EDMONTON, Canada – The United States takes on Finland in its first, and only pre-tournament game, in advance of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. This will be the first opportunity for anyone, including coaches, to see the Americans play against international competition. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m. local time (9:30 p.m. ET) at Rogers Place in Edmonton. NHL Network will broadcast the game live.
Team USA and Finland enter 2021 looking for their first medal of the new decade, after both federations enjoyed a successful 10 years in which they led all countries with three gold medals apiece.
Today’s matchup is less about renewing a rivalry for the Americans, after last year’s 1-0 loss to Finland in quarterfinals, and more about giving players the opportunity to play as a team before tournament action begins. Keep an eye on Team USA’s eight returning players from last season’s roster, including both goaltenders Spencer Knight and Dustin Wolf. The five forwards returning combined for 56% of the American’s goals in 2020, and 54% of the points scored. Trevor Zegras led Team USA last year with nine points, all assists, while Arthur Kaliyev earned four goals and six points. Zegras and Kaliyev are no strangers to the scoresheet, or one another, as the duo’s chemistry dates back to youth hockey in New York when they were 10-years old.
Today’s Opponent: Finland
The U.S. National Junior Team has a 13-3-0-18-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) series record against Finland in the IIHF World Junior Championship. However, the U.S. holds a 5-2-0-3 (W-OTW-OTL-L) advantage in its previous 10 matchups, including two overtime victories.