Day 20 - January 3

After its quarterfinal win last night over the Czech Republic, the U.S. enjoyed its win, regrouped and boarded a ferry for thing this morning for Vancouver.

'Happy birthday' shouts were shared bright and early this morning as U.S. forward Ryan Poehling turned 20 today. The oldest player competing in this year's tournament, Poehling currently leads the tournament with eight points (5-3) and sees his five goals tied for the tournament lead. According to College Hockey Inc., Poehling is the first U.S. player to appear in an IIHF world Junior Championship in his junior year of college hockey since goaltender Al Montoya in 2005 and he is the first non-goaltender to accomplish the feat since Mike York did in 2008.

The day started with a 7 a.m. breakfast and 7:30 departure for the 9 a.m. ferry. After its arrival in Vancouver, the team deboarded its bus at its hotel, grabbed a bite to eat and headed to Rogers Arena, home of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, for a skate ahead of tomorrow's semifinal game against Russia.

Having played all of its tournament games to this point in a junior hockey venue, the U.S. players and staff are excited to be in an NHL venue. Most notable are four players, including two current Vancouver Canucks prospects (Quinn Hughes, Tyler Madden) and two other players (Jack Hughes, Spencer Knight) who hope to hear their names called at the 2019 NHL Draft that will take place here next June. After taking in the venue and the locker room, the excitement was pushed to the side as the focus returned towards preparing for tomorrow.