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2024 World Juniors Insider | WHAT A FINISH!!

By USA Hockey, 01/05/24, 7:30PM EST

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Follow along with Team USA's journey at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship

The 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship took place Dec. 26, 2023 - Jan. 5, 2024 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Scroll for an inside look at Team USA's gold-medal journey from the start of camp in Plymouth, Mich., through the team's final moments at this year's world championship!

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Friday, Jan. 5, 2024 – WHAT A FINISH!!

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — The U.S. National Junior Team, behind two goals from Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis./Michigan State University/Tampa Bay Lightning) and goals from four additional players, defeated Sweden, 6-2, here tonight in the gold-medal game of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. It marks the sixth gold medal for the United States in the tournament all time. For the full recap, click here

GOLDEN BOYS ENDING

It was a 24-day journey that included stops in five cities – four in Sweden – that culminated just as imagined for 25 players and staff that put heart and soul into representing the United States over the holidays in the 48th IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The love and affection the group had for each other was evident from the outset of the journey, and the 2024 World Juniors experience is one that everyone involved will never forget. The upbeat and jovial nature of captain Rutger McGroarty, who along with head coach David Carle brought togetherness and focus to the group, helped fuel what resulted in the sixth gold medal in the country’s history.

One could not help but smile with the celebration on the ice, including the jubilation at the buzzer that sent gloves, helmets, and sticks flying in the air in pure joy.

There were a few team group photos taken on the ice after, including the traditional center-ice photo with the championship trophy with players and staff. Thanks to an idea from Coach Carle, another group photo with the players was taken in the corner of the rink with the U.S fans in the background cheering loudly. Amid the chaos, Jon Rosen from NHL Network captured the emotion and words of a handful of players for the national television broadcast audience, as well as from Coach Carle, whose brother Matt played on the first-ever U.S. gold-medal World Junior team 20 years ago to this day.

The locker room scene after the players got off the ice was festive as well. As Coach Carle entered the locker room for some closing words to the team, the players had a surprise waiting – a huge tub of water they drenched him with. 

After a large group of players shared thoughts with the media, the group was quick to pack up equipment bags and hop on the bus to join with family and friends in celebration at the team hotel. USA Hockey vice president Dwayne Dillinger shared words of thanks to parents, staff and the players and USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher offered a toast as well.

In the end, the 2024 U.S. National Junior Team won every single game it played, including beating the host country in the gold-medal game. What a way to start the new year.

We hope you enjoyed reading along, and until next year in Ottawa, good night from Gothenburg.


Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024 | U.S. Wins Thriller To Earn Spot In Gold-Medal Game

 Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz./Boston College/Philadelphia Flyers) scored on the power play with 3:13 left in the third period to lift the U.S. National Junior Team to a 3-2 come-from-behind win in the semifinals of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship here tonight and send the U.S. to tomorrow’s (Jan. 5) gold-medal game against Sweden. For the full recap, click here.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH SEAMUS CASEY…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA defenseman Seamus Casey from Fort Myers, Fla., who plays college hockey for the University of Michigan.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. I just think he’s changed the game for Americans, showing they can be at the top of the league for guys my age.

Favorite memories as a youth hockey player.

I think the Youth Olympics were really cool in Switzerland. It was a great memory.

A description of my perfect day.

Wake up in the Keys, go out on boat at 7 a.m. Go offshore, fishing, for some Mahi and Tuna. In by noon. Cook up fish. Hang out in the pool. Head back out in boat at like 3; go diving for some lobster. Buzz around in the boat. Hit a couple different spots. Maybe stop at Sundance Watersports and then maybe a restaurant. Bring everything and cook it up for dinner. Have a huge cookout with family and friends and then sit around the fire and tell stories.

What makes a good hockey practice?

The coach having a good plan is important. Drills need to be fast-paced, fun and there needs to be a lot of competition and work on different skills.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Sunny side up on toast

Hair …   On my head

Hockey Stick Taped … Black tape, heel, just before the toe

Skates sharpened … ¾”

Steak Cooked …   Medium rare plus

Room Temperature … 50

Coffee … Black, maybe one cream


Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024 | The Move; Getting Ready For Semis

THE MOVE TO SCANDINAVIUM

After playing its four preliminary round games and quarterfinal contest at Frolundaborg in Gothenburg, the U.S. had to make the shift approximately three miles across town to Scandinavium, where the semifinals and bronze and gold-medal games will take place. The day for the U.S. training staff – including equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Nick Meldrum and athletic trainers Stan Wong and Dennis MacDonald – started at 7:30 a.m. with a trip to Frolundaborg to put the finishing touches on packing up the U.S. operation after completing a good deal of that work last night after Team USA’s 7-2 win over Latvia in its quarterfinal game. With help from local volunteers, an 20-foot truck was packed up with player equipment bags, stick bags, trunks, medical equipment, signage, skate sharpeners and other assorted performance items that are part of the operation. After arriving at Scandinavium at 9:30 a.m., the training staff had just a few hours to try and get things in place for the arrival of players at 1 p.m. in advance of Team USA’s 2:30 p.m. practice. The U.S. training staff got an appreciated hand from Taylor Swierc, who is on site handling digital content for USA Hockey's channels covering the World Juniors.

THINGS

The U.S. had an upbeat 30-minute practice this afternoon at Scandinavium … Team USA enjoyed dinner out of the hotel tonight. Two players and one staff member were found without their challenge coin (see challenge coin explanation in Dec. 24 version of Insider) by captain Rutger McGroarty and had to sing a song of their choice before the group. The staff member – goaltending coach David Lassonde – got the biggest ovation after his  performance of America The Beautiful , however both Gavin Brindley and Eric Pohlkamp had solid performances … Dwayne Dillinger, vice president of USA Hockey and chair of the organization’s International Council, arrived here yesterday and is here through the remainder of the tournament … Cutter Gauthier is the top point-getter in the World Juniors … The cribbage competition between head coach David Carle and goaltending coach David Lassonde has had significant swings of momentum throughout the tournament. The latest tally has Lassonde up three games heading into the final two days.

NOTHING LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY

Team USA has been at its hotel in Gothenburg for more than two weeks now and each night in its team meal room between 9-10 p.m., a snack is put out for the players to enjoy. While not all players partake regularly, one constant is forward Frank Nazar, who is among the leading points-getters in the World Juniors. The Mount Clemens, Mich., native has what he calls a “classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich“ every evening. He starts by slicing a roll in half and then stirs up the peanut butter to make sure the oils are mixed in. After a good glazing of peanut butter, he adds jelly (his favorite is grape). Early in the tournament, the hotel only had marmalade out for the snack, which he is not a fan of. After a little coaxing from Jessica Thibault, who is handling team services for Team USA, a bowl of jelly was added and all is well. The classic PB&J is a Nazar tradition only while with Team USA. After making the sandwich, Nazar sits with his hoodie up at a table and enjoys his sandwich while perusing social media channels on his phone.

SEMIFINAL ACTION AHEAD

The U.S. will face Finland in the semifinals of the World Juniors tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. local/1:30 p.m. ET. Team USA is 7-10 all-time in the semifinals and has faced Finland twice, winning 4-3 in 2021 and 2-1 in 2004. Both those years, the U.S. won gold. Matt Carle, the brother of U.S. head coach David Carle, was part of the 2004 squad.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH RUTGER McGROARTY…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA captain Rutger McGroarty from Lincoln, Neb., who plays college hockey for the University of Michigan.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Matthew and Brady Tkachuk cause I try and model my game after them.

