May 17, 2012
Helsinki, Finland — The U.S and Finland battle tonight at Hartwall Arena in quarterfinal action at the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship. Opening faceoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. ET/live on NBC Sports Network in the U.S.).
Team USA defeated Finland on Mother’s Day (May 13) by a 5-0 count and most expect a much closer game here this evening.
Jimmy Howard, who has allowed just two goals total in the last two games, will get the call in net tonight for the U.S.
Ryan Lasch is back in the lineup this evening after sitting out Tuesday’s game vs. Switzerland. He replaces J.T. Brown (healthy scratch).
Today is a national holiday in Finland — Ascension Day — celebrating 40 days after Easter.
Notes: Team USA is 5-10 in quarterfinal games in the world championship … Max Pacorietty is