The United States faces Switzerland at Helsinki Ice Hall (8,200) in its third preliminary round game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. It is the first meeting between the teams since a relegation contest in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship that the U.S. won, 2-1. Tonight’s game will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.
THE SERIES VS. SWITZERLAND
The U.S. leads the all-time series versus Switzerland, 19-0-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) in the IIHF World Junior Championship. In their 21 meetings, Team USA has outscored the Swiss, 118-42, including 13-6 over the last five meetings.
IN GOAL TODAY
Alex Nedeljkovic is the likely starter in goal tonight. Through two games, the Parma, Ohio, native has made 47 saves on 50 shots (.940) and has a 1.50 goals against average. A second round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, Nedeljkovic was a member of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team and helped the 2014 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team claim a gold medal at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. He won five of his six games, earning a 1.84 goals against average, .902 save percentage and one shutout.
LAST GAME: USA 0, SWEDEN 1
Team USA outshot Sweden, 46-23, but fell 1-0 in its second of four preliminary round games. Zach Werenski, who led all players in the game with six shots on goal, was named the U.S. Player of the Game. The loss was Team USA’s first against Sweden in the last 12 outings (10-1-0-0-1), which included three medal-game victories (gold: 2013, bronze: 2011, 2007).
TIDBITS ON TEAM USA
Forward Alex DeBrincat, who left in the first period of Monday’s (Dec. 28) game versus Sweden, is listed day-to-day and will not play tonight ... Team USA can assure itself of a spot in the quarterfinals by earning one point in tonight’s game ... The U.S. had the day off yesterday and enjoyed a team lunch in downtown Helsinki before exploring the city and spending time with family ... Seven players, including Louie Belpedio, Anders Bjork, Brandon Fortunato, Ryan Hitchcock, Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano, and Alex Nedeljkovic will face 16 Swiss players who were on the Swiss squad that edged the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team, 4-2, in the opening game of the 2014 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Led by head coach Danton Cole and assistant coach Kevin Reiter, the U.S. used the loss as motivation en route to win the gold medal with a 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic ... Auston Matthews, who leads the Zurich Lions (Swiss) in goals (14) and points (25), will face three teammates tonight, including Denis Malgin, Pius Suter and Jonas Siegenthaler ... IIHF.com published an article on Monday (Dec. 28) highlighting 20 years of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program ... Episode three of USA Hockey’s Stars and Stripes: All-Access Video Series was released yesterday and can be found at worldjuniors.usahockey.com
|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|