The U.S. National Junior Team faces Russia tonight in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. ET live on NHL Network.
THE SERIES VS. RUSSIA
All-time, the U.S. is 6-1-0-12-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L-T) against Russia in tournament play. This is the fourth-straight year the two teams are meeting in the playoff round. After three-straight losses, including two quarterfinal setbacks (2014, 2015) and one semifinal loss (2016), the U.S. claimed its first-ever playoff win over Russia with a thrilling 4-3 semifinal shootout victory last year.
Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) scored twice and captain Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) added a goal before a seven-round shootout saw Troy Terry (Highlands, Ranch, Colo.) score three five-hole goals and Tyler Parsons (Chesterfield, Mich.) turn aside five of seven Russian shooters in the win.
TEAM USA IN QUARTERFINAL PLAY
In its last 10 quarterfinal appearances, the U.S. is 7-3 while holding a 9-7 mark in 16 appearances. The playoff format was introduced in 1996. From 1977-95, teams played each other once in a round-robin format with medals awarded on final standings.
THINGS WORTH MENTIONING
During its off day yesterday, the U.S. National Junior Team visited the Niagara Falls … 18 of the team’s 20 skaters have tallied at least one point thus far … Yesterday, USA Hockey announced the rosters for its 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Teams and 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team. For more details, click here …
The U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team arrived today in Dmitrov, Russia, for the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship. The United States, which enters the tournament as the three-time defending champion, will compete in Group A and begins play Saturday against Sweden … The outdoor U.S.-Canada game at New Era Field set a new IIHF World Junior Championship attendance record with 44,592 fans, besting the 20,380 mark set in the gold medal-game of the 2009 tournament in Ottawa, Ontario.
TKACHUK’S EXCEL AT WORLD JUNIOR STAGE
Four games into this year’s IIHF World Junior Championship, Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo./Boston University) is following in his family’s footsteps as far as point getters go, sitting second on Team USA with six points (2-4). Two years ago, his brother Matthew tied for the U.S. team-lead with 11 points (4-7) in seven games while their father, Keith, followed a nine-point performance (6-3) in 1991 with a seven-point effort (3-4) in 1992. Both Matthew and Keith have earned WJC bronze medals.
2018 U.S. U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM HAS JUNIOR TEAM TIES
Among the first 23 players named to 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, 11 players have skated on a U.S. National Junior Team. Brian
Gionta (Rochester, N.Y.), who was also named captain of Team USA, skated on two U.S. National Junior Teams (1998 – fifth; 1999 – fifth).
In addition, six players helped the U.S. earn a medal in IIHF World Junior Championship play. A year ago, Jordan Greenway (Canton, N.Y.) and Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) helped the 2017 U.S. National Junior Team to a gold medal while Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) and Will Borgen (Moorhead, Minn.) were on the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team that earned a bronze medal. Additionally, James Wisniewski (Canton, Mich.) was part of the first-ever gold medal-winning U.S. National Junior Team in 2004 and Ryan Stoa (Bloomington, Minn.) helped the U.S. earn a bronze medal in 2007.
Other former U.S. National Junior Team players to be on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team include Jonathan Blum (Long Beach, Calif./2008, 2009), Chris Bourque (Boston, Mass./2005, 2006), Bobby Sanguinetti (Trenton, N.J./2008) and Jim Slater (Lapeer, Mich./2002).