The U.S. National Junior Team faces Switzerland tonight in the quarterfinals of the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship here in Toronto. The winner of tonight’s game will face the winner of Denmark vs. Russia. Puck drop is slated for 5:30 p.m. ET and will be televised in the U.S. live on NHL Network. In addition, live updates are also available on Twitter @USAHockey with the hashtags #USAWJC and #WorldJuniors.
THE SERIES VS. SWITZERLAND
The United States and Switzerland are meeting for the 23rd time in IIHF World Junior Championship play and for the first time in the quarterfinals. All-time, the U.S. is 20-0-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Switzerland. The two teams, which faced off in a pre-tournament game on Dec. 21, met in the preliminary round last year where Team USA won, 10-1.
TEAM USA IN QUARTERFINAL PLAY
In its last 10 quarterfinal appearances, Team USA is 7-3 while holding an all-time 8-7 record in 15 quarterfinal appearances. In last year’s quarterfinal, Team USA shut out the Czech Republic, 7-0, thanks to a hat trick from forward Auston Matthews and a 28-save performance from goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic.
The playoff format was adopted for the IIHF World Junior Championship beginning in 1996. The U.S. has qualified for the playoffs 19 out of 21 years, including 17 of the last 18 tournaments. From 1977-95, teams played each other once in a round-robin format and medals were awarded based on final standings.
PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING: USA 4, SUI 3
In Team USA’s first pre-tournament game, the U.S. edged Switzerland, 4-3 at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, Ontario. Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio/Manitoba Moose) and Erik Foley (Mansfield, Mass./Providence College) each tallied two points, seven other players collected a point, and Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich./London Knights) made 21 saves. Team USA was 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill while outshooting Switzerland, 32-24