Category: International Hockey

USA routs Czech Republic, to face Canada in semi-finals

Team USA, who escaped pool play as the third team out of Pool B, showed that they are still a hockey powerhouse, as they routed the Czech Republic 7-0 in the quarterfinals of the World Junior Championship.

J.T. Miller, who has been playing better with each passing game, scored a powerplay goal and added two powerplay assists in the victory. Miller finished with an even rating (all points on the powerplay), but did lose 10 of 15 face offs.

Team USA will face off against Canada in the semi-finals tomorrow morning at 4am EST. The game will be on TSN, NHLN, and online at NHL.com

USA destroys Slovakia, advances to medal round

J.T. Miller Team USA routed Peter Ceresnak and Team Slovakia by a score of 9-3, propelling USA to the medal round and eliminating Slovakia from competition. Miller finished the contests with two assists, 2 PIMs, a +2 rating, three shots on goal, and 14 face offs won (out of 18 total). Peter Ceresnak finished the contest with an assist and a +1 rating, which is impressive considering the USA scored nine goals.

Throughout pool play, Miller and Ceresnak were looked at as team leaders and played in multiple situations, including the powerplay and penalty kill. Team USA has incredible depth, which limited Miller’s playing time a bit (although he is wearing a ‘A’), but Slovakia does not have that depth. Ceresnak was one of their leading defensemen.

Miller finished pool play with a line of 1-2-3, 2 PIMs, 11 shots, and a +1 rating. Ceresnak finished with a line of 1-1-2, 0 PIMs, 7 shots, and a +1 rating.

Team USA will face the second place team in Pool A, which is the Czech Republic. The game will be on Wednesday at 3pm local time, of which I have no idea what time that is here.

Ceresnak nets OT winner for Slovakia

Peter Ceresnak continued his strong play in the WJC, netting the overtime winner in today’s 2-1 victory over Germany. Slovakia will play the USA next on New Year’s Eve, and the winner will advance to the medal round.

In addition to the overtime winner, Ceresnak finished with five shots on goal and an even rating. Ceresnak’s goal was on the powerplay, and the defenseman was also on the ice for Germany’s lone goal on the powerplay. Ceresnak continues to be one of the most heavily relied upon defensemen for the Slovaks, playing in all situations.

USA drops another heatbreaker 2-1

Team USA lost its second straight game by a score of 2-1, this time to the Canadians. Team Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by future NHLers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Edmonton) and Ryan Strome (Islanders). The US was held scoreless on 17 shots through two periods before Jacob Trouba finally broke through in the third with a powerplay goal. That would be all the scoring for the US.

J.T. Miller was held scoreless for a second straight game, and finished the game with three shots on goal, and five face off wins (of 11 total). Miller was also on the ice for both Canada goals, thus finishing with a -2 rating.

Team USA’s World Junior life depends on the game against Slovakia tomorrow night. A win against the Slovaks means the USA makes it to the medal round. A loss means they are sent home.

USA loses defensive battle with Russia

J.T. Miller and the USA World Junior team lost to Russia in regulation by a score of 2-1. The goalies were the story of this game, as Andrei Makarov and John Gibson put on a show for the fans. The shot totals weren’t overwhelming, but each goalie turned away numerous quality scoring chances. USA falls to 1-1 in pool play, with Canada up next on Sunday at 4:30am.

As for Miller, the Rangers prospect was held scoreless, and finished with an even rating and three shots on goal. Miller also went 10-7 on face offs.

The US team will need a regulation win against Canada to ensure a spot in the playoff round.

Ceresnak and Slovakia fall to 0-1-1 in pool play

Peter Ceresnak and Slovakia were handed their second loss –their first in regulation– this morning when they lost to Canada by a score of 6-3. Slovakia jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Canada stormed back with four goals in the second and never looked back.

Ceresnak was held off the board (not uncommon for the defensive defenseman), and finished with an even rating and two shots on goal. Ceresnak was on the ice for both of Slovakia’s first period goals, one coming on the powerplay. However, he was also on the ice for two of Canada’s four second period goals, both on the powerplay. Ceresnak was also on the ice for Canada’s sixth goal, this one at even strength.

Slovakia’s next game in pool play is on Sunday against Germany. The USA takes on Russia in 10 minutes (9am EST) on the NHL network.

Miller notches goal as USA routs Germany

The USA just completed their first game of pool play, routing Germany by a score of 8-0. While many will point to the fact that the USA were playing a weak opponent, they truly looked like an elite team in their dismantling of Germany. USA dominated play, allowing just 26 shots on goal by Germany, compared to the whopping 46 taken by the US.

JT Miller, wearing the ‘A’,  notched the seventh goal for the US, and played a fairly strong game. Miller finished with a goal, two shots on goal, and a +1 rating. Miller also went 9-4 on face offs.

The next game for the USA will be tomorrow against Russia. Peter Ceresnak and Slovakia will take on Canada. The full schedule is available on the IIHF website, and all games are being televised on the NHL Network.

Ceresnak and Slovakia fall to Russia in OT of WJC opener

For those that are off this week, you will be treated to a lot of hockey, as the 2013 World Junior Championships are underway from Ufa, Russia. The Rangers have two prospects playing in the tournament: J.T. Miller for the USA and Peter Ceresnak for Slovakia.

Ceresnak and Slovakia surprised a lot of people this morning, as they took Russia to overtime in their opener. In the end, a late penalty doomed the Slovaks, and the Russians converted on the 4-on-3 powerplay with less than a minute to go, winning the game 3-2.

Ceresnak did not have a point in the contest, and was on the ice for the first Russia goal and the first Slovakia goal, finishing with an even rating.

Rangers struggle abroad

We know Ryan McDonagh is back in the US and we know Carl Hagelin has terminated his deal with his hometown team back in Sweden. We also know Rick Nash has had his own injury issues despite scoring at an impressive rate in Switzerland. It goes without saying that the NHL is the best league in the world when they’re actually playing hockey. So why then are so many Rangers players struggling to adapt to playing in inferior leagues with inferior players?

Rick Nash aside, and perhaps Hagelin – although in Sweden’s second tier, don’t forget – no Ranger has exactly set the world alight in Europe thus far. In one way it’s hard to be overly critical. After all with little practice time, familiarisation to their clubs, their leagues’ playing style and teammates and a lack of long term perspective (given the short term deals struck with clubs) there isn’t a great basis for success for players heading to Europe.

Again, to be fair it’s not just Rangers players that have failed to make a significant impact. For example Ilya Bryzgalov hasn’t exactly got his game back on track in the KHL, Evander Kane suffered a torrid time in Russia while Max Paciorettey had a miserable time in Europe and came back at the first opportunity following a somewhat bitter divorce with his Euro employers.

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McDonagh leaves KHL for personal reasons and injury

Per Andrey Osadchenko, who covers the KHL, Ryan McDonagh is on his way home, as he has been granted a leave of absence from Barys to deal with personal issues and an injury. Pat Leonard has additional information, noting that the injury is not believed to be serious.

McDonagh would be the third Rangers roster player to suffer a minor injury while playing overseas. Rick Nash suffered a shoulder injury in September, missing a little more than a week with Davos in Switzerland. Carl Hagelin also suffered a shoulder injury a month after Nash. While Hagelin’s injury was also minor, it led to the termination of his deal with Södertälje SK in the second-tier Swedish league HockeyAllsvenskan (s/t to surlysailor for the info/link).