Favorite memories as a youth hockey player.

Being on a really good team and winning like  all the tournaments. Going into tournaments and you can play like seven games in like 72 hours. I feel like that’s ridiculous and there’s just no doing that anymore, but that was fun.

A description of my perfect day.

Wake up; go to my favorite restaurant in Ann Arbor, get the sliders; go the rink, hang out, work out, stay at the rink; eat my plain bagel with peanut butter, that’s my favorite snack; then practice with the guys, hang in the dry stall room for probably like two hours, just laugh, hang out, do whatever; then a family dinner, hang out, whatever, for an hour-and-a-half, maybe go shopping with ‘em; probably end the day with the girlfriend, she’s a lot of fun to hang out with.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Compete. Feel like it really doesn't matter what drills you do. You can do just about anything as long as you have compete. 

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …   Slicked back

Hockey Stick Taped … Heel-to-toe about like halfway on the blade

Skates sharpened … 7/8”

Steak Cooked …   Medium to medium rare

Room Temperature … 62, like real cold

Coffee … Dark … black, I like it gritty


Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024 | U.S. Wins Quarterfinal vs. Latvia

Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill./Boston College/New York Rangers) netted two goals and an assist and Seamus Casey (Fort Meyers, Fla./University of Michigan/New Jersey Devils) added three assists to help the U.S. National Junior Team to a 7-2 victory over Latvia in quarterfinal play here tonight at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. For the full recap, click here.

 

THE INSIDE STORY WITH FRANK NAZAR….

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Frank Nazar from Mount Clemens, Mich., who plays college hockey for the University of Michigan.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. Such a great player. The energy he brings. All the big celebrations.

Favorite memory as a youth hockey player.

Favorite memory was going to the Youth Olympics. Not many people have the chance to do that and it was my first time wearing the U.S. sweater.

A description of my perfect day.

Just like a game day. A little bit of everything, relaxing, eating some good food, playing some hockey, definitely has to be a win.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Honestly, I like battle days. Days where we just grind, get into each other That’s the way we get to be our best.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …   Flow

Hockey Stick Taped … All black, heel-to-toe

Skates sharpened … Inch and a quarter

Steak Cooked …   Medium

Room Temperature … 68

Coffee … Don’t drink it


Monday, Jan. 1, 2024 | Happy New Year

GETTING SET FOR THE BIG GAME

The quarterfinal game of any world championship is always such a pivotal contest … win and you have two chances to win a medal while lose and your tournament is over. That’s exactly where Team USA is as it spent the day getting set for its quarterfinal game tomorrow against Latvia at Frolundaborg here in Gothenburg. The U.S. had an up-tempo 45-minute skate at 12 noon in preparation, along with various video sessions. After dinner a handful of players were in the team room watching the exhibition game between the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Under-18 Team from the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. The Michigan-Alabama national football semifinal in the Rose Bowl, which kicked off at 11 p.m. Gothenburg time, was also of interest, especially those players from the University of Michigan.

WHAT’S AHEAD

The U.S. is the top overall seed in the tournament after the preliminary round and if successful in its quarterfinal game will advance to Thursday’s semifinals and play the lowest remaining seed at 9 a.m. ET. The top four seeds in the tournament are 1-USA, 2-Sweden, 3-Canada, 4-Slovakia.

GOTHENBURG ISHOCKEY CUP 2024

The U.S. and Finland are staying in the same hotel here in Gothenburg, and tomorrow the property will be invaded by more than 40 teams competing in the Gothenburg Ishockey Cup. Billed as the largest tournament in the world for U14 players, the event runs from Jan. 3-6. All teams will play 11 games.

THIS AND THAT

The U.S. is 13-9 all-time in the quarterfinals of the World Juniors … Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, arrived here in Gothenburg tonight and is here for the duration of the tournament … Team USA scored 29 goals (7.25 per game) in its four preliminary round games, the most ever by a U.S. team … The U.S. is 4-0 all-time in the World Juniors against Latvia. Team USA has never faced Latvia in the quarterfinals … The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team is in Zug, Switzerland, preparing for the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship that begins there on Jan. 6 … The U.S. will host the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Utica, N.Y., from April 3-14 … Gavin Brindley has six goals in the World Juniors which leads all players in the event. Brindley (6-2—8), Cutter Gauthier (1-7—8) and Frank Nazar (0-8—8) are tied for second in the tournament in points, one off the lead. Will Smith has the top faceoff percentage (.702, 33/47) in the World Juniors, while Gauthier is third at .662 (43/65) … No surprise that three words were joyfully exchanged throughout the morning and day by members of Team USA – Happy New Year!

THE INSIDE STORY WITH GABE PERREAULT…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Gabe Perreault from Hinsdale, Ill., who plays college hockey for Boston College.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Definitely Patrick Kane. Growing up in Chicago, the things he would do, always a fun player to watch.

Favorite memory as a youth hockey player.

Pee-Wee Quebec. Going back there, had a lot of family. Didn’t win the tournament, but we went pretty far; so that was a fun memory. (Note: Gabe moved from Quebec to Illinois, going into third grade.) Dad works for Blackhawks, player development helps with Rockford. Oldest brother Jeremy helps coach with the Mission; sister Lily plays pro; brother Jacob in San Diego in AHL with Gulls.

 

A description of my perfect day.

School in morning, eat, get to the rink, workout, skate, eat dinner after.

 

What makes a good hockey practice?

I like games, competitive games. If there’s games in practice, then I’m in.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …   Leave it; let it fly

Hockey Stick Taped … Change it up, white tape; usually put some puck marks on there

Skates sharpened … ½”

Steak Cooked …   Medium

Room Temperature … Cold, usually around 68

Coffee … Iced Caramel Macchiato


Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023 | U.S. Wins Group B With 10-2 Victory Over Slovakia

Captain Rutger McGroarty (Lincoln, Neb./University of Michigan/Winnipeg Jets) tallied a hat trick and was one of 16 players to contribute points, while Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich./Michigan State University/Chicago Blackhawks) had 38 saves to lead the U.S. National Junior Team to a 10-2 win here today over Slovakia in its final preliminary round game of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. For the full recap, click here.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH JIMMY SNUGGERUD…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Jimmy Snuggerud from Chaska, Minn., who plays college hockey for the University of Minnesota.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Matthew Tkachuk. I think I love his play style and his greatness watching him in the playoffs last year.

Favorite memories as a youth hockey player.

Probably winning Pee-Wee state championship, my second year of Pee-Wees in Fogarty, Minnesota.

A description of my perfect day.

Start off the day with some breakfast, head right out to the outdoor rink to play some pond hockey with my buddies. Come in for maybe lunch, then right back out there, then dinner, then right back out there.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Starting off with a little flow drill then gettin’ into games right away, small-area games, then some 2-on-1 drills, some 3-on-2 drills and then end with another small-area game.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …   Middle part

Hockey Stick Taped … White, full blade; I’ve done it my whole life

Skates sharpened …  ¼”

Steak Cooked …   Medium

Room Temperature … 64

Coffee … Black with a lotta cream


Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023 | Off Day

Outside of a couple of brief meetings at the hotel, Team USA -- after three games in four days, including back-to-back tilts -- had a much needed day off today. Many players have family and friends in town and they spent the afternoon having a chance to spend time together. Tonight, Team USA enjoyed dinner outside the hotel for the first time, which all enjoyed immensely. After returning from dinner, it was time to relax and prepare for tomorrow’s 12 noon tilt (6 a.m. ET) against Slovakia with first place in Group B on the line in the final preliminary round game for both teams. The quarterfinals start Tuesday (Jan. 2).

