The U.S. National Junior Team closed Group A preliminary round play with a 5-4 win over Finland. With the win, the U.S. (2-1-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) finished in second place and will play the Group B third place finisher, Russia, on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
PRELIMINARY ROUND RECAP
After opening the tournament with a 9-0 win over Denmark on Dec. 26, the U.S. was handed a 3-2 setback by Slovakia on Dec. 28. A day later, the U.S. claimed its fourth-straight win over Canada at New Era Field in the first-ever outdoor game in IIHF World Junior Championship by a 4-3 shootout win. With a win tonight against Finland, the U.S. managed a top-two group finish for the fifth straight IIHF World Junior Championship.
MITTELSTADT LEADING THE TOURNAMENT
After scoring a goal and adding two assists in tonight's 5-4 win over Finland, Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie, Minn./University of Minnesota) now leads the tournament in scoring with nine points. His four goals and five assists are both tied for second-best in the tournament. Mittelstadt, who is in his freshman season at the University of Minnesota, was drafted eighth overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2017 NHL Draft last June.