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World Juniors GDT: United States vs. Slovakia, 12.31.12


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#1 OFFLINE   Erik C.

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 06:25 PM

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December 31, 2012
4:30 AM Eastern
Ufa Arena, Ufa, Russia

Television:
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Absent a formal gave preview, I’m including with the team rosters the NHL.com preview written for each team.

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Coach: Phil Housley

Team Roster
#Player NamePos.NHL Rights
16Riley BarberForwardWashington Capitals
18Cole BardreauForwardFree Agent
22Tyler BiggsForwardToronto Maple Leafs
15Alex GalchenyukForwardMontreal Canadiens
13John GaudreauForwardCalgary Flames
35John GibsonGoalieAnaheim Ducks
30Jon GilliesGoalieCalgary Flames
14Shayne GostisbehereDefensePhiladelphia Flyers
23Rocco GrimaldiForwardFlorida Panthers
21Ryan HartmanForward2013 Draft Eligible
3Seth JonesDefense2013 Draft Eligible
7Sean KuralyForwardSan Jose Sharks
12Mario LuciaForwardMinnesota Wild
19Jake McCabeDefenseBuffalo Sabres
10J.T. MillerForwardNew York Rangers
5Connor MurphyDefensePhoenix Coyotes
20Blake PietilaForwardNew Jersey Devils
6Mike ReillyDefenseColumbus Blue Jackets
29Garrett SparksGoalieToronto Maple Leafs
25Vince TrocheckForwardFlorida Panthers
8Jacob TroubaDefenseWinnipeg Jets
26Jim VeseyForwardNashville Predators


Last year: The U.S. team is coming off a seventh-place finish, its worst showing since finishing eighth in 1999. An 11-3 victory over Denmark in its opening game was followed by losses to Finland (4-1), Czech Republic (5-2) and Canada (3-2). The Americans needed a 12-2 victory over Latvia in their opener of the relegation round in order to secure a position in the top division of this year's tournament.

2013 NHL Draft watch: There are two promising 2013 draft prospects on the roster: defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL and forward Ryan Hartman of the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL. Jones likely would have been a member of last year's team if not for a shoulder injury he sustained in the last exhibition game. The son of former NBA player Popeye Jones is rated No. 1 among WHL skaters in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary league rankings. Over the summer, Jones (6-foot-3.5, 208 pounds) served as captain for the U.S. team at the World Under-18 Championship, totaling eight points in six games as the United States won the gold medal. Hartman is No. 11 among skaters in the OHL. The versatile 5-11, 187-pound forward made a big impression on the U.S. managerial team at training camp.

Schedule: Dec. 27, Germany, 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US); Dec. 28, Russia, 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US); Dec. 30, Canada, 4:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US); Dec. 31, Slovakia, 5 a.m. ET (NHLN-US).

Outlook: The only time last year's finish was even discussed during training camp was when the media inquired about it. The biggest difference in this year's group is the enthusiasm and energy each player is willing to exert every practice and each shift. The three returnees -- defenseman Jacob Trouba, forward J.T. Miller and goaltender John Gibson -- are ready to lead by example. Expect the Americans to rebound in a big way and earn a second-place finish in Group B.


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Coach: Ernest Bokros

Team Roster
#Player NamePos.NHL Rights
12Emil BaginDefense2013 Draft Eligible
5David BajanikDefense2013 Draft Eligible
18Andrej BiresForward2013 Draft Eligible
24Richard BuriDefense2013 Draft Eligible
11Peter CeresnakDefenseNew York Rangers
19Marko DanoForward2013 Draft Eligible
27Dominik FujerikForward2013 Draft Eligible
10Denis HudecForward2013 Draft Eligible
9Milan KolenaForward2013 Draft Eligible
28Karol KorimDefense2013 Draft Eligible
16Patrik LuzaDefense2013 Draft Eligible
29Matus MatisForward2013 Draft Eligible
13Tomas MikusForward2013 Draft Eligible
25Bruno MrazForward2013 Draft Eligible
14Richard MrazForward2013 Draft Eligible
2Adam NagyGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
21Tomas NechalaDefense2013 Draft Eligible
26Branislav RapacForward2013 Draft Eligible
20Martin RewayForward2013 Draft Eligible
30Patrik RomancikGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
6Tomas RusinaDefense2013 Draft Eligible
1Richard SabolGoalie2013 Draft Eligible
17Michael UhrikForward2013 Draft Eligible


Last year: The Slovaks finished sixth after placing third in Group A behind Sweden and Russia. The country dropped an 8-5 decision to Finland in the quarterfinals.

2013 NHL Draft watch: The top draft-eligible skater, according to Central Scouting's preliminary league rankings, is forward Marko Dano, who plays in the KHL for Slovan Bratislava and is rated seventh among skaters playing in Russia. According to Stubb, Dano is tops among the Slovaks and is a player who will surprise at this tournament.

"He has a good combination of speed, stick work and smarts," Stubb said. "He plays a steady, two-way game and gives a consistent effort on every shift."

Schedule: Dec. 26, Russia, 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US); Dec. 28, Canada, 4:30 a.m. ET (NHLN-US); Dec. 30, Germany, 9 a.m. ET (NHLN-US); Dec. 31, United States, 5 a.m. ET (NHLN-US).

Outlook: The Slovaks offer a roster dominated by players from the Bratislava club team that plays several games in the elite league. The exception is defenseman Peter Ceresnák of the Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes. He is the only player on the roster to be drafted by an NHL team. The 6-foot-3, 219-pound blueliner was selected by the New York Rangers in the sixth round (No. 172) in 2011. Look for Slovakia to finish fourth in Group B.


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#2 OFFLINE   Erik C.

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

Team USA clinched a playoff berth by soundly thumping the Slovaks today by an 9-3 score. With the win the Americans finish third in Group B and will play in the quarter-finals on January 2.

The Slovaks now head to the Relegation Round with Germany.

"As soon as we lost yesterday [2-1 to Canada], the guys really lit a fire under our butts," said forward Vince Trochek. "We knew we had to come in today and there was no chance in anyone's mind that we would lose. We had no doubt we would win the game. We were ready, and we played our hardest."

Trocheck and John Gaudreau had two goals and an assist while Jim Vesey had three assists for the winners. Matus Matis scored two goals for the Slovaks and earned a late misconduct for a shapr word to the referees after incurring a minor penalty.

On paper, today’s game could have been a nightmare for the Americans. A loss would have sent them to the Relegation Round for the second straight year. But, in reality, the game was never close as the U.S. was superior in every department. They also benefitted from weak goaltending from Adam Nagy, who was replaced at the 9:00 mark after surrendering three goals. His replacement, Patrik Romancik, didn’t fare any better.

"Before the game we knew how important it was, obviously," started Alex Galchenyuk. "But after we scored a couple of goals, we didn't feel any pressure. We couldn't get any bounces in our last two games against Russia and Canada, but tonight we did."


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#3 OFFLINE   Bubba83

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

Decimation! Now if they can only play with that level of confidence the rest of the way we have a solid shot at the Gold.
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