QUISPAMSIS, New Brunswick – The U.S. National Junior Team will face Finland here tonight in the first of two pre-tournament games in advance of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Moncton, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The game will be streamed live on Rogers by clicking here.
Team USA will also face Sweden in pre-tournament action on Wednesday (Dec. 21) at 2:30 p.m. ET in Moncton, New Brunswick, with the game airing live on NHL Network.
Team USA spent last week training in Plymouth, Mich., at USA Hockey Arena. The 32 players invited to camp hit the ice on Monday (Dec. 12), and following Friday’s (Dec. 16) practice, the final 25 were selected.
“It was a competitive camp with 32 terrific players,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2023 U.S. National Junior Team, who also serves as USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations. “In the end, we had some very difficult decisions to make.”
The U.S. will dress all forwards and defensemen on its roster for its contest against Finland tonight as head coach Rand Pecknold and his staff continue to evaluate forward lines and defense pairings, along with power play and penalty-killing units. Kaidan Mbereko and Trey Augustine will dress in goal for Team USA.
“It’s a fun team to coach,” said Pecknold, who has built the Quinnipiac University men’s ice hockey team into a perennial national power. “They are really bought into what we’re trying to accomplish together as a group and tonight’s game will be another step in the overall process.”
The U.S. and Finland are fierce rivals on the ice and will be playing again in the preliminary round of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 31 in Moncton as part of Group B, which also includes Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland. Group A, which includes Canada, Sweden, Czechia, Germany and Austria, will compete in preliminary round play in Halifax.
While the U.S. did not face Finland in the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, it did play a pre-tournament game in advance of the tournament on Aug. 5 against the Finns, who won by a 5-2 count.