US Vs Russia First Heavyweight Showdown Of WJC

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US vs Russia First Heavyweight Showdown Of WJC December 28, 2012 8:31 AM

After pumping Team Germany eight to nothing yesterday, the first battle of heavyweights take place in just about an hour.

Entering play on Friday, Team USA is tied with Team Canada for first place in Group B, as both teams managed to earn three points in their opening games. Team Russia managed to earn a victory in their first game of the tournament, but required overtime to do so. After allowing Slovakia to tie the contest at two in the final minute of regulation, Team Russia managed to take advantage of a power play in the final seconds of overtime to steal the win.

Friday’s game against Russia (9 a.m. ET, NHLN-US) will be a special one for Alex Galchenyuk. The forward was born in Milwaukee, but he’s of Belarusian decent and lived all throughout North America and Europe during his father’s hockey career, including a stop in Moscow.

However, Galchenyuk considers himself American and doesn’t see playing in Ufa — about 830 miles east of Moscow — as a "home" game.

"It’s always game by game," he said. "You look at each team. We were focused on Germany, [Friday] we’ll be focused on Russia."

Russia, last year’s silver medalists, who will be playing in front of a boisterous home crowd.

"They’re a great opponent," Housley said. "They attack well. We’re going to have to tighten it up even more and play a good road game. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. It’s a great game for [the U.S. players] to be in and try to shut Russia down defensively and maybe cash in on some opportunities."

Hope you have your NHL Network on this morning as this game is set up to be a good one.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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