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2013 World Junior Championship

If available, Matteau eager for chance at WJC roster

Thursday, 08.08.2013 / 2:30 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Not too many players had the kind of season in 2012-13 that Stefan Matteau had. It had lots of highs and lots of lows, and the ride certainly was an interesting one.

"I think it was just a roller coaster all around for my emotions, and my family and myself," Matteau told NHL.com. "I was all over the place."

Matteau's season actually started in June at the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, when the New Jersey Devils chose him with the 29th pick.

After a summer of training -- which included a trip to Lake Placid to take part in the national junior evaluation camp -- Matteau opted to sign on with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

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U.S. coach Housley praises character of team

Saturday, 01.05.2013 / 3:26 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

United States National Junior Team coach Phil Housley admitted he didn't have to say much in his pregame speech to his players prior to the puck drop against Sweden in Saturday's gold medal match of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

His team knew what was at stake and realized what needed to be done in order to deliver the country's third WJC title in 10 years.

"There wasn't a lot of buildup before the game … we knew what it was all about," U.S. forward Alex Galchenyuk told NHL.com. "It's the biggest game of your career so far. It's an unbelievable feeling."

The Americans carried that emotion into their game against Sweden, delivering the knockout blow in the second period when Rocco Grimaldi struck for his only two goals of the tournament on the way to a 3-1 win. Vince Trocheck would seal the deal with 16.7 seconds left on an empty-net goal.

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Defensemen set gold standard for United States

Saturday, 01.05.2013 / 2:48 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Going back to the summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., U.S. coach Phil Housley knew a key to his team's success would be the offensive contributions from his defensemen.

"Personally, I think one of our strengths is our back side," Housley told NHL.com in August. "We have a lot of puck-moving defensemen that can skate and have a good head on their shoulders. … I want our defense to jump up in the play, I want that second wave coming in and hopefully beating the [opposing] forward up the ice and creating an odd-number situation."

Housley -- who certainly knows all about offensively talented defensemen -- was proven right by his seven-man unit over the course of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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Group effort helps U.S. defeat Sweden, win WJC gold

Saturday, 01.05.2013 / 1:32 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

"Guys fought hard all game … blocking shots and doing whatever it took to win. We played to our strengths. When you get right down to it, we did what we had to do to win." -- U.S. captain Jake McCabe

It seemed appropriate every player on the United States National Junior Team roster had an opportunity to touch the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship trophy at center ice in the wake of the 3-1 victory against Sweden in the gold-medal game on Saturday in Ufa, Russia.

After all, each player made a contribution in helping the United States close out the event in dominant fashion with a four-victory kick that began with a preliminary-round win against Slovakia that was necessary just to gain entrance to the medal round.

It continued against the Czech Republic, Canada and finally Sweden. The Americans outscored the opposition, 24-5, during their final four matches.

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Starman: USA finds perfect formula to mine WJC gold

Saturday, 01.05.2013 / 12:53 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Dave Starman - Special to NHL.com

For the first time in this World Junior Championship, the United State came from behind to win a game and, in the process, won the gold medal with a 3-1 victory against Sweden on Saturday. For USA Hockey, it is the third gold medal in this event since 2004. The Americans have won three straight gold-medal games -- two against Canada (2004, 2010) and this one against Sweden. They beat Sweden in the 2011 bronze-medal game in Buffalo and in the semifinal game to advance to the gold-medal game in 2010 in Saskatoon. Doesn't it seem like yesterday when Bill Baker scored for Team USA in Lake Placid against Pelle Lindbergh to tie the Swedes and set "The Miracle On Ice" in motion?

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 last one. What he liked was the consistency of the American effort in all seven games they played. Their commitment to play away from the puck and the goaltending of John Gibson were the difference in his mind.

What happened: The United States won.

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Nichushkin's OT goal ends Canada's WJC medal run

Saturday, 01.05.2013 / 7:59 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It wasn't the medal it wanted, but Russia gave the home fans something to celebrate with a thrilling 6-5 overtime win against Canada on Saturday in the bronze-medal game of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Valeri Nichushkin scored 1:35 into overtime as Russia won the bronze medal for the first time since 2009.

The loss snapped Canada's streak of 14 straight years with a World Junior medal. The previous time Canada failed to take home WJC hardware was 1998, when it finished eighth.

"I'm obviously disappointed," Ryan Nugent-Hopkins told TSN. "All the guys in the room are. We battled hard, but obviously fourth is not something that Canada does."

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USA, Sweden set to battle for gold at WJC

Friday, 01.04.2013 / 10:42 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Nothing has come easy for the United States and Sweden along the path to glory at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

But perhaps the ultimate destination would not have become reality if simplicity reigned. As it stands, hard work and lessons learned have brought the teams together for the gold-medal game of the WJC for the first time in tournament history.

The countries will face off Saturday at 8 a.m. ET in Ufa Arena (NHLN-US, TSN). Sweden, the defending gold medalist, will look to become the first team since Canada (2005-2009) to win back-to-back gold medals.

The United States, meanwhile, is gunning for its second WJC championship in four years -- the Americans won the 2010 tournament with a 6-5 overtime win against Canada in Saskatoon.

Russia and Canada will play in the bronze-medal game Saturday (4 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN).

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Defending champion Sweden tops Russia in shootout

Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 12:06 PM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Swedish National Junior Team earned a return trip to the gold medal game of the World Junior Championship on Thursday following a dramatic 3-2 shootout decision over Russia in Ufa, Russia.

Sebastian Collberg, a second-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens last June, scored in the third round of a shootout and Niklas Lundstrom made the final save against Nikita Kucherov to seal the deal for Sweden, which scored a dramatic 1-0 overtime victory over Russia in last year's gold-medal match to end 30 years of championship futility.

"It was tough game and I'm happy we managed to beat them and send them out of the tournament," Swedish captain Filip Forsberg told TSN.

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Momentum trumping rest for resurgent Americans

Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 11:32 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

In a short tournament like the World Junior Championship, the common thought is every bit of rest is vital.

However, the United States showed Thursday that momentum trumps rest, beating Canada 5-1 in the semifinals while playing its sixth game in eight days.

The victory puts the United States in the gold-medal game Saturday (8 a.m. ET, NHLN-US, TSN) against the winner of the Russia-Sweden semifinal.

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Starman: Fast start delivers Americans shot at gold

Thursday, 01.03.2013 / 10:00 AM / 2013 World Junior Championship

Dave Starman - Special to NHL.com

The United States started early Thursday and never looked back as it crushed Canada, 5-1, to advance to the gold-medal game Saturday (8 a.m. ET, NHL.com, NHLN-US). John Gaudreau, a late cut from the 2012 team, was a huge factor in this game, and John Gibson continued to make the saves he needed to at the right time. The Americans now play for gold, having won it last in 201 in Saskatoon.

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 "go-for-the-jugular attitude" the Americans showed.

What Happened: For Canada, not much. When this game turned was early. The Americans scored first, which is huge for the team playing back-to-back nights. Then, with the first-period domination still to be determined at 1-0, Canada had a great five minutes and got nothing as goalie John Gibson closed the door. It allowed the Americans to regain the momentum they were building, and from then on they had the confidence, jam and passion to dominate the game.

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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential