The United States faces Sweden at Helsinki Ice Hall (capacity: 8,200) in its second preliminary round game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. This is the first meeting between the teams since the U.S. defeated Sweden, 3-1, in the gold-medal game in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia. The game will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.
THE SERIES VS. SWEDEN
The U.S. is 13-1-0-14-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Sweden all-time in the IIHF World Junior Championship. Team USA is undefeated (10-1-0-0-1) in its last 12 outings versus Sweden with its last loss coming in quarterfinal play on Jan. 1, 1996. The U.S. has outscored Sweden, 46-22, during that span. Three of the last five meetings have been medal games, with the U.S. winning each matchup, including one gold (2013) and two bronze (2011, 2007) medals.
LAST GAME: USA 4, CANADA 2
The four captains - Louie Belpedio, Auston Matthews, Zach Werenski and Colin White - each scored to lead the U.S. past rival Canada, 4-2, on Saturday night in front of 6,112 fans at Helsinki Ice Hall. White was named U.S. Player of the Game. The win was the ninth consecutive in tournament-opening games for Team USA.
Auston Matthews (1-1--2), Matthew Tkachuk (0-2--2), Zach Werenski (1-1--2) and Colin White (1-1--2) each had multi-point games in Saturday’s win ... Including the two exhibition games, Sonny Milano (3-3--6) and Christian Dvorak (1-3--4) are the only Team USA players to tally points in all three games to date.
THOUGHTS FROM COACH
Head coach Ron Wilson met with the media following practice yesterday to discuss today’s matchup against Sweden.
Wilson: “I have a lot of respect for Sweden. We saw them in Lake Placid this summer and they’re even better now. They have a big, mobile defense, so it’ll be tough to find a way to get through. Our biggest strength is our balance amongst our forwards; any line can score. We’re hoping we can wear them down and capitalize on our chances.”
KELLY MILLER JOINS TEAM USA
Kelly Miller, assistant coach at Michigan State University, joined Team USA in Helsinki yesterday (Dec. 27). A camp coach for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, he is serving as an advance scout for the team throughout the tournament. During Miller’s 15-year NHL career, he spent two seasons (1997-99) with the Washington Capitals with Ron Wilson as his coach. A three-time player for the U.S. National Junior Team, Miller skated with assistant coach Chris Chelios on the 1982 squad and captained the 1983 team that included general manager Jim Johannson.
Check back for full game notes, line charts and starting goaltender.
|Date||Opponent||Location||Result||U.S. Player of the Game|
|Sat., Dec. 26||Canada||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 4-2||Colin White|
|Mon., Dec. 28||Sweden||Helsinki Ice Hall||L, 0-1||Zach Werenski|
|Wed., Dec. 30||Switzerland||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 10-1||Auston Matthews|
|Thu., Dec. 31||Denmark||Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 4-1||Brandon Carlo|
|Sat., Jan. 2||Czech Republic
|Helsinki Ice Hall||W, 7-0||Nick Schmaltz|
|Mon., Jan. 4||Russia
|Hartwall Arena||L, 1-2||Christian Dvorak|
|Tues. , Jan. 5||Sweden
Bronze Medal Game
|Hartwall Arena||W, 8-3||Anders Bjork|