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GAMEDAY: Team USA Ready to Take On Russia in Final Preliminary Round Game

By, 12/14/18, 9:15AM EST


U.S. looking for third consecutive victory

The United States Junior Select Team will continue tournament play at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge today (Dec. 14) 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 Russia since the semifinals of the 2017 tournament when the U.S. defeated the Russians, 5-0.


The U.S. Junior Select Team will play its fourth game of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge today against Russia 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: Russia

Team USA is 2-1 (W-L) in its last three meetings with Russia at the World Junior A Challenge. All three of the previous matchups have come in a semifinal game of the tournament, with the U.S. winning the last two contests. Along with the aforementioned victory in the 2017 tournament, the U.S. also defeated the Russians in the 2016 semifinals, 4-2

2018 WJAC

WJAC History

The U.S. has won four of the last six World Junior A Challenges, while Russia has four top-three finishes in the past five years, including two second place finishes in 2013 and 2015.

Game Three Recap

Team USA won its second consecutive game at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge on Wednesday with a 7-3 victory against Canada East in Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada. Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y.) and Luke Johnson (Edina, Minn.) each registered three points, while 11 U.S. skaters registered at least one point. Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska) made 17 saves on 20 shots. Team USA outshot Canada East 39-20 and scored four power-play goals while killing off four of five penalties.

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), Mastrosimone, Shane Pinto (Franklin Square, N.Y./Lincoln Stars), Saville, 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 --