COOKING WITH CASEY

While Team USA defenseman Seamus Casey is an excellent hockey player, he also enjoys cooking. Today the Florida native shares with us a recipe he calls Florida Keys Catch and it’s just in time for your New Year’s Eve/Day celebrations.

FLORIDA KEYS CATCH

The most important step to a great seafood dinner or lunch is to have a good fishing boat and knowledge of the water. If you don’t have both of these, just head to the local supermarket and grab some fresh Mahi Mahi.

At home, take your fish out, pat it dry, and chunk it up. Cut three strips one way and then back the other way to create chunks.

Put chunks in a bowl and set aside. 

Begin heating up a big pan of vegetable oil deep enough to submerge Mahi chunks in. Heat up oil on medium to high heat and make sure it doesn’t burn.

Prepare ingredients to batter the fish. Mix two eggs up in a bowl. Also have a bowl of flour (cup or two; start with a cup). Have another bowl of panko bread crumbs with some salt, pepper and a little bit of cajun seasoning. 

Put the Mahi in the flour and then into the egg wash. Then coat it with the breadcrumb and seasoning mixture.

Set Mahi chunks in pan of heated vegetable oil. Let cook for 45-60 seconds, flip chunks over, let ‘em go another minute or so. You can’t really overcook, but remove them from the heat once crust is golden brown.

Keep doing that over and over again until you’ve cooked all your Mahi. Make sure oil doesn’t overheat. You may need to change the oil if it burns out or gets dark.

Pair with any side you want. Serve Mahi on a big plate with tartar sauce.

SHORT BITS

The U.S. is 20-10-1 all-time playing a New Year’s Eve game in the World Juniors, including wins in its last six New Year’s Eve contests. The U.S. is 2-0 against Slovakia on New Year’s Eve … Hockey East commissioner Steve Metcalf arrived in Gothenburg today and is here for a couple of days … Frank Nazar has six points in the World Juniors, tied for second most of any player … The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team is off to Switzerland to prepare for the 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship which begins January 6 in Zug, Switzerland. All U.S. games will be aired on NHL Network.


Frank Nazar

THE INSIDE STORY WITH CUTTER GAUTHIER…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Cutter Gauthier from Scottsdale, Ariz., who plays college hockey Boston College.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Auston Matthews because of his great shot and scoring ability.

Thoughts on my time as a youth hockey player.

Would say the camaraderie with the guys. Crazy stories day in and day out, just having a good time.

A description of my perfect day.

Working out, skating for sure, hitting the links and maybe a little movie at night.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Lot of competitive games. Lot of mini-games.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …   Luscious

Hockey Stick Taped …  White

Skates sharpened …  7/8”

Steak Cooked …   Medium

Room Temperature …  Low 70s

Coffee … I’m a newbie with coffee, but caramel macchiato right now


Friday, Dec. 29, 2023 | U.S. Downs Czechia In Shootout To Remain Unbeaten

Isaac Howard (Hudson, Wis./Michigan State University/Tampa Bay Lightning) netted the winner in the bottom of the seventh round of the shootout to help lift the U.S. National Junior Team to a 4-3 victory over Czechia in preliminary round play of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship tonight at Frolundaborg. Click here for the full recap.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH LANE HUTSON…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA defenseman Lane Hutson from Barrington Heights, Ill., who plays college hockey for the Boston University.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. Back when was I younger just watching him when I was growing up winning Stanley Cups, being a big part of that Blackhawks team, and being a smaller guy as well, really special for me. I love the player he is.

Favorite memories of youth hockey.

Going back to where it started, my hometown in North Barrington, Ill., playing for the Barrington Red Wings, which isn’t a team anymore, but at the time, just getting into hockey and like I said, watching the Blackhawks, hockey was the sport to play, so it was really special.

A description of my perfect day.

Wake up, go to the rink, hang out with some teammates, work out, hang out with some teammates some more after.

What makes a good hockey practice?

First thing is just compete. Got to have some compete games in the practice. And then, obviously, just having fun too.

How I Like My ….

Eggs … Over easy

Hair …  However I wake up

Hockey Stick Taped …  Toe to heel with white tape

Skates sharpened …  3/4”

Steak Cooked …  Medium rare

Room Temperature … Whatever it is

Coffee … No coffee


Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023 | U.S. Bests Switzerland, 11-3

GAME DAY – U.S. Bests Switzerland, 11-3

Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn./University of Minnesota) scored three times and added an assist, while Frank Nazar III (Mount Clemens, Mich./University of Michigan) notched four assists to help the U.S. National Junior Team to an 11-3 victory over Switzerland in its second preliminary round contest of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship here tonight at Frolundaborg. For the full recap, click here.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH ZEEV BUIUM…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA defenseman Zeev Buium from San Diego, Calif., who plays college hockey for the University of Denver.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Quinn Hughes. Someone I really like to watch. Done great things this year. We met him this summer and he seems like a good guy.

Favorite memories of youth hockey.

Hanging out with the guys. Playing mini hockey in the hotels and just having fun. You don’t really remember those goals or assists or some games. You remember the time with the guys and the fun stuff you used to do and the connections you make.

A description of my perfect day.

Somewhere with an ice rink, sunny outside. Wake up, go to the beach, maybe get a little skate in and then go back to the beach.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Lot of competitiveness. Love when guys are competitive and wanna win out there, even if it’s against each other. That makes practice the most fun and really enjoyable. When guys get competitive and at each other, I think you’re doing something right.

How I Like My ….

Eggs … Over easy

Hair …  Slicked back

Hockey Stick Taped …  White, heel to toe

Skates sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium

Room Temperature … 65

Coffee … Not a big coffee drinker, but I guess sometimes before games, black coffee


Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023 | Tune-Up Day

PRACTICE TODAY

The U.S. had a short practice at noon today at an adjacent rink complex that opened its doors exactly a week ago today. The players were remarking how good the ice is, which perhaps is a reflection of how cold the building was. The U.S. got dressed for practice at its locker room at Frolundaborg and walked over with skates in hand to practice. Frolundaborg was built in 1969 and with space tight in team areas, teams are using any nook or cranny they can find. U.S. assistant coach Brett Larson, who is handling the power play, did just that by gathering players in a small area near where the players enter prior to practice to have a brief film session. Following practice, a handful of players and head coach David Carle spoke with members of the media, including Chris Peters, who is here covering the tournament from FloSports and NHL Network’s Jon Rosen.

PERREAULT SISTER HEADING TO FROLUNDA HC WOMEN’S TEAM

Word came today while Team USA was practicing that Gabe Perreault’s sister, Liliane, is heading here to Gothenburg to join the Frolunda HC women’s team. Frolunda plays in the 10-team SDHL, the top women’s professional league in Sweden, and utilizes Frolundaborg as its home rink (where Team USA is playing its preliminary round games in the World Juniors). Liliane played college hockey at Mercyhurst.

