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GAMEDAY: U.S. Looking for Second Consecutive Victory at World Junior A Challenge

By USA Hockey, 12/12/18, 9:30AM EST


Puck drop set for 2 p.m. local time/4 p.m. ET; Stream live on

The United States Junior Select Team will continue tournament play at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge today (Dec. 12) at 2 p.m. local time/4 p.m. ET in Bonnyville, Alberta, at R.J. Lalonde Arena. Today's game marks the first meeting between the U.S. and Canada East since the pre-tournament game on Dec. 7, when the U.S. defeated the Canadians, 3-1.

2018 WJAC

WJAC History

The U.S. Junior Select Team will play its third game of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge tonight against Canada East 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: Canada East
Team USA is 3-0 (W-L) in its last three meetings with Canada East at the World Junior A Challenge, including a 7-1 victory in the 2015 third-place game. The U.S. last defeated Canada East at the in the 2016 championship game, 4-0

The U.S. has won four of the last six World Junior A Challenges, while Canada East has one top-three finish in the past three years, a second place finish in 2016.

Game Two Recap

Team USA bounced back at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge on Tuesday with a 4-2 victory against the Czech Republic in Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada. Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn.) had a pair of goals for the U.S. with Connor Caponi (Brookfield, Wis.) assisting on both of his tallies. Ryan O'Reilly (Southlake, Texas) had two points, including the empty net goal to seal the victory for Team USA and Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) made 32 saves on 34 shots. Team USA outshot Canada West 35-34 and went one-for-four on the power play.

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 --