The U.S. meets Russia tonight in its first pre-tournament game ahead of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. PT (10 p.m. ET) at the Sandman Centre here in Kamloops, B.C. Fans interested in following the game can do so via live stats available here. An updated link will also be shared on USA Hockey's Twitter account at @usahockey closer to puck drop.
LAST MEETING VS. RUSSIA
On home ice in Buffalo, N.Y., the U.S. met Russia in the quarterfinals where Kieffer Bellows tallied twice to lead the U.S. to a 4-2 victory. Captain Joey Anderson added an empty-netter while Joseph Woll made 27 saves in the quarterfinal win. It was Team USA's second-straight win against Russia in playoff play. Two years ago, the U.S. edged Russia, 4-3, in a back-and-forth affair that saw Troy Terry score three times in the shootout to push the U.S. to the gold-medal game.
SERIES VS. RUSSIA
All-time, the U.S. is 7-1-0-12-0- (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Russia in tournament play. The two teams have met in the playoff round each of the last four years, with the two teams claiming a pair of wins apiece. Prior to last year's quarterfinal loss, Russia had medaled in seven-straight IIHF World Junior Championships.
There is a buzz amongst the players and staff ahead of Team USA's first pre-tournament game.
"I think we're ready to get going and see what we can do," said U.S. head coach Mike Hastings. "We've spent the last few days going through structure, roles, and I know we're all looking forward to getting a game under our belt."