COOKING WITH CASEY

While Team USA defenseman Seamus Casey is an excellent hockey player, he also enjoys cooking and today, the Florida native shares with us his recipe for his go-to dinner. Bon appetit!

The Main Ingredients

New York strip steak  -- 12-14 ounce 

Fresh asparagus

Two large russet potatoes

Take steak out and pat dry with paper towel. Throw some salt on it and let it sit. 

Slice potatoes in half the long way and then in half again. Dice up the chunks so you’re left with cubes of potato all the same size.

Throw the cubes in a decent size bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Heat up some oil (whatever you have) over medium to high heat, and throw potatoes in the pan. Cook with lid off for 25-30 minutes. Stir pretty consistently as they cook until you get a golden-brown crust on the potatoes.

While potatoes cook, the steak should still be sitting out and you can prep and cook the asparagus.

Pre-heat oven to 385 and set out a baking pan out for the asparagus. Cut stem (white part) off the bottom of the asparagus so you’re left with smaller, tastier pieces. Throw some olive oil, salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning over the asparagus. Cook the asparagus for about 15 minutes. Check around 12 minutes with a fork. Usually they’re done at about the same time as the potatoes.

Get ready to cook the steak! Take a cast iron pan out and heat up olive oil over high heat. Add more salt, pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning on each side of the steak and pat it in. Sear fat cap for 30 seconds. Sear each side for 90 seconds to two minutes. Once there is a good crust on each side, take the steak off the heat and let it set for a minute. Dump oil out of the pan. Turn heat down to just lower than medium and throw ½-stick unsalted butter in the pan. Throw steak back in the pan with the butter and add some rosemary and thyme to finish off the color a little bit. Baste butter and thyme onto steak. Cook 5-7 minutes depending upon how you like your steak done. (I Iike my steak in between medium rare and medium.)

If you do everything right, you’re almost ready to eat my go-to dinner. Pull steak off the pan and  let it sit for three minutes. Then, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella on potatoes and asparagus. Once the cheese has melted, you are ready to eat.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH GOALIE NATION …..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Goalie Nation – Team USA’s three netminders in Trey Augustine from South Lyon, Mich., who plays at Michigan State University; Jacob Fowler from Melbourne, Fla., who plays at Boston College; and Sam Hillebrandt from Riverview, Fla., who plays at Barrie.

Sam Hillebrandt --------------------------

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Jake Oettinger. Like watching him play. Like the way he plays his position. He’s someone I look up to.

Favorite memories of my time as a youth hockey player.

Being in the hotel, messing around with my teammates, playing mini-sticks.

A description of my perfect day.

Nice breakfast with a cup of coffee in the morning, a good workout and skate. Finish the day off at the beach or playing pickleball.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Lot of competition. Lot of battle drills. Being able to read the shot off of a guy’s stick.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy 

Hair …   Middle part with some flow

Hockey Stick Taped …  Toe to heel with white tape

Skates sharpened …  5/8

Steak Cooked …  Medium

Room Temperature …  66

Coffee … Two cream, two sugar

Jacob Fowler --------------------------

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Jim Craig. Never got to meet him personally, but being a young American goaltender, I watched the movie Miracle probably 10,000 times. That moment and the way he played was so special to this country.

Thoughts on my time as a youth hockey player

Favorite memories would probably go back to playing with Seamus (Casey) and Gavin (Brindley). We were fortunate to win a lot of tournaments but I think just those mornings that maybe you didn’t want to go to the rink, those 6 a.m. wake-up calls. The night before having the team dinner with those guys and just being able to spend time with them was great.

A description of my perfect day

Wake up, get a little workout out in, maybe go to the beach, play some golf, get a little hockey in and spend some time with my family as well. I think that would be a pretty perfect day.

What makes a good hockey practice

Some nice warm-up shots at the beginning. Go into a couple structured drills, always love playing a little small-area games and then a shootout at the end.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …  Slick it back with some gel

Hockey Stick Taped … Toe to heel

Skates sharpened …  ¾”

Steak Cooked …   Medium rare

Room Temperature …  Somewhere around low 70s

Coffee … Hot with maybe a little cream and sugar, depends on the day

Trey Augustine --------------------------

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Ryan Miller. MSU alum, won a Hobey Baker.

Favorite memories of youth hockey days.

Loved playing in the Pee Wee tournament in Quebec and my time with Honeybaked.

A description of my perfect day.

Wake up, go to the rink, have a good skate; workout after, then a nice round of golf.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Good warm-up on the ice, track some pucks first, and then just kinda have some compete in there, have some fun.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Sunny side up

Hair …   Just kind of whatever

Hockey Stick Taped … Toe to heel

Skates sharpened …   Occasionally

Steak Cooked …  Medium rare

Room Temperature …  68 degrees

Coffee … Iced coffee, little cream


Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023 | U.S. Tops Norway

GAME DAY VS. NORWAY

Gavin Brindley (Estero, Fla./University of Michigan) tallied a pair of goals and Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich./Michigan State University) made 22 saves to help the U.S. National Junior Team to a 4-1 victory over Norway in its first preliminary round matchup of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship at Frolundaborg. For the full recap, click here.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH WILL SMITH…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Will Smith from Lexington, Mass., who plays college for Boston College.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. Grew up watching him and the Hawks and the Olympics. Him being a role model for all the guys coming up is pretty cool.

Favorite memories of youth hockey.

My favorite memory is just going to the Quebec tournament or the Brick Tournament, just being with my buddies; having fun in the hotel, playing knee hockey and just kinda having no worries in the world.

A description of my perfect day.

I would go to an old-fashioned diner, get a cup of coffee in a nice mug and get some eggs,  hash browns, and then after that play some golf, hang with family and then maybe a little game of hockey at night with my buddies.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Lot of attack, offense, line rushes, special teams and that’ll do it.

How I Like My ….

Eggs … Over easy, but like scrambled and egg sandwiches too

Hair …  I kinda let it just do its thing

Hockey Stick Taped …  Depends how things are going … if it’s going good, will just do the same thing -- heel to toe and just leave a little off the toe.

Skates sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium

Room Temperature … 68

Coffee … One cream, one of the Splenda pink packets


Monday, Dec. 25, 2023 | Team Photo Day

The U.S. had its first practice at Frolundaborg early this afternoon where it will play its four preliminary round games of the World Junior Hockey Championship. Prior to practice, Team USA took its official team photo and the formal tournament headshots. In addition, tournament photographer Chris Tanouye snapped a number of different group shots. 

Frolundaborg is the headquarters for Frolunda Hockey Club, which uses the facility to practice and to play its games in the Champions Hockey League. Frolunda HC, which was founded in 1938, plays its games in the Swedish Hockey League at Scandinavium. The facility opened in 1971, and with a capacity of 12,044 for ice hockey is the largest venue in the Swedish Hockey League (the top professional hockey league in Sweden). Frolundaborg, which opened in 1969, has a capacity of 7,600 for ice hockey.

NOTHING LIKE A LITTLE KARAOKE

The challenge coin Dr. Doug Weiss presented to Team USA players and staff during last night’s holiday dinner (see note in yesterday’s Insider) must always be carried with the player or staff member at all times throughout the tournament. The agreed-upon penalty for those found without the coin at any time is singing karaoke in front of the group. While no names will be disclosed, a couple of players and one staff member have already been singing.

