whether the other goaltenders can improve to the point they can challenge him … certainly I think Jack is in a category of his own right now." -- Coach Dean Blais

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- The quest by Jack Campbell and Jason Zucker to become the winningest players in U.S. junior hockey history will continue, as both were among the 29 players to survive the first round of cuts at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Campbell and Zucker, who gold medals at the 2010 World Junior Championship in Saskatoon and bronze medals last year in Buffalo, will likely have a chance to compete for a third straight medal at the 2012 WJC, which will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Calgary and Edmonton.

Panthers prospects shine at U.S. camp

Monday, 08.08.2011 / 9:31 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- In his two years as general manager of the Florida Panthers, Dale Tallon has accumulated draft picks and stockpiled talent, and a good portion of that talent was on full display Monday at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp here at the Olympic Center.

In the first international exhibition games, USA Blue topped Sweden 4-3 in overtime, while USA White beat Finland 5-3 just hours later.

The games were different, but had one common feature -- one of Tallon's future Panthers scored the winning goal.

In the early game, Vincent Trocheck, a 2011 third-round pick (No. 64), beat Sweden goalie Jonas Gustafsson with 1:02 left in the extra session. In the second game Rocco Grimaldi, a 2011 second-round pick (No. 33), scored with 3:10 left in the second period to break a 3-3 tie.

Canada, U.S. drop first matches at Hlinka Memorial

Monday, 08.08.2011 / 3:57 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"The most important aspect for us is that we've got to learn to stay out of the penalty box.We talked coming into this tournament about the ways the referees were going to call the game and I think our players got frustrated."
-- Canada head coach Steve Spott

The opening day of preliminary-round action in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, the first major under-18 men's hockey event to begin the 2011-12 international season, didn't start off too promising on Monday for Canada or the United States.
In Breclav, Czech Republic, Team Sweden scored three power-play goals, including two in the second period, en route to a decisive 5-1 victory over Canada at Alcaplast Arena in Group B of the tournament.
In Group A, the U.S. men's under-18 team yielded five unanswered goals on the way to a 6-3 loss to Finland at Zimny Stadium in Piestany, Slovakia.

Nugent-Hopkins stars in debut in Edmonton

Saturday, 08.06.2011 / 11:57 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- The first full-contact exhibition match of the Canadian National Junior Team development camp was certainly not for the faint of heart.

Then again, the fans who showed up at Rexall Place certainly got when they came for on Saturday when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the first overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers in June, scored a pair of goals in a span of 3:08 late in the third period to give Team White a thrilling 5-4 victory over Team Red.

Those Oilers' fans chanting "Nugent-Hopkins" in the end are hoping it is a sign of things to come. Nugent-Hopkins struck on a spinorama move in the slot at 16:32 to tie the game before sealing the deal on a rip from the right hash mark at with 20 seconds remaining in the contest.

Lineups for Canadian camp Red-White exhibition

Saturday, 08.06.2011 / 8:32 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

The lineup cards have been filled out and set for the start of Saturday's exhibition contest here at Rexall Place pitting Team Red against Team White on the fourth day of Team Canada's national junior team development camp.

Those fans filing into the arena have visions of seeing Edmonton's first-overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of Team White work some of his magic. It won't be easy, however, since Team White struggled against Teaem Red in Thursday's scrimmage, losing all three 20-minute periods and subsequent shootout.

Siemens apologizes to Connolly; both look ahead

Saturday, 08.06.2011 / 4:26 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Duncan Siemens never intended to hurt Brett Connolly when the two players skated into the left wing corner during the third period of a scrimmage on Thursday at the Canadian National Junior Team development camp.

When the players engaged in contact, Siemens' stick got caught between Connolly's skates and the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect fell hard into the end boards. Following a brief delay, Connolly was helped off the ice, in obvious pain, by two people.

After taking Friday off to rest the knee, Connolly was back on the ice Saturday morning, obviously gearing up for the big Red vs. White scrimmage scheduled for 9 p.m. (ET) at Rexall Place.

Murray, Ceci hope to defy youth, earn WJC spot

Saturday, 08.06.2011 / 10:26 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Just because defensemen Ryan Murray and Cody Ceci happen to be the two youngest players attending the Canadian National Junior Team development camp this week doesn't mean their chances of making the big club are slim.
Murray barely missed out last year when he was among the final nine players cut after World Junior Championship selection camp in Toronto. Ceci, meanwhile, has been working his way up the ladder and was a deserving invite to the camp that features 47 of the top prospects in Canada.
What sets Murray and Ceci apart from the other 45 other prospects here, however, is the their youth -- they are entering their draft year in 2012 and that's exciting in itself.

Yanakeff replaces injured Carruth at U.S. camp

Friday, 08.05.2011 / 12:17 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

USA Hockey announced Friday that Michigan State goaltender Will Yanakeff will join 42 other players at the national junior evaluation camp, which begins Saturday in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Yanakeff will replace Mac Carruth, who will be unable to participate due to injury.

As a freshman at Michigan State last season, Yanakeff went 6-5-1 with two shutouts in 14 games. He finished eighth in the NCAA with a 2.11 goals-against average and fifth with a .927 save percentage.

After going unselected in June's draft, he remains eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft.

Visentin has put low of gold medal game in past

Friday, 08.05.2011 / 10:38 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- As one of seven returning players from the silver medal-winning Canadian National Junior Team at the World Junior Championship last January, goalie Mark Visentin is high on the priority list of media members covering development camp this week.
But in addition to having the most experience of the four goalies invited to camp, Visentin constantly is reminded of the final 20 minutes of the gold-medal game, when his team gave away a three-goal lead against Russia. To some, it was considered the worst defeat in the illustrious international history of Team Canada.
Trailing 3-0 at the second intermission, Russia stormed back for three unanswered goals against Visentin in the opening 7:29 of the third period to pull even. Riding a wave of momentum that just couldn't be stopped, Russia scored twice more in the closing five minutes of the game en route to a stunning 5-3 victory.
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