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Team USA Tops Switzerland, 3-1, in WJAC Quarterfinal

By USA Hockey, 12/13/17, 2:30PM EST


U.S. to play in Semifinals on Thursday

TRURO, N.S. — Three different U.S. players scored and Graham Lillibridge (Geneva, Ill.) tallied a pair of assists as the U.S. Junior Select Team defeated Switzerland, 3-1, in quarterfinal play of the 2017 World Junior A Challenge here at RECC Arena.

"Our guys played well and put themselves in a position for success in this tournament," said PK Handley, head coach of the 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team. "We have a quick turnaround for tomorrow's semifinal but the guys are determined to go after it with everything they have."

With the win, Team USA (2-0-0-1/W-OTW-OTL-L) advances to tomorrow’s semifinal where it will face Russia at 2:30 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on

After controlling the majority of play in the first 10 minutes, Tyler Madden (Albany, N.Y.) rewarded the U.S. with the game’s opening goal at the 12:25 mark. The play started when Alex Steeves (Bedford, N.H.) threw a pass up the ice to Sam Hentges (Fridley, Minn.) who was able to skate down the left wall and flick a backhanded pass over a sprawled Switzerland defender that Madden was able to one-time past Swiss goaltender Akira Schmid.

The U.S. then doubled its lead with :18 remaining in the first period when Curtis Hall (Princeton, N.J.) converted on a U.S. power play. Lillibridge and Blake McLaughlin (Grand Rapids, Minn.) were credited with assists on the play.

Switzerland cut Team USA’s lead to one just 2:02 into the middle frame when Jeremy Gerber was able to put a shot past Ryan Bischel (Medina, Minn.).

With 6:28 remaining in the game, the U.S. was able to regain a two-goal lead when Lillibridge collected a loose puck at center ice, cut down the right wall and found a streaking Paul Cotter (Canton, Mich.) alone in front of the goal for a tap-in tally.

Bischel finished with nine saves on 10 shots to earn the win.

NOTES: Curtis Hall was named the U.S. Player of the Game ... The World Junior A Challenge is in its twelfth year, and the U.S. is competing for the eleventh time … All U.S. players currently play in the United States Hockey League, the lone Tier I junior hockey league in the United States. For the full U.S. roster, click here … For complete coverage of Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge, click here… The 2017 field includes Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and the United States … Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times (2008-10, 2012-14, 2016).

2018 WJAC

World Junior A Challenge History


Date Opponent Round Time (Local/ET) Location Stream
Fri., Dec. 8 Canada East W, 7-0 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Mon., Dec. 11 Czech Republic L, 2-4 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Tues., Dec. 12 Canada West W, 2-1 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Wed., Dec. 13 Switzerland
W, 3-1 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Thurs., Dec.14 Russia
W, 5-0 3:30 p.m./2:30 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.
Sat., Dec. 16 Canada West
Championship Game
L, 1-5 3p.m./2 p.m. RECC Arena
Truro, N.S.

World Junior A Challenge News