WELL BEING

Brian Gallivan, who is Team  USA’s performance coach, blends recovery shakes for players following practice and games. The shakes, which are 8-to-10 ounces, differ in content with the ones following practice containing protein, carbs and greens and the shakes after games featuring protein, oat flour, greens and chia seeds.

A FEW THINGS

Alternate captain Cutter Gauthier had three points in each of the Team USA’s pre-tournament games, including 2-1—3 in its 5-3 win over Sweden and 0-3—3 in the 6-5 overtime win over Canada … Team USA family members started arriving in Gothenburg today and additions are anticipated daily through New Year’s Eve … Christmas music could be heard blaring from Team USA’s lockerroom following practice … Jon Rosen, who will handle ice level reporting for NHL Network for all Team USA games, arrived in Gothenburg last night and was at Team USA’s practice today … Team USA’s roster includes the top four point-getters at Boston College, including Gabe Perreault (5-20—25), Cutter Gauthier (13-10—23), Will Smith (8-15—23) and Ryan Leonard (10-8—18). Also on the roster are the top point getters from the University of Michigan (Seamus Casey/4-18--22), Michigan State University (Isaac Howard/5-15--20), Flint (Gavin Hayes/19-17—36)) and Erie (Carey Terrance/22-12—34) … The U.S. coaching staff opted to walk back from the rink to the hotel after practice and made the just over three-mile journey in about 55 minutes.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH ISAAC HOWARD …..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Isaac Howard from Hudson, Wis., who plays college for Michigan State.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Growing up it was probably Patrick Kane. I think recently its probably more Matthews. Love watching that guy. His ability to score goals. He has that unique release to him. He’s always scoring goals in so many different ways. It’s fun to watch.

Thoughts on my time as a youth hockey player.

I liked winning the state championship with Hudson hockey way back in the day. My Squirt year. Was 10 years old or what not, but in the moment it's a huge game and we won it, so it was pretty awesome.

A description of my perfect day.

Probably just wakin up, getting some breakfast. Headin’ to the rink. Working out, skating, go home, hang with the guys, keep it pretty low key.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Some small-area games. Always fun to mix those in. Sometimes we’ll do a best of seven series.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …   Middle part

Hockey Stick Taped …  White

Skates sharpened …   1 ¼”

Steak Cooked …   Medium Rare

Room Temperature …   66

Coffee … No, no coffee


Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023 | Christmas In Sweden

A DAY OFF TO ENJOY CHRISTMAS

In Sweden, December 24 is the main day for celebrating Christmas and Team USA did just that, taking the day off for the most part and getting in the spirit. The leisurely day included a little video work, a light stretch, a brief team meeting, along with rest and relaxation. 

A number of players and staff went to Christmas Mass late this afternoon, before a celebratory team meal just after 6 o’clock. Jessica Thibault, who is leading team services for the U.S., visited a local bakery and had chocolate, carrott and banana cupcakes for the team.

Following dinner, it was another U.S. National Junior Team tradition as “Stanta Claus” handed out gifts to U.S. players and had his usual mix of entertaining dialogue as he brought each player forward. “Stanta Claus” is U.S. trainer Stan Wong, who is part of the staff of the U.S. National Junior Team for the 22nd straight year. Scott Aldrich, one of Team USA's equipment managers, served as Stanta's elf.

THEY SAID IT

TSN’s Gord Miller on Lane Hutson during yesterday’s broadcast of the USA-Canada pre-tournament day … “He’s worth the price of admission.”

BITS AND PIECES

Team USA will be on the ice for practice at Frolundaborg tomorrow, the venue where it will play its preliminary round games in the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, starting Tuesday (Dec. 26) against Norway. Prior to its 1:30 p.m. skate, the team will take its official tournament headshots and also its team picture … Dr. Doug Weiss, who served in the U.S. Navy, presented members of Team USA with a challenge coin after its team dinner tonight. The coin features a six-pointed star that separates the six services -- Navy, Army, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force. In the middle of the star is a five-pointed star that represents and honors gold star family members and their fallen sons and daughters. The words Honor, Integrity and Respect are along the outer rim of the coin.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH ARAM MINNETIAN…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA defenseman Aram Minnetian from Woodcliff Lake, N.J., who plays college for Boston College..

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Adam Fox. He’s a fun player to watch. Great defenseman.

My favorite youth hockey memory.

We won WSI Worlds in Spain when I was, I think 13, and that is probably my favorite memory.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Being down south in Georgia at our family vacation home. Waking up in the morning, going to skate and then having the rest of the day on the lake with family and friends. I love to wafesurf, wakeboard, tube, cliff jump.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Pace. Fast and lots of games, lots of small-area games.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Sunny side up

Hair …  Long

Hockey Stick Taped … Black tape over the toe

Skates sharpened …  9/16”

Steak Cooked …  Medium rare

Room Temperature …  Cold

Coffee … Black iced coffee


Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023 | High Drama vs. Canada

PRE-TOURNEY TILT VS. CANADA

Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass./Boston College) netted a pair of goals and Lane Hutson (North Barrington, Ill./Boston University) notched the overtime-winner to lift the U.S. National Junior Team past Canada, 6-5, in pre-tournament action at Kungsbacka Ishall ahead of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. For the full recap, click here.

ROVING REPORTER WILL SMITH

Team USA was at the Lisberg Amusement Park and its festive Christmas Market Friday night and our roving reporter– Team USA forward Will Smith – was on hand, and filed this report.

FUN CONNECTION – THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION

Yesterday, we shared that U.S. netminder Sam Hillebrandt and Trey Augustine played together on the Little Caesars AAA Squirt Majors team in 2015-16 and showed an accompanying photo. Did you figure out who is who? Hillebrandt is in the front row, fourth from the left and Augustine is fifth from left in the front row.

THE INSIDE STORY GAVIN HAYES….

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Gavin Hayes from Westland, Mich., who plays for the Flint Firebirds.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. I used to be 88 as a kid, he was my favorite.

Memories of my time playing youth hockey.

I started playing when I was five or six, first for Victory Honda, then for Compuware. My 15U year was probably my favorite.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Have breakfast made for me. Same thing with lunch. Maybe go to the beach, ocean. Kick legs up a bit. Finish the day off with golf and then a nice steak dinner.

What makes a good hockey practice?

All games; couple 3-on-3 games; power play games.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …  Long

Hockey Stick Taped … Black tape, half of blade to toe

Skates sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium

Room Temperature …  Cold, 65-66

Coffee … Double double – two creams, two sugars


Friday, Dec. 22, 2023 | Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

LAST SKATE AT KALLERED ICE HALL

Team USA had its final practice at Kallered Ice Hall today. It lasted just about 40 minutes and following the skate, the U.S. training staff began moving some of Team USA’s operation to Frolundaborg in Gothenburg, where the U.S. will play its preliminary round games in the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship. The team was most appreciative of the warm hospitality it received at Kallered over its week-long stay and gathered with young fans in front of the facility just before departing.

