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The U. National Junior Team will meet Russia in the quarterfinals at 6 a. Running into Russia in the quarterfinal is certainly a difficult draw coming off of the disappointing loss to Canada in the preliminary round.
Russia presents a unique challenge to the U. A loss to Sweden and stunning loss to Finland is how the Russians ended up in third place.
These players have gone head-to-head since they were about 16 and there have been some classic match-ups between the two sides.
The year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden, led all NAHL players with 15 points during the month, which included seven goals and eight assists in just eight games played as the Black Bears put together a record. He's a talented individual, but his competitive drive, and work ethic is off the charts.
This game is going to be unpredictable and probably very close to the end. It should be a great quarterfinal in the most evenly-matched of the games in the opening stage of the medal round. The bench got shortened up quite a bit late in the game.
They will need the whole lineup against a speedy, skilled Russian squad. This will also be the earliest game the U. The noon local time start is not ideal for either team.
Those early games sometimes take a while to get settled down as the routine for the players gets muddied a bit. A team that gets off to a quick start could have an advantage in the game. Team USA has 36 minutes in penalties, all of which have come on minors. That type of discipline will matter against Russia, which has a great power play.
This game is obviously huge for both teams.
The nerves get going and there can be mistakes for some players. For others, the intensity of the situation sharpens them. Where will the U. Well, there are a lot of guys who have played in this situation in other tournaments and have had some success. That certainly helps heading into Thursday.
About Russia Russia finished group play with a somewhat surprising record. They rolled over Switzerland and Norway with relative ease, but ran into a pair of hot goalies in Sweden and Finland respectively.
He has great size and the experience certainly counts for something. He sat in the loss to Finland, which ended up being a bad decision, and then played very well in a tough loss to Sweden.
Other guys that can really make things happen include Bogdan Yakimov and Ivan Barbashev. That is especially true on the power play. Russia has scored on eight of 17 advantages in the tournament, which is good for second behind the U.
They are good at drawing penalties with their skill and essentially live off their power play in tougher games. The defense is OK for Russia.
Nikita Zadorov, who spent time with the Sabres this year, is a high-end player on the back end though, so having a guy like him makes them a bit tougher on the back end.
Official USA Lineup vs. Russia USA Hockey released its lineup here.