Today is the final off day for the U.S. National Junior Team as it prepares for tomorrow's semifinal against Sweden. The winner will take on the winner of Canada-Czech Republic in Friday's gold medal game at 8 pm ET. The other two teams will meet in Friday's bronze medal game set for 4 pm ET.
LOOKING AHEAD: SEMIFINAL VS. SWEDEN
The U.S. is 14-1-0-15-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) all-time against Sweden in the World Junior Championship. In eight playoff round meetings, the U.S. holds an 7-1 record, including a perfect 5-0 record in semifinal and medal games. At the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, the two teams played in the bronze medal game, which the U.S. won, 4-2.
The two teams last met in the bronze medal-game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, where the U.S. won, 8-3. In its last 10 meetings, the U.S. has posted a 9-1 record against Sweden, with its only loss being a 1-0 preliminary round setback at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Those nine wins include four medal game wins (gold - 2013; bronze - 2007, 2011, 2016).
THOUGHTS ON LAST'S NIGHT WIN
Kieffer Bellows (Edina, Minn./Portland Winterhawks) scored twice and Joseph Woll (St. Louis, Mo./Boston College) made 27 saves to lead the U.S. National Junior Team past Russia, 4-2, in its quarterfinal game.
“What a terrific effort by our guys against a quality opponent,” said Bob Motzko, head coach of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team. “We saw success in all facets of the game, from our special teams to our goaltending. We'll enjoy this tonight and tomorrow turn our attention to Sweden.”