A week today, Hockey Canada will name 30 players, give or take a couple, to compete for the 23-man national junior team roster at the final selection camp that opens two weeks from today in St. Catharines, Ont. So there’ll be plenty of time to analyze what Team Canada may or may not look like when it takes to the ice for the 2018 World Junior Championship, Dec. 26 - Jan. 5, in Buffalo. In the meantime, it’s an interesting exercise to look at the pool of talent USA Hockey is in the final stages of assessing before it names the 28 young Americans who will be invited to Team USA’s final selection camp, which opens Dec. 15 in Columbus. The Americans, of course, are the defending WJC gold medalists, courtesy of the thrilling/heartbreaking — it’s all a matter of perspective — gold-medal game shootout in Montreal last January. This time around, the host nation and defending champion looks like it will once again be a top contender, if not perhaps the favourite on home ice. The American program has been on something of a roll lately at the WJC. Since ending Canada’s run of five straight gold medals, when John Carlson scored in overtime in Saskatoon to win the 2010 tournament, the Americans have won three gold medals in the last eight years, as well as two bronze. Canada also has won five medals in the last eight years, but only one gold to go with three silver and one bronze. If you focus only on the last five years, the Americans have two golds and one bronze compared to Canada’s one gold and one silver. In head-to-head play at the WJC over the last four tournaments, the U.S. has won three of the five meetings. That includes a current three-game winning streak topped by the one that mattered most — last year’s gold-medal game. Team Canada and Team USA will meet once again this year, Dec. 29, when they take their preliminary round WJC contest to the great outdoors of New Era Field, home of the Buffalo Bills.
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Americans will be loaded with offensive talent at World Juniors
TSN | Nov 29