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GAME DAY | U.S. Faces Latvia Today With Spot in World Juniors Semifinals At Stake

By USA Hockey, 01/02/24, 7:00AM EST

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Opening faceoff set for 11 a.m. ET; Watch game live on NHL Network

GOTHENBURG, Sweden – The U.S. will battle Latvia today in the quarterfinals of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, with opening faceoff set for 5 p.m. local/11 a.m. ET. The game can be seen live on NHL Network.

The winner advances to Thursday’s (Jan. 4) semifinals.

Team USA won Group B, earning victories in each of its four preliminary round contests, including a 10-2 triumph over Slovakia in its last outing on Sunday (Dec. 31).

Latvia finished fourth in Group A with one win, that in its final preliminary round game against Germany.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • The U.S. is the tournament’s top-scoring team, averaging 7.25 goals per game. Yes, 7.25. Latvia did not score in its first three games, but put six on the board in its final preliminary round game against Germany.
  • Gavin Brindley (6-2—8), Cutter Gauthier (1-7—8) and Frank Nazar (0-8—8) are Team USA’s top getters. The trio are tied for second in the tournament in points, one off the lead.
  • The U.S. and Latvia have met just four times previously in the World Juniors and Team USA has won each of those contests, including a 5-2 triumph in the preliminary round of last year's World Juniors.
  • Team USA is the top overall seed in the tournament. After the quarterfinals, the teams are re-seeded. If Team USA advances, it will play the lowest remaining seed in the semifinals at either 3 p.m. local/9 a.m. ET or 7:30 p.m. local/1:30 p.m. ET. The top four seeds are USA-1, Sweden-2, Canada-3, Slovakia-4.
  • Team USA is 13-9 in the quarterfinals all-time, including wins in six of their last eight QF appearances. In last year’s tournament, Team USA gained an 11-1 win over Germany in the quarterfinals.

“We’ve continued to grow as a group -- from this summer, to our camp in December prior to the tournament, and through the preliminary round,” said David Carle, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. “Our guys are focused on the mission at hand and we know we’ll be facing a very good Latvian team in the quarterfinals.”

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