IN THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

The ground had a different look this morning when Team USA woke up as some snow fell overnight to provide a celebratory look just a couple days ahead of Christmas. Speaking of the holiday spirit, Team USA took a trip to the Lisberg Amusement Park and its festive Christmas Market tonight. The players and staff were all smiles and a few shivers heading back on the bus after, with perhaps the most celebratory story of the evening coming with Eric Pohlkamp winning a giant Snickers/Twix bar in a carnival-like game of chance. Seamus Casey, Drew Fortescue and Carey Terrance went for the thrill of Valkyria, Europe’s longest Dive Coaster. Our roving reporter on the ground – Team USA forward Will Smith – was on hand, and look for a video update, complete with interviews, in tomorrow’s Insider.

FUN CONNECTION

U.S. netminder Sam Hillebrandt and Trey Augustine played together on the Little Caesars AAA Squirt Majors team in 2015-16. See if you can figure out who is Sam and who is Trey. We’ll have the answer for you tomorrow.

USA-CANADA

The U.S. will face Canada tomorrow in Kungsbacka, Sweden, with faceoff at 6 p.m. local/12 noon ET. ESPN+ will carry the game live and NHL Network will air next-day-delayed on Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. ET. The contest is the last pre-tournament game for Team USA before opening play in the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship on Dec. 26 against Norway.

THE JOURNEY TO SWEDEN

Here’s a fun video look back at Team USA’s journey to Sweden, from departure in Michigan on Dec. 17 to arrival here in Sweden on Dec. 18.

THE INSIDE STORY RYAN LEONARD…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Ryan Leonard from Amherst, Mass., who plays college hockey at the University of Wisconsin.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. What he showcased and has done for everybody. Obviously, he’s an extremely skilled player and so fun to watch.

Memories of my time playing youth hockey.

Playing in the summer tournaments with all my buddies that I didn’t get to see during the year. The Brick tournament, playing in the mall in Edmonton, was pretty fun.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Get up. Play 18 holes. Get food; have lunch with a couple guys. Then a 7 o’clock game in the Beanpot at night.

What makes a good hockey practice?

At the start getting competitive energy going. As you get into the practice, just ultimately games that implicate different skills.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …  Back

Hockey Stick Taped … Toe to heel

Skates sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium rare

Room Temperature …  67

Coffee … Caramel Macchiato


Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023 | Exhibition Game vs. Sweden

COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN vs. SWEDEN

Cutter Gauthier (Scottsdale, Ariz./Boston College) had two goals and an assist, Jimmy Snuggerud (Chaska, Minn./University of Minnesota) a goal and two assists and Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) two goals to propel the U.S. National Junior Team to a 5-3 come-from-behind victory tonight against Sweden in the first of two pre-tournament games for Team USA in advance of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The game was played in Angelholm, Sweden. For the full recap, click here.

A FEW TIDBITS

The bus ride from Team USA’s hotel in Gothenburg to Catena Arena in Angelholm, Sweden, where it faced Sweden tonight took about two hours and 15 minutes … Team USA players were playing a game called two-touch with a soccer ball in the concourse area near the team’s locker room prior to the game and accidentally took out the concession stand’s ketchup dispenser. Fortunately, there was no damage and the dispenser was quickly restored to its rightful position next to the mustard … Following the game, the U.S. enjoyed dinner at the rink before the bus ride back to its hotel … The U.S. training staff packed up the team’s operation and drove the truck back to Molndal where the team will finish its week-long stay tomorrow with a 1 p.m. practice.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH QUINN FINLEY…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Quinn Finley from Suamico, Wis., who plays college hockey at the University of Wisconsin.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. Loved watching him play growing up as a Hawks fan.

Favorite memory playing youth hockey.

Winning the state title with my Junior Gamblers team will always be a great memory.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Buffett breakfast. Eggs, waffles, cinnamon rolls. Going on the lake and doing some fishing with my buddies. Go to the rink, little 3x3. At night sit by the campfire at the lake.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Lot of games; competition. Some scoring drills for forwards. Have that be a competition too.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …  Long

Hockey Stick Taped … Half black

Skates sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium

Room Temperature …  67ish

Coffee … Iced with a lot of milk .. lot of French Vanilla


Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023 | Captains Named

COMING TOGETHER

The U.S. had its third practice together in Sweden, with the full team on the ice just after 11:30 a.m. Head coach David Carle and his team of assistant coaches, including Brett Larson, Steve MillerGarrett Raboin and David Lassonde, put the U.S. through a nearly 60-minute session in advance of its first pre-tournament game tomorrow against Sweden in Angelholm.

LEADERSHIP GROUP NAMED

U.S. head coach David Carle gathered the team just before it hit the ice for the full team practice to announce the leadership group for the 2024 U.S. National Junior Team. Forward Rutger McGroarty was named the captain and is the first forward to serve in the capacity of a U.S. National Junior Team since 2018. McGroarty is the third player from the University of Michigan to captain a U.S. National Junior Team in the last four years. The U.S. has four alternate captains in forwards Cutter Gauthier and Gavin Brindley and defensemen Ryan Chesley and Lane Hutson.

MUSINGS

Players and staff from Team USA are continuing to adapt to the time change here in Sweden with varying degrees of success … COMING SOON: Look for Cooking With Casey in the Insider as the Team USA defenseman Seamus Casey, who loves to cook, will share a couple of his favorite recipes … Moving Team USA is no easy task and the training staff – including equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Nick Meldrum, and athletic trainers Stan Wong and Dennis MacDonald – was busy after practice today getting hockey and medical gear set to load up on a truck and drive to Angelholm tomorrow morning in preparation for the U.S.-Sweden pre-tournament game there tomorrow night at 6 p.m. It’s about a two-hour drive to Catena Arena in Angelholm from Molndal, where the U.S. has been practicing this week. Fans should be able to watch the USA-Sweden game by using a VPN to connect to a Swedish IP address and clicking here … Following practice today, a handful of U.S. players hit the soccer field adjacent to the rink for a little fun before heading back to the team hotel.

THE ORIGINS OF THE WORLD JUNIORS

The concept for the IIHF World Junior Championship originally came from U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame coach Murray Williamson back in the early 1970s. Williamson, who played college hockey at the University of Minnesota, thought establishing a tournament such as the World Juniors would be a great promotional vehicle for junior hockey in the United States. 

The first tournament was the 1974 edition, which was not sanctioned by the IIHF. It took place Dec. 27, 1973 – Jan. 6, 1974, in Leningrad, Soviet Union, and along with the U.S., included the Soviet Union, Finland, Canada, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. The Soviets won the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record, while the U.S. finished fifth at 1-4. 

“We really had no idea we were getting in on the ground floor of something that would grow into something so big,” Williamson said. “The truth of the matter is our initial goal was to promote junior hockey in the United States.”

THE INSIDE STORY WITH SAM RINZEL…..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA defenseman Sam Rinzel from Chanhassen, Minn., who plays college hockey at the University of Minnesota.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. Feel like he kind of re-invented the game a little bit with his backhand. Super smart player and fun to watch.

My youth hockey memories.

