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GAME DAY | Team USA to Face Slovakia in Semifinals

By USA Hockey, 05/03/24, 8:45PM EDT


Puck drops at 7:00 am ET on NHL Network

ESPOO, Finland – The U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team will face Slovakia today in the semifinals of the 2024 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship. Puck drop is slated for 2:00 p.m. local / 7:00 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.

The U.S. has advanced to the semifinals of the U18 World Championship in 20 of the last 21 tournaments and looks to return to the gold-medal game for the third consecutive tournament. 

Team USA used a 4-0 win over Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Thursday (May 2) to remain one of two unbeaten teams in the tournament, along with Canada. The U.S. has already seen Slovakia in the first game of the preliminary round, a 9-0 win for the United Sates. 

Slovakia started with three straight losses to open tournament play, but has won its last two, including an 11-1 win over Norway to end prelims and a 3-2 victory over rival Czechia in the quarterfinals.

The 2024 U18 Championship concludes tomorrow with the bronze-medal game at 2:00 p.m. local / 7 a.m. ET and gold-medal contest at 6:00 p.m. local / 11:00 a.m. ET. Both games will broadcast live on NHL Network.


  • The U.S. and Slovakia have met 13 previous times in the U18 Championship. After Slovakia won the first two meetings, the United States has won each of the past 11 match-ups, including a 9-0 win earlier this tournament. The two teams met in semifinal action last year in Switzerland, a 7-1 win for the U.S. en route to their 11th gold medal. 
  • Team USA is the most prolific goal-scoring team in the tournament, averaging 7.40 goals per game and shooting at an 18.88% clip, both tops in the tournament.
  • The United States is leading the tournament in both ends of special teams, with a 47.6% power-play conversion rate and a 92.3% penalty kill. 
  • James Hagens is the leading point-getter in the U18s with nine goals, 10 assists and 19 points, all of which lead the tournament. Hagens is one point off the U.S. single tournament record of 20, set by Jack Hughes (2019) and Will Smith (2023). The all-time tournament points record is 21, set by Nikita Kucherov in 2011.
  • Cole Eiserman is second behind Hagens with six goals scored, U.S. captain Brodie Ziemer leads the tournament in plus/minus rating at +14, Kamil Bednarik is second in the face-off dot, winning 67.1% of his draws and goaltender Nick Kempf is first in both GAA (1.12) and SV% (.951). 
  • The U.S. has won 12 straight contests in the U18 Championship, dating back to the start of last year's tournament sweep. 
  • Team USA is in search of its 12th gold medal in tournament history; the 11 prior golds are the most of any competing team in U18 Championship history. 



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