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GAMEDAY: U.S. Ready for Semifinal Clash with Canada West

By, 12/15/18, 7:45AM EST


Team USA playing for a spot in World Junior A Challenge championship game

The United States Junior Select Team will continue tournament play at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge tonight (Dec. 15) with a semifinal matchup against Canada West at 7 p.m. local time/9 p.m. ET in Bonnyville, Alberta, at R.J. Lalonde Arena. Tonight's game marks the second meeting between the U.S. and Canada West at the 2018 tournament.


The U.S. Junior Select Team will play its fifth game of the 2018 World Junior A Challenge tonight against Canada West 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 West

Team USA is 1-2-1 (W-L-OT/SOL) in its last four meetings with Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge. The two teams squared off in the first game of the tournament with Canada West winning in the shootout, 2-1. The U.S. outshot Canada West 42-26, including a 21-7 shot advantage in the third period. Griffin Ness (Wayzata, Minn.) scored the lone goal for Team USA while Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska) made 25 saves on 26 shots.

2018 WJAC

WJAC History

The U.S. has won four of the last six World Junior A Challenges, with Canada West taking first place in 2017.

Game Four Recap

Team USA lost its first contest in regulation at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge on Friday with a 4-3 loss against Russia in Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada. Bobby Brink (Minnetonka, Minn.) and Luke Johnson (Edina, Minn.) and Zac Jones (Glen Allen, Va.) each registered two points with the U.S. outshooting the Russians 49-24. Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) made 20 saves on 23 shots. Team USA outshot Russia 21-7 in the third period and scored one power play goal while killing off four of six 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, Jones, Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y.), 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 --