The United States faces Denmark at Helsinki Ice Hall (capacity: 8,200) in its final preliminary round game of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. It is just the second ever meeting between the two teams in the World Junior Championship. In their only previous meeting, Team USA defeated Denmark by an 11-3 count on Dec. 26, 2011. Today’s game will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.
QUARTERFINAL SCENARIO FOR TEAM USA
With its win over Switzerland yesterday (Dec. 30), Team USA secured a spot in the tournament quarterfinals, which will take place Jan. 2. Depending upon the outcome of today’s games, the U.S. can finish anywhere from second to fourth in Group A. 1A regulation win over Denmark will guarantee the U.S. second place in Group A and a quarterfinal game on Jan. 2 against the third-place team in Group B.
IN GOAL TODAY
Brandon Halverson is the likely starter in goal today. Last night, he made his tournament debut when he took the net in relief of Alex Nedeljkovic in Team USA’s 10-1 victory over Switzerland. In 31:51 minutes of play, Halverson stopped all 20 shots he faced. A second round pick of the New York Rangers, Halverson was a member of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team where he played one game -- a 17-save shutout victory in a 3-0 preliminary round win over Germany.
LAST GAME: USA 10, SWITZERLAND 1
Eleven players contributed points as the U.S. National Junior Team earned a 10-1 victory last night (Dec. 30) over Switzerland. Five players had three or more points in the game, led by Auston Matthews with four (2-2--4) and Matthew Tkachuk (2-1--3), Christian Dvorak (1-2--3), Colin White (1-2--3) and Zach Werenski (1-2--3) each with three. Matthews was named the U.S. Player of the Game. For complete game recap, click here.
THINGS TO KNOW
Team USA has won three of its four preliminary-round games in each of the last two years and looks to extend that streak to three years in a row here today ... Of the 11 players to contribute a point in yesterday’s (Dec. 30) 10-1 victory, eight are products of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program ... The 10-1 victory marked Team USA’s largest margin of victory in tournament play since a 12-2 win over Latvia on Jan. 3, 2012. The largest ever margin of victory for Team USA in the World Junior Championship came on Jan. 1, 1991, when it defeated Norway, 19-1 ... All-time, Team USA is 12-1-1-9-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) in 34 contests on New Year’s Eve. In those contests, the U.S. has outscored its opponents 97-80 ... Forward Alex DeBrincat, who was injured in Monday’s (Dec. 28) game vs. Sweden, will not play today and is listed as day-to-day ... Zach Werenski has five points (2-3) in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship to lead all defensemen ... Auston Matthews is tied for the tournament lead in goals with three ... U.S. Head Coach Ron Wilson on Denmark, “I like where we’re at, but there’s always room for improvement. Denmark will be our final challenge before quarterfinals and I’m sure our players will look to close the preliminary round with a solid win.”
|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|