Obviously really fun. I think about winning the peewee state championship. Just being around my buddies in my hometown. A really great community.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Think a lot time the summers are perfect … warm weather, wake up, going to skate, workout … later in the day, golfing or hanging out on the lake. Hanging with my buddies or family. That’s my perfect day.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Competitiveness. Being able to be around the best and having fun with it. Lot of learning. I think that’s a big part of it. Learn from others and continue to grow as a player.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …  Not super short

Hockey Stick Taped … Full blade taped

Skates Sharpened …  3/4

Steak Cooked …  Medium rare

Room Temperature … Cold, 66-67

Coffee … Cold brew


Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 – Day Two In Sweden

After a good night’s sleep – their “first sleep” in Gothenburg – Team USA enjoyed a hearty breakfast before jumping on the bus and making a 20-minute journey to Kallered Ice Hall for practice. Team USA’s power play units had 20 minutes of work in advance of the entire team starting drills at 11:30 a.m. After an hour-long skate and cool-down session, the U.S. returned to its hotel headquarters for some rest and relaxation.

IT’S ALL ABOUT FLORIDA

The U.S. National Junior Team includes four, yes, four players with Florida roots. It’s a testament to the continued growth and evolution of the sport in the United States and all the hard work from many, including volunteers in communities across the country. 

Goaltender Jacob Fowler (Melbourne, Fla.), defenseman Seamus Casey (Fort Myers, Fla.), and forward Gavin Brindley (Estero, Fla.) grew up playing youth hockey together in the state since the age of seven, and their parents, all who are expected to be in Sweden during the World Juniors, are close friends. Goaltender Sam Hillebrandt (Riverview, Fla.) spent most of his formative years in Michigan, but moved to Florida when he was 14. Today, Fowler and Hillebrandt skate together in the summers in Tampa.

TIDBITS

Players sang happy birthday at the rink today to Brian Gallivan, Team USA’s strength and conditioning coach … As a kid, Travis Culhane regularly had scrambled eggs with ketchup and cottage cheese for breakfast. Culhane is Team USA’s video coach and serves full-time as director of hockey operations of the University of Denver … U.S. general manager John Vanbiesbrouck shared that the coldest he’s ever been during a game in his Hall of Fame playing career was during the 1982 IIHF World Junior Championship when Team USA faced Switzerland in Grand Rapids, Minn. Vanbiesbrouck, who played for the U.S. in nine international competitions, spent parts of 20 seasons in the NHL and his 374 regular-season wins were the most of any American netminder in league history at the time of retirement … The amount of daylight is limited in Gothenburg this time of year with sunrise today at 8:53 a.m. and sunset at 3:25 p.m.

THE INSIDE STORY WITH ERIC POHLKAMP…

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA defenseman Eric Pohlkamp from Brainerd, Minn., who plays college hockey at Bemidji State University.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Dustin Byfuglien. Love how he played; he was an exciting player to watch, liked to hit.

What I’ll remember about most about my time as a youth hockey player.

We lived on a lake in Minnesota, so it was always cool to walk down the hill to the outdoor rink on the lake from my backyard. We also lived a block away from a real outdoor rink with boards.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Wake up; have a great breakfast with pancakes, waffles, Nutella, …. everything, cake, ice cream; then maybe do a little fishing to see if I can catch anything; after that go golfing with my brothers; after golf, a big family dinner (Pohlkamp has two brothers and three sisters) and then a night around the campfire with my family.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Lot of mini-games; love competition. Lots of shooting.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Sunny side up

Hair …  Short

Hockey Stick Taped … Basic; black tape on blade, white tape for the top

Skates Sharpened …  5/16

Steak Cooked …  Medium rare

Room Temperature … Cold, 62

Coffee … Iced


Monday, Dec. 18, 2023 | On The Ice In Sweden For The First Time

Team USA landed in Gothenberg about 11:45 a.m. and an hour later had all its belongings and was on a charter bus to the team hotel. Check-in was efficient and a nice welcome lunch was enjoyed by all and featured fish, lasagna, roasted potatoes, rice, bread, broccoli, salad and tomato soup. The team then jumped back on the bus for the 20-minute journey to Molndal, a town of about 60,000 located just south of Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden, where it will skate this week at the Kallered Ice Hall. The Olympic-sized ice surface is the home to approximately 350 youth hockey players, many who watched Team USA’s 50-minute practice.

PONDERINGS

A non-scientific survey found Team USA players got an average of 2.5 hours of sleep on the approximately eight-hour journey from Detroit to Frankfurt. The 80-minute flight from Frankfurt to Gothenburg was an entirely different story as pretty much all players and staff were asleep by the time the plane took off and didn’t awake until landing … U.S. assistant coach Brett Larson is overseeing Team USA’s power play, while assistant coach Steve Miller is handling the penalty kill … Team USA equipment manager Nick Meldrum celebrated his 40th birthday last Friday (Dec. 15) … U.S. forward Gabe Perreault can speak fluent French.

CUTTER BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

Team USA forward Cutter Gauthier was born in Skelleftea, Sweden, in January 2004 when his father Sean was wrapping up his professional playing career as a goaltender with Skelleftea AIK. Gauthier’s sister, Kennedy, was also born in Skelleftea. In northern Sweden along the Baltic Sea, Skelleftea has approximately 74,000 residents today. Gauthier has not returned to Sweden since moving to Arizona when he was two.

The Inside Story With Danny Nelson…

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Danny Nelson from Maple Grove, Minn., who plays college hockey at the University of Notre Dame.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane; he’s just so fun to watch.

What I’ll remember most about my time as a youth hockey player.

Skating outside on the pond

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Going to the rink in any sense at any time

What makes a good hockey practice?

Whatever gets the feet moving; love competition

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …  Little bit messy

Hockey Stick Taped … Full blade

Skates Sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium

Room Temperature … 70

Coffee … Don’t drink coffee


Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023 | Heading To Sweden

THE TRIP TO SWEDEN 

The journey to Sweden started just before noon Eastern time today as the team departed from the Marriott Livonia -- and after a stop at USA Hockey Arena -- arrived at Detroit Metro Airport about 1 p.m. The charter bus carrying Team USA and equipment truck, driven by Nick Meldrum, who is one of Team USA’s two equipment managers, pulled up curbside and the players and staff quick unloaded the hockey equipment and personal bags and moved them inside where airline personnel made quick work of tagging all the bags. Team USA had a few hours to kill before their flight departed for Frankfurt, where they’re expected to arrive about 6:30 a.m. before connecting to Gothenburg, Sweden. If all goes well, the team is slated to land at 11:15 a.m. in Gothenburg and the schedule calls for their first practice in Sweden at 3 p.m.

WHAT’S IN THE BAG

In preparation for Team USA’s trip to Sweden, U.S. performance coach Brian Gallivan provided players with a sleep and immune system support supplement pack. Included were vitamins, with two vitamin C chewables to take with breakfast and a group of other vitamins to have with lunch. Also provided was Right Stuff, an electrolyte drink developed for NASA, with players drinking one before getting on the plane and one consumed during the flight. Finally, Cheribundi, a liquid drink that improves sleep and also reduces inflammation, speeds recovery and supports immunity, was also provided. Gallivan consulted with Lisa McDowell from the Detroit Red Wings in developing the pack, as the Wings journeyed to Sweden earlier this season.

