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Gameday: Team USA Takes on Russia in Semifinals at U18 MWC

By USA Hockey, 04/27/19, 8:00AM EDT


Puck drop set for 9:30 a.m. ET on NHL Network

The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team faces Russia in the first of two semifinal matchups at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship here at Fjallraven Center (Ornskoldsvik), Sweden. Puck drop is set for 3:30 p.m. local and 9:30 a.m. ET and will be televised in the U.S. live on NHL Network. The winner of this game will advance to the Gold Medal Game tomorrow (April 28/7:30 p.m. local) and face the winner of the Sweden vs. Canada matchup that is taking place immediately after this game. The losers will compete in the Bronze Medal game tomorrow (April 28/3:30 p.m. local).

Russia finished the preliminary round with a 3-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. They opened the tournament by topping Slovakia (6-3) and Latvia (5-1) before falling in its two remaining preliminary games to the U.S. (6-3) and Sweden (3-0). They then traveled to Umeå, Sweden, for its quarterfinal showdown with Belarus. In that game, six different players recorded goals and Russian netminder Yaroslav Askorav made 19 saves to shut out Belarus, 6-0. Russia is led offensively by Rodian Amirov, who has recorded six points (4-2-6) in five games. Russian goaltender Askorav has appeared in five games for the team, amassing a goals-against average of 2.10 and a 0.915 save percentage.

All-time, the U.S. is 8-1-0-10 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in 19 games against  Russia at this tournament, the only opponent in which the U.S. holds a losing record. The U.S. has outscored Russia 69-61 in those 18 matchups. This will mark the third time the two countries have faced each other in the semifinal (2008, 2013), with the U.S. falling (3-1) and winning in overtime (4-3).

The U.S. has advanced to 17 straight semifinals and has a record of 8-5-1-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in the semifinals ... The U.S. has won the last four matchups with Russia ... Jack Hughes currently is first in the tournament in points with 16 (8-8-16) through five games and is four points shy of breaking Alexander Ovechkin’s tournament record of 31... Cole Caufield is second in the tournament in goal scoring with 12 through five games and is three goals shy of breaking the record for most goals at a single U18 MWC, currently held by Alexander Ovechkin at 14 ... The U.S. is averaging 7.4 goals per game through five games and owns the first-ranked power play (34.6%) and second-ranked penalty kill (85%) … The U.S. earned a goal medal at the U18 Men's World Championship in 2006, the only other time the event was hosted on Swedish soil.

Following his tenth goal of the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in the victory against Latvia, forward Cole
 has surpassed Phil Kessel and Brett Sterling to take first place for goals scored by U.S. skaters in a single tournament. Going into the semifinal matchup, Caufield has 12 goals in just five games and is three goals shy of taking the single-tournament goal-scoring record, currently held by Alex Ovechkin at 14.

Jack Hughes
had three goals and an assist, Cole Caufield
scored his tournament-leading 12th goal, Trevor Zegras recorded four assists, and Spencer Knight made 21 saves to help Team USA to a 6-0 win over Finland in the quarterfinals.

Cole Caufield and John Beecher (Elmira, N.Y.) each recorded two goals apiece in Team USA's 7-1 victory over Latvia in its final preliminary round game at Fjallraven Center. Spencer Knight (Darien, Conn.) made 12 saves in the victory.

Team USA rallied from a 2-0 deficit on the way to a 6-3 victory over Russia in its third preliminary round game on Sunday (April 21.) Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla.), Alex Turcotte (Island Lake, Ill.), Matthew Boldy (Millis, Mass.), Cole Caufield and Matthew Beniers (Hingham, Mass.) scored for Team USA, and Spencer Knight made 20 saves in net.

Cole Caufield 
and Jack Hughes each scored four goals in the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team’s 12-5 victory over Slovakia in its second preliminary round game at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship Sunday (April 21) at 9:30 a.m. ET against Russia at Fjallraven Center.

Cole Caufield
 recorded a hat trick and Spencer Knight made 29 saves in the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team’s 6-1 victory over Sweden in its first preliminary game at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship Thursday (April 18) at the Fjallraven Center.

Forward Bobby Brink (Minnetonka, Minn.) has been added to the roster of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team it was announced today (April 21) by USA Hockey. The University of Denver commit spent 2018-19 with the United States Hockey League’s Sioux City Musketeers and recorded 70 points (35G, 35A) in 45 games. Brink represented Team USA at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge, where he recorded eight points in six games to help the U.S. claim first place. Landon Slaggert, who was initially named to the roster and played in two exhibition games, has been released from the roster. The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team now includes 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders.

2019 U.S. Tournament Schedule

All games at Fjallraven Center

Fri., April 12 Finland
Heinola, Finland L, 0-1 None Cam York
Sat., April 13 Switzerland
Heinola, Finland W, 8-0 None Jack Hughes
Thu., April 18 Sweden
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
W, 6-1 NHL Network Cole Caufield
Fri., April 19 Slovakia
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
W, 12-5 NHL Network Jack Hughes
Sun., April 21 Russia
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
W, 6-3 NHL Network Alex Turcotte
Tue., April 23 Latvia
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
W, 7-1 NHL Network John Beecher
Thu., April 25 Finland
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
W, 6-0 NHL Network Jack Hughes
Sat., April 27 Russia
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
L, 2-3 (SO) NHL Network Cole Caufield
Sun., April 28 Canada
Bronze-Medal Game
Fjallraven Center
Ornskoldsvik, Sweden
W 5-2 NHL Network Cam York

U.S. Roster

Tournament Homepage

2019 U.S. U18 World Championship News