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GAMEDAY: U.S. Opens World Juniors Against Denmark

By USAHockey.com, 12/26/17, 6:15AM EST

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Puck drop is slated for 8 p.m. ET in Buffalo, New York

The U.S. National Junior Team faces Denmark tonight to open Group A play at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship here in Buffalo, New York. The 2017 gold medalist in Montreal, Team USA enters the tournament seeking back-to-back gold medals for the first time ever. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET and will be televised in the U.S. live on NHL Network. Tickets are on sale now here.

THE SERIES VS. DENMARK
All-time, the U.S. is 2-0-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Denmark. The two teams last met in the 2015 event, where the U.S. won its preliminary round meeting, 4-1, behind goals from Anders Bjork, Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano and Colin White.
    The U.S. enter the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship as hosts and defending gold medalists while Denmark is coming off a best-ever fifth-place finish in 2017, which followed up eighth-place finishes in 2015 and 2016 after earning a spot in the top division by winning the second-tier division in 2014.

THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
The United States enters the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship having won its last 10 tournament-opening games ... Yesterday, Team USA took tournament headshots and a team photo in their Bills-replica jerseys that will be worn against Canada in its outdoor tilt ... Team USA will practice at New Era Field tomorrow, Dec. 27, in preparation of its outdoor preliminary round game against Canada on Friday, Dec. 29 ... To celebrate Christmas, Team USA took part in a gift-giving exchange ... For daily updates on the team, visit the U.S. Daily Notebook at teamusa.usahockey.com/worldjuniors2018 ... Tickets for the IIHF World Junior Championship are available at buffaloworldjuniors.com.

LOOK AHEAD: 
    Dec. 27: Practice 2-3 p.m. ET at New Era Field     
    Dec. 28:
Game vs. Slovakia

ST. CLOUD'S BOB MOTZKO RETURNS AS U.S. HEAD COACH
Bob Motzko
(St. Cloud, Minn.), head coach of St. Cloud State University’s men’s ice hockey program, is serving as head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team for the second consecutive year. Last year, he guided the U.S. to an undefeated 5-2-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record that culminated in a thrilling 5-4 overtime shootout gold medal win over Canada. He is joined behind the bench by assistant coaches Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass./Boston College), Grant Potulny (Grand Forks, N.D./Northern Michigan Univ.), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa./Providence College) and Steve Miller (Littleton, Colo./Ohio State Univ.), all of whom were part of las year’s gold medal-winning staff. 

ANDERSON, BELLOWS, FOX AND LINDGREN TO LEAD TEAM USA
On Dec. 17, coach Motzko named forward Joey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) captain of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. In addition, on Dec. 23 Motzko tabbed forward Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn./Portland Winterhawks) and defensemen Adam Fox (Jericho, N.Y./Harvard Univ.) and Ryan Lindgren (Minneapolis, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota) alternate captains. All four helped last year’s U.S. National Junior Team capture the gold medal in Montreal.

2018 World Juniors

U.S. Roster

2018 Event & Ticket Info


U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Location Result U.S. Player of Game
Wed., Dec. 20 Belarus
Pre-Tournament Game
Northwest Arena
Jamestown, N.Y.
W, 14-0 NA
Fri., Dec. 22 Sweden
Pre-Tournament Game
Erie Insurance Arena
Erie, Pa.
W, 3-1 Na
Tues., Dec. 26 Denmark
Preliminary Round
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 9-0 Casey Mittelstadt
Thurs., Dec. 28 Slovakia
Preliminary Round
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
L, 2-3 Brady Tkachuk
Fri., Dec. 29 Canada
Preliminary Round
New Era Field*
Orchard Park, N.Y.
W (SO) 4-3 Casey Mittelstadt
Sun., Dec. 31 Finland
Preliminary Round
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 5-4 Joey Anderson
Tues., Jan. 2 Russia
Quarterfinals
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 4-2 Kieffer Bellows
Thurs., Jan. 4 Sweden
Semifinals
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
L, 2-4 Josh Norris
Fri., Jan. 5 Czech Republic
Bronze-Medal Game
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 9-3 Trent Frederic

World Juniors News