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Gameday: U.S. Faces Sweden in Final World Juniors Pre-Tournament Game

By, 12/22/17, 7:30AM EST


Puck drop in Erie, Pa. slated for 7 p.m. ET; To be streamed live on

The U.S. National Junior Team faces Sweden in its second and final pre-tournament game ahead of the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania. The game will be live streamed on with live updates avialable on Twitter at @usahockey.

All-time, the U.S. is 14-1-0-15-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Sweden. The two teams last met in the 2016 event, where the Swedes claimed a 1-0 preliminary round win before the two teams met in the bronze medal game, which the U.S. won, 8-3.
    The U.S. enter the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship as hosts and defending gold medalists while Sweden come into the tournament having reached a medal game in 11 straight World Junior Championships, earning fourth place three consecutive years after silver medals in 2013 and 2014 and gold in 2012.

LAST MEETING: USA 8, SWE 3 (2016 Bronze)
The U.S. avenged a 1-0 preliminary round setback to defeat Sweden in the bronze medal game. Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.), Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) and Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) each scored twice and Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 35 shots in the win.

The journey to identifying this year's U.S. National Junior Team started on Dec. 5, when USA Hockey unveiled its 28-player preliminary roster exclusively on NHL Network's "NHL Now."
    Players and staff arrived in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 14, and that night walked to Nationwide Arena to take in the Metropolitan Division tilt between the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders.
    Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), who captained the U.S. National Junior Team to a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland, opened the scoring for the Blue Jackets in an eventual 6-4 home victory.
    Starting Dec. 15, the team conducted three days of practices at the OhioHealth Ice Haus before skating two days at Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. After its skate on Dec. 19, the U.S. shifted camp to Jamestown, New York.
    The U.S. skated in its first pre-tournament game on Dec. 20, registered a 14-0 win over Belarus. Overall, 11 different U.S. players scored and 16 players tallied at least one point.
    In its attempt to reach its final 23-player roster, the U.S. has so far returned two players to their respective teams, including defensemen Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis./Penn State Univ.) on Dec. 19 and Reilly Walsh (North Falmouth, Mass./Harvard Univ.) on Dec. 21.

Over the last 10 IIHF World Junior Championships, no country has won more gold medals than Team USA's three (2010, 2013, 2017). In total, the U.S. has claimed five medals, including three gold and two bronze (2011, 2016), which is the best 10-year stretch in World Junior Championship history for the U.S.
    In addition, since a quarterfinal loss to Russia at the 2015 event, the U.S. has registered a 10-2-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record, which is the best U.S. performance over a two-tournament span in World Junior Championship history.

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
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, N.Y.
W, 4-2 Kieffer Bellows
Thurs., Jan. 4 Sweden
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