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Strome, Keller Reach WJC's Gold Medal Game

Coyotes prospects Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller lead their teams in scoring

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Coyotes prospects Dylan Strome and Clayton Keller will compete in the gold medal game at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship on Thursday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. The game will begin at 6 p.m. Arizona time, and it can be viewed on NHL Network.

Strome is the captain of Team Canada, which advanced to the title game by beating Sweden, 5-2, in a semifinal played on Wednesday. Keller is a first-line winger for Team USA, which beat Russia, 4-3 in a shootout, in Wednesday's other semifinal.

The Americans defeated the Canadians, 3-1, in the preliminary round on Saturday to take first place in Group B. The rematch on Wednesday will be the fourth time in the history of the tournament the countries will play against each other in the final.

"We're exited," Strome told TSN about Thursday's title game. "We're feeling good right now but we know there's a lot of work left to do … We've got one game left but it's going to be a hard one … We're going to have to play our best game of the tournament if we're going to have a chance to win." 

The Americans will enter the game undefeated.

"This is something we've been looking forward to ever since this team was put together," Keller told reporters. "We have great leadership and everything that comes with it."

The Coyotes drafted Strome third overall in 2015 and Keller seventh overall in 2016. Both have notched 10 points - three goals and seven assists - in six games of the 10-team tournament. Only two other players have more points: Alexander Nylander of Sweden (12) and Kirill Kaprizov of Russia (11). Strome leads all players in face-off winning percentage at 69.3 percent.

Coyotes prospect Jens Looke also will have a chance to win a medal on Thursday when Sweden plays Russia in the bronze medal game at 1:30 p.m. Arizona time. Looke, whom Arizona drafted 83rd overall in 2015, has produced one goal and one assist for Sweden in six tournament games.

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