WORTHWHILE TIDBITS

Cribbage is a popular game within the Team USA staff with head coach David Carle and goaltending coach David Lassonde especially competitive … The U.S. Junior Select Team won five of its six games, including an 8-5 victory over Sweden today, to finish third at the World Junior A Challenge. Mac Swanson finished the tournament with 10 assists, the most ever by one player in the event … The U.S. roster includes seven players from Boston College (Cutter Gauthier, Will Smith, Gabe Perreault, Ryan Leonard, Aram Minnetian, Drew Fortescue, Jacob Fowler), the most ever from one team part of a U.S. National Junior Team roster. The previous high was six from Boston University in 2017 … With the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship being played on Olympic-sized ice surfaces, Team USA conducted the three practices at its camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., on the Mitchel Kiefer rink, which is an Olympic-sized (100’ x 200’) surface. USA Hockey Arena has two ice sheets, with the main rink NHL-sized ice (85’ x 200’).

The Inside Story With Carey Terrance...

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Carey Terrance, who hails from Akwesasne, N.Y.., and plays junior hockey for the Erie Otters.

My favorite American hockey player.

Auston Matthews.

Thoughts on my time as a youth hockey player.

I’ll always remember playing mini sticks in the hotel when I was a kid.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

On the water fishing or just on a boat.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Always enjoy 3-on-3

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Over easy

Hair …  Not messy

Hockey Stick Taped … Black tape with wax

Skates Sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium Rare

Room Temperature … 68

Coffee … Black


Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023 | Final Roster Set

After an approximately 75-minute skate that ended shortly after noon, the U.S. finalized its 25-player roster for the 2024 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. It’s always a day filled with much emotion, including the jubilation for players who made the team and disappointment for those who didn’t.

“We’re excited about our roster and obviously we have some great, great players who we had to release,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “We like the depth we have up and down the roster and we look forward to getting over to Sweden and having the chance to continue to prepare for the tournament.”

Team USA will depart for Gothenburg tomorrow afternoon and has pre-tournament games set for Dec. 21 against Sweden and Dec. 23 against Canada. The action starts for real on Dec. 26.

The Team USA roster includes three goaltenders, eight defensemen and 14 forwards. Among the group are 10 first-round NHL draft picks (Sam Rinzel, Cutter Gauthier, Isaac Howard, Ryan Leonard, Rutger McGroarty, Oliver Moore, Frank Nazar III, Gabe Perreault, Will Smith, Jimmy Snuggerud) and seven players who helped the U.S. earn bronze in last year’s World Juniors (Seamus Casey, Ryan Chesley, Lane Hutson, Gavin Brindley, Cutter Gauthier, Rutger McGroarty, Jimmy Snuggerud).

FUN MOMENT FOR GOALIE NATION

U.S. netminders Trey Augustine (right) and Jacob Fowler (left) were on hand at USA Hockey Arena to take part in the ceremonial puck drop prior to tonight’s USHL game between the Youngstown Phantoms and the U.S. National Under-18 Team. Augustine played for the U.S. National Under-18 Team last year, while Fowler was part of the Phantoms roster. This year, Fowler has taken his talents to Boston College, while Augustine is suiting up for Michigan State. Earlier this season (Oct. 26-27), Fowler’s BC Eagles got the best of Augustine’s MSU Spartans in Chestnut Hill, Mass., with 6-4 and 5-1 victories.

THIS AND THAT

Team USA will enjoy lunch from Chipotle tomorrow at the hotel prior to heading to Detroit Metro Airport for its journey to Sweden … Colorado College head men’s ice hockey coach Kris Mayotte was in greater Detroit and dropped by Team USA’s practice yesterday … The U.S. has medaled in six of the last eight IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships … The Team USA coaching staff was on hand tonight at USA Hockey Arena to watch the USHL game between the U.S. National Under-18 Team and Youngstown.

QUOTABLE

Isaac Howard talking about Rutger McGroarty’s presence within the team … “It’s like he’s always speaking in capital letters.”

The Inside Story With Oliver Moore …..

We’ll do our part to help you get to know a little bit more about Team USA during the tournament and each day will feature someone new. Today, we hear from Team USA forward Oliver Moore, who hails from Mounds View, Minn., and plays college hockey at the University of Minnesota.

My favorite American hockey player and why?

Patrick Kane. Watched him growing up a lot; someone I look up to.

Thoughts on my time as a youth hockey player.

I loved it. Growing up in Mounds Views, Minn., with the same group of guys. It was always fun.

A description of what my perfect day would look like.

Wake up; get a good breakfast in … home-cooked meal with cinnamon rolls and eggs with family; head to Augusta to golf; play hockey on an outdoor rink with friends and have some hot chocolate; go to the beach at night and swim and surf; then go home to be with family and then off to bed. That’d be a great day. Probably need about four states to do it.

What makes a good hockey practice?

Love to compete; battle drills are always fun, small-area games, maybe throw some power play time in there.

How I Like My ….

Eggs …  Scrambled

Hair …  Long

Hockey Stick Taped … White tape on bottom, black tape on top

Skates Sharpened …  5/8”

Steak Cooked …  Medium Rare

Room Temperature … 68

Coffee … Don’t drink coffee


Friday, Dec. 15 | The Journey Starts Now

Plymouth, Mich. – We’re nearing one of the of the most anticipated times on the hockey calendar each season, and that’s the staging of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship where the best men’s players in the world under the age of 20 from the top 10 hockey nations gather to compete for gold.

The tournament is filled with immense skill, wild momentum swings, and what is always highly entertaining hockey and an overall charged environment that brings out the very best in the game. 

The 2024 edition of the tournament is the 48th annual and will be staged in Gothenburg, Sweden, beginning Dec. 26 and culminating with the bronze and gold-medal games on Jan. 5. 

We’ll be providing you with daily updates through the Team USA Insider, including backstage content you won’t find anywhere else.

Enjoy the journey with us during this holiday season.

TEAM USA CAMP – Plymouth, Mich. – USA Hockey Arena

The U.S. National Junior Team training camp commenced Wednesday night with an opening meeting that set the stage for the 29 players here vying for the 25 roster spots available. Team logistics, including important information from the medical and equipment staff, took center stage at the outset with head coach David Carle outlining the team’s core principles to finish the 30-minute gathering.

The U.S. hit the ice for the first time yesterday morning with a high-tempo 90-minute session that finished with a short scrimmage. Gavin Brindley, who was attending his grandfather’s funeral, was not part of the skate and joined Team USA last night.

The gathered media here to cover the camp spent time talking to numerous players following the skate. Dave Starman, who is providing color commentary for U.S. games on NHL Network broadcasts, was among those in attendance and spent time feverishly taking notes in his conversations with players and coaches to ultimately provide the best insight to fans watching the tournament.

It was day two on the ice today with another 90-minute session that commenced at 11:30 a.m. U.S. general manager John Vanbiesbrouck, the Hall of Fame goaltender who works full-time for USA Hockey as assistant executive director of hockey operations, was watching closely again today as the time is coming near when he and his team of evaluators will have to make the final roster decisions before Team USA heads to Sweden on Sunday to continue preparation for the tournament.

A TRIP TO WATCH THE RED WINGS

Team USA took a 30-minute bus ride to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit to watch the Detroit Red Wings host the Carolina Hurricanes last night. It was a chance for team bonding and was for many their first trip to see one of the NHL’s newest and most spectacular venues.

GETTING CAMERA READY

NHL Network built a special set where Jon Morosi spent nearly six hours interviewing Team USA players late this afternoon and into the early evening for features and content that will run throughout the tournament. NHL Network is the exclusive home of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in the U.S. and will air all Team USA games and many others. A special World Juniors preview show will air on Dec. 25 at 6 p.m. ET in advance of the tournament.