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Gameday: USA vs. Russia

By, 01/04/16, 8:00AM EST


Puck drops at 1 p.m. ET, Watch Live on NHL Network

Team USA returns to the semifinals of the IIHF World Junior Championship for the first time since 2013 and will face Russia, a team it has never defeated in a medal-round game in the World Juniors (0-6). Russia has eliminated the U.S. from the World Juniors in the quarterfinals each of the last two years, including by a 3-2 count last year in Montreal. In that game, the U.S. outshot Russia, 41-25. Zach Werenski had a goal and Auston Matthews an assist. Russia scored twice on the power play, including once with a two-man advantage. Tonight’s game will be televised live in the U.S. on NHL Network.

The U.S. is 5-0-0-11 (W-OTW-OTL-L) all-time against Russia in the IIHF World Junior Championship. Russia has won the last four games between the two teams. The last U.S. win was a 3-2 preliminary round victory in 2007.

Auston Matthews 
leads all players in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in goals (7) and is tied for fourth in points (11) ... Alex Nedeljkovic leads all goaltenders in the tournament in both goals against average (1.15) and save percentage (.954) ... Zach Werenski is second in points (7) among all defensemen ... The U.S. has two shorthanded goals in the tournament, the most of any team ... Eighteen players have earned at least one point ... Three players have points in four of Team USA’s five games, including Matthews, Sonny
and Matthew Tkachuk ... The line of Matthews (7-4-11), Tkachuk (2-6-8) and Colin White (3-4-7) has combined for 26 points or 40% of Team USA’s total of 65 points.

The U.S. National Junior Team is 4-0-1-6 (W-OTW-OTL-L) all-time in semifinal games in the world junior championship ... The U.S. is 3-0 in games with an 8 p.m. start time in the 2016 World Juniors (Canada (4-2), Switzerland (10-1), Czech Republic (7-0)) ... U.S. Head Coach Ron Wilson on Russia, “They’re strong in all phases of the game. If we can establish an aggressive forecheck and make them adjust to our style of play, I like our chances.” ... Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk are the first U.S. players to notch at least eight points in a world junior championship since 2013 when Johnny Gaudreau (9), J.T. Miller (9), Jacob Trouba (9) and Alex Galchenyuk (8) each reached or surpassed the mark in seven games ... Zach Werenski’s seven points (2-5) are the most by a U.S. defensemen since Seth Jones (1-6-7) and Jacob Trouba (4-5-9) reached the mark in 2013.

Head Coach Ron Wilson, who is leading Team USA for the eighth time in international competition, has now led a U.S. team to the semifinal round for the seventh time.

Year Event Result
1994 IIHF Men's World Championship Fourth
1996 IIHF Men's Worlld Championship Bronze
1996 World Cup of Hockey First
1998 1998 Olympic Winter Games Sixth
2004 World Cup of Hockey Fourth
2009 IIHF Men's World Championship Fourth
2010 2010 Olympic Winter Games Silver

Game notes and line charts still to come

Recent News

Team USA Schedule

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

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