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3 keys to success for USA vs. Sweden in the World Junior Championships



The NHL network will provide exclusive live broadcasts of all United States games during the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, 2019.

The US will play the third of four preliminary round games in Group B at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center in Victoria vs. Sweden on Saturday (10:30 pm Eastern Time; NHLN, TSN). The United States defeated Slovakia with a score of 2: 1 and Kazakhstan with a score of 8: 2 in the first two games. The playoff round starts on 2 January.

NCAA longtime hockey analyst Dave Starman, who is working on the air with Stephen Nelson, will give his three keys to the United States victory before each game during the 11-day tournament.

“The game against Kazakhstan was good in that it took several more names in the results table,” Starman said. "(US Coach) Mike Hastings was able to roll along the lines and distribute time on the ice. Between the tough game against the Slovaks and Friday against Kazakhstan, the United States has an idea of ​​their identity, but the next two games (against Sweden and Finland) will tell them a lot about that they are and where they are on the path of construction. "

Here are three areas that the United States (2-0-0-0) will have to consider in its game against Sweden (2-0-0-0), which won 46 WJC preliminary round matches in a row.

1. Manage the game 5 on 5

“Slovakia felt that it could win; Kazakhstan knew it could not. Sweden knows that they can defeat the United States with their talent, so you have two fixed objects. Add to this the fact that Sweden has not lost the game of billiards on 46 tracks in a row and you have a unique match. Sweden has an elite defensive corps in their top four, and everyone can hammer it into the net for goals. Their powerful game was effective. An important key for the United States is to be relentless, aggressive, but remain calm. Maybe the problem is to beat a person against the Swedes for too long. ”

2. Ground game

"The word" ground game "is still my favorite" Motsko-ism "(former US coach Bob Motsko)." The main game "is his way of saying that you should put pressure on your defenders, attack with numbers and support and win wall battles. USA He has several large bodies ahead of him playing with an abrasive position. Creating Sweden’s defensive corps is inconvenient in the end when searching and in the zone game – this is a big priority. ”

3. Playing for strengths

“Keep your shifts short, be effective with puck management and quickly pull pucks into the net. It was very good for two games; no long shifts and no selfish play. Now that the lights are getting brighter, it becomes even more important. Fatigue can be a problem against Sweden, as it is the third game in four nights for the United States. It is safe, simple and effective to play – the battle cry of the night. ”


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