The U.S. National Junior Team returns to the ice today with practice in Jamestown, New York, from 11am - 1pm ET. Following practice, players will spend time amongst themselves before attending a team dinner tonight.
U.S. ROSTER NOW SITS AT 26
The roster for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team now sits at 26 players after the U.S. National Junior Team today released defenseman Reilly Walsh (North Falmouth, Mass./Harvard Univ.). The final 23-player roster, which is expected to be named by Saturday, Dec. 23, will represent the United States in the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Buffzlo, New York, from Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 5, 2018.
"The level of competition we've seen from our camp in Columbus to last night's game has been outstanding, which only makes these decisions more difficult," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "With one game left, we're excited to see players continue to make a case for themselves in being a part of this year's U.S. team that will look to win a gold medal on home ice."
YESTERDAY’S GAME: USA 14, Belarus 0
Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn.), Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich.) and Riley Tufte (Ham Lake, Minn.) each scored twice as the U.S. blanked Belarus, 14-0, in its first pre-tournament game ahead of this year's 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Overall, 11 different U.S. players scored, 16 players tallied at least one point and Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo.) registered the shutout in the win.
"This was a great team win that, at times, really showed the style of play we want to execute in Buffalo," said Bob Motzko, head coach of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. "We’re looking for good detail and habits in little parts of our game and I think we can pick a lot of good things out of this game. As a staff, we have some difficult decisions to make here as we look ahead to Sweden on Friday and get closer to finalizing our roster."
For the full game recap, click here.
TAKE FIVE: NHLER'S BROWN AND YAMAMOTO
Two players competing on this year's U.S. National Junior Team started the 2017-18 season with teams in the NHL. Logan Brown (St. Louis, Mo./Windsor Spitfires) skated four games with the Ottawa Senators while Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane, Wash./Spokane Chiefs) played in nine games with the Edmonton Oilers. At 6'6", Brown is the tallest player on the team while Yamamoto, at 5'8" is tied with Patrick Harper (New Canaan, Conn./Boston University) as the shortest.
RELATIVES WITH PROFESSIONAL SPORT EXPERIENCE:
Brown: Dad played 13 seasons in NHL, holds a few records with the St. Louis Blues
Yamamoto: Dad played semi professional soccer and raced motorcycles professionally
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A PLAYER:
Brown: I'm a playmaking center who protects the puck well, makes plays and can be relied on defensively
Yamamoto: I'm a two-way forward that competes hard, loves to make skilled plays and has a defensively sound game.
FAVORITE TV SHOW:
Brown: The Office
Yamamoto: Game of Thrones
YOUR DREAM JOB:
Brown: NHL Agent
Yamamoto: CEO of Apple