It is quarterfinal gameday here in Victoria, British Columbia. The U.S. National Junior Team (3-0-1-0) faces the Czech Republic (1-1-0-2) tonight in the quarterfinal round of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Tonight's game, which will be televised live on NHL Network, is set for 5 p.m. local time (8 p.m. ET). For complete game details, click here.
THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
The two teams met in a pre-tournament game on Dec. 22, a 6-2 U.S. win. Summary on page 3 ... The U.S. has won its last three quarterfinals, outscoring opponents, 14-4 ... Team USA is 7-3 in its last 10 quarterfinals and holds an all-time record of 10-7 in 17 appearances ... For Series vs. Czech Republic and Team USA's all-time quarterfinal results, see page 2 ... Including last year's IIHF World Junior Championship, Ryan Poehling has 11 points (6-5) in 11 games while Josh Norris has seven points (3-4) ... U.S. general manager John Vanbiesbrouck skated alongside Czech's assistant coach, Patrik Elias, as a member of the New Jersey Devils. John Madden, Tyler's father, was also on the team.
U.S. PACING THE TOURNAMENT
The U.S. ranks among the top-three in six statistics. Chief among them is Team USA's tournament-best special teams, as its powerplay is performing at a 35.3% success rate while its penalty kill has successfully defended all 10 of its tournament-low penalties. Additionally, the team's 168 shots lead all teams while its 88 shots allowed is the second-lowest of any team. The U.S. is also one of two teams (Russia) to score a shorthanded tally.
Ryan Poehling (Lakeville, Minn./St. Cloud State University) leads the tournament in scoring with eight points while his five goals is tied for the most among all skaters. Jason Robertson (Northville, Mich./Niagara IceDogs) has a tournament-high five assists and sits seven in points with six, one above Joel Farabee (Cicero, N.Y./Boston University) who has five points (3-2). Sasha Chmelevski(Northville, Mich./Ottawa 67's) ranks fifth in faceoff percentage with 68% while alternate captain Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich./University of Michigan) is eighth with 61.76%. Additionally, captain Mikey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) and his three points (2-1) is seven among blueliners while Cayden Primeau (Voorhees, N.J./Northeastern University) is fifth in save percentage (.927) and goals against average (1.50).
USA Hockey Magazine Feature: POEHLING PUSHING THE PACE