The U.S. National Junior Team returned to the ice for its final skate at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. After five days in Columbus, the team followed practice by packing its belongings, filling a truck and bus, and hitting the road for Jamestown, New York.
TEAM USA TRIMS ITS ROSTER BY ONE
On its final day in Columbus, the U.S. National Junior Team took its first step towards identifying its final 23-player roster with the release of defenseman Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis./Penn State University). With 27 players remaining, general manager Jim Johannson and the entire U.S. coaching staff still have narrow its roster by four players.
"These decisions are never easy, especially considering the outstanding level of competitiveness we've seen from these players so far in camp," 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. "These next four days, particularly the two pre-tournament games, will provide Coach Motzko and his staff a clearer picture in determining a final roster that will represent the United States on home ice in Buffalo."
TRAINING CAMP SHIFT
Starting tonight, Jamestown, New York, will become the new training location for the U.S. National Junior Team as it continues its tournament preparations. The three days in Jamestown will begin with Team USA’s first pre-tournament game against Belarus at Northwest Arena tomorrow. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET and tickets are on sale now.
After its game against Belarus, the U.S. will skate at Northwest Arena Thursday and Friday (dec. 21-22) before facing Sweden in its final pre-tournament game on Dec. 22 at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania. Puck drop for that game is also 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased here.
HOCKEYTV TO LIVE STREAM U.S. PRE-TOURNAMENT GAMES
USA Hockey announced today that HockeyTV will live stream both U.S. pre-tournament games. Steve Warzala will handle play-by-play duties with Christopher Lachapelle providing color commentary for both games. Current subscribers of HockeyTV can watch the games with their active subscription. Users whose subscriptions have expired can simply log in to their existing HockeyTV account and activate a new subscription. New users to HockeyTV should go to USAHockey.HockeyTV.com and register for an account.
While the team is not in Buffalo just yet, the buzz surrounding the city continues to grow with the tournament just six days away.
This past Sunday (Dec. 18), New Era Field hosted its final NFL game of the regular-season — a 24-16 Buffalo Bills victory over the Miami Dolphins — and saw the game immediately followed by the initial preparations of the outdoor rink that will host the U.S. vs. Canada preliminary round matchup. The game will be the first-ever IIHF game to be held outdoors. Tickets are on sale now at buffaloworldjuniors.com.
Just yesterday, it was announced that NHL Network, the exclusive home of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in the U.S., will televise live all U.S. games of the tournament and 28 games in total.
Additionally, details surrounding the Championship Village were also just unveiled. An Olympic Village-style atmosphere, the Championship Village will be free to attend and include items such as the Labatt Blue Championship Headquarters, Snowzilla, Snowglobe Live, Hockey Skills Challenge, a Frozen Jersey Display, a Warming Area as well as tents for merchandise, food and refreshments. For more details, visit buffaloworldjuniors.com.
TAKE FIVE: THE SUNSHINE STATE BOYS
Two players vying for spots on this year’s U.S. National Junior Team hail from the Sunshine State of Florida. Defensemen Andrew Peeke (Parkland, Fla./University of Notre Dame) and Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla./University of Michigan), both claim Florida as their home states.
FAVORITE MOMENT IN U.S. HOCKEY HISTORY:
Hughes: John Carlson’s overtime-winning goal in gold medal-game of 2010 World Junior Championship
Peeke: The 1980 Miracle on Ice victory
DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS A PLAYER:
Hughes: Smart, skilled, puck-moving defenseman that can control the game and run the power play
Peeke: A responsible, two-way defenseman whose biggest attribute is his hockey IQ
ONE PERSON YOU’D LIKE TO MEET:
Hughes: LeBron James
Peeke: Will Ferrel
FAVORITE OFF-SEASON HOBBY:
Hughes: Water sports
YOUR DREAM JOB:
Hughes: NBA Player
Peeke: General Manager in the NHL