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GAMEDAY: U.S. Faces the Czech Republic

By USA Hockey, 12/11/18, 8:15AM EST


Puck drop set for 7 p.m. local time/9 p.m. ET; Stream live on

The United States Junior Select Team will continue tournament play at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge tonight (Dec. 11) at 7 p.m. local time/9 p.m. ET in Bonnyville, Alberta, at R.J. Lalonde Arena. Today's game marks the first meeting between the U.S. and the Czech Republic since the 2017 World Junior A Challenge, when the U.S. fell to the Czechs, 4-2.

The U.S. Junior Select Team will play its second game of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge tonight against the Czech Republic at R.J. Lalonde Arena. The game will be streamed live on, and live game updates will be provided by @USAHockey on Twitter.

Tonight’s Opponent: Czech Republic
Team USA is 1-2 (W-L) in its last three meetings with the Czech Republic at the World Junior A Challenge. The U.S. last defeated the Czech Republic at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge, 6-0.

The U.S. has won four of the last six World Junior A Challenges, while the Czech Republic has one top-three finish, a third place finish in 2017.

2018 WJAC

WJAC History

Game One Recap

Team USA opened the 2018 World Junior A Challenge on Sunday with a 2-1 loss in the shootout against Canada West. on Friday in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada. Griffin Ness (Wayzata, Minn.) scored the lone goal for the U.S. and Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska) made 25 saves on 26 shots. Team USA outshot Canada West 42-26, including a 21-7 shot advantage in the third period.

Noreen Leading the Charge

Anthony Noreen (Kearney, Neb.) is the head coach of the 2018 U.S. Junior Select Team after serving as an assistant coach at the 2013 and 2017 World Junior A Challenge. In 2017, he helped lead the U.S. Junior Select Team as assistant coach to a second-place finish. Prior to that, Noreen served as an assistant coach with the 2013 team that took home first place for the second consecutive year at the World Junior A Challenge. Noreen, who is head coach of the United States Hockey League's Tri-City Storm is joined on the U.S. coaching staff by assistant coaches Mark Abalan (Sioux City, Iowa), Shane Fukushima (Waterloo, Iowa) and David Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.). Marc Boxer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's director of junior hockey, is serving as general manager.

International Experience

The 22-player roster includes 10 players who have skated for the U.S. internationally. Of those 10 players, nine have skated on U.S. Select Teams, including seven skaters who helped lead the U.S. to first-place finishes at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Plano, Texas, in 2016 and Ostrava, Czech Republic, in 2017. Moreover, Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn./Central Illinois Flying Aces) was a member of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that earned a silver medal at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship last April in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia.

More Big Stages

Along with international experience, eight players have competed in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, an annual event featuring the top American players eligible for the NHL Draft. Ethan Frisch (Moorhead, Minn./Green Bay Gamblers), Janicke, Zac Jones (Glen Allen, Va./Tri-City Storm), Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y./Chicago Steel), Shane Pinto (Franklin Square, N.Y./Lincoln Stars), Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska/Tri-City Storm), and Grant Silianoff (Edina, Minn./Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) all participated in the 2018 event. Furthermore, Ryan O'Reilly (Southlake, Texas/Fargo Force) played in the 2017 event before bring drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round, 98th overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, Texas.

Date Opponent Venue Location Time (Local/ET)/Result Streaming Coverage
Fri., Dec. 7 Canada East* Cold Lake Energy Centre Cold Lake, Alta. W, 3-1 HockeyTV
Sun., Dec. 9 Canada West R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. SOL, 1-2 HockeyTV
Tues., Dec. 11 Czech Republic R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. W, 4-2 HockeyTV
Wed., Dec. 12 Canada East R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. W, 7-3 HockeyTV
Fri., Dec. 14 Russia R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. L, 3-4 HockeyTV
Sat., Dec. 15 Canada West (Semifinal) R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. OTW, 3-2 HockeyTV
Sun., Dec. 16 Russia (Championship) R.J. Lalonde Arena Bonnyville, Alta. W, 2-0 --