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U.S. begins defense against Czech Republic

by Mike G. Morreale

The United States National Junior Team will open the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship today against the Czech Republic at Malmo Isstadion in Malmo, Sweden (11:30 a.m. ET).

The United States leads the all-time series against the Czechs with nine wins, one overtime win, seven losses, one overtime loss and one tie in 19 games. The Americans have won four of the past five meetings, including a 7-0 decision in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 WJC in Ufa, Russia.

Providence College goalie Jon Gillies (Calgary Flames) will start for the United States and Anthony Stolarz (London Knights; Philadelphia Flyers) serving as his backup.

Here are the probable line combinations for the United States:

Nicolas Kerdiles - Daniel O'Regan - Riley Barber

Adam Erne - Jack Eichel - Ryan Hartman

Stefan Matteau - Andrew Copp - Hudson Fasching

Zach Stepan - Quentin Shore - Vince Hinostroza

Tommy DePauli

Ian McCoshen - Matthew Grzelcyk

Brady Skjei - Connor Carrick

Will Butcher - Steve Santini

Jaccob Slavin

Jon Gillies

Anthony Stolarz

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