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Stolarz earns start against Germany; Stepan returns

by Mike G. Morreale

Zach Stepan will return to the lineup and Anthony Stolarz will earn his first start in goal when the United States National Junior Team faces Germany in preliminary round action at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship on Sunday at the Malmo Isstadion in Sweden.

The United States enters Sunday's game in first place in the Group A pool with six points. A matchup against rival Canada looms on Tuesday at the Isstadion at 11:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US,

Stepan (Nashville Predators), who missed Saturday's victory against Slovakia with a lower body injury, will return to the lineup against Germany and will likely begin the game alongside center Nicolas Kerdiles (Anaheim Ducks) and right wing Riley Barber (Washington Capitals). Daniel O'Regan (San Jose Sharks) will not play against Germany and is listed day-to-day.

Stolarz (Philadelphia Flyers) will make his first start in the tournament after serving as backup to Jon Gillies (Calgary Flames) in the previous two games. Gillies, the probable starter against Canada on Tuesday in the final game before the medal round begins on Thursday, is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

The United States leads the all-time series against Germany at the WJC, winning eight games and losing once in overtime in nine meetings. The Americans scored an 8-0 win against Germany in the preliminary round of the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia, and has won three straight. Germany last defeated the United States in 2006, a 2-1 overtime victory.

Here are the probable line combinations for both countries:


Zach Stepan - Nicolas Kerdiles - Riley Barber

Adam Erne - Jack Eichel - Ryan Hartman

Stefan Matteau - Andrew Copp - Hudson Fasching

Thomas DiPauli - Vincent Hinostroza - Quentin Shore

Ian McCoshen - Matthew Grzelcyk

Brady Skjei - Connor Carrick

Will Butcher - Steve Santini

Jaccob Slavin

Anthony Stolarz

Jon Gillies


Dominik Kahun - Leon Draisaitl - Parker Tuomie

Frederik Tiffels - Markus Eisenschmid - Lukas Laub

Vladislav Filin - Maximilian Kammerer - Sven Ziegler

Jari Neugebauer - Patrick Klopper

Tim Bender - Dominik Tiffels

Dorian Saeftel - Janik Moser

Thomas Botzenhardt - Fabio Wagner

Patrick Klein

Kevin Reich

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