Old rivals will renew acquaintances on Wednesday when the Canadian National Junior Team faces off against Russia in the gold medal game of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The United States, meanwhile, will battle for the bronze medal against Sweden.
Both contests will be broadcast live on NHL Network. The bronze-medal game begins at 3:30 p.m. ET, while the Canada-Russia showdown is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Canada and Russia become the first two teams to advance to the gold medal game after needing to win quarterfinal-round contests. In the current format, in place since 2003, only two teams that played a quarterfinal-round game had gone on to play in the gold medal final and both won -- Canada in 2008 and the U.S. in 2010. From 1998-2002, all medal round teams played in the quarterfinals.
Gary Thorne, Dave Starman and Billy Jaffe will make up the broadcast team for the NHL Network's coverage. Thorne, who will handle play-by-play duties, boasts over 30 years of sports broadcasting experience. He served a 12-year stint (1992-2004) as the voice of ESPN's NHL telecasts and was also the lead hockey play-by-play voice of NBC's 2002 Olympic Winter Games. He currently serves as a play-by-play voice for Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles, and provides play-by-play for Major League Baseball on ESPN Radio.
Starman, who was analyst for the NHL Network's coverage of Team USA's games in the 2009 and '10 WJC, is the lead analyst for CBS College Sports' coverage of NCAA hockey. Pletsch, who will serve as rinkside reporter in the preliminary round for the third straight year, is in his 11th season as an analyst on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Game of the Week on Fox Sports Detroit.
Jaffe, who is serving as rinkside reporter during the medal round, is a regular contributor to the "NHL Live!" simulcast on Sirius XM Radio and NHL Network and the Network's "NHL On the Fly," while also serving as color analyst and in-studio for NHL on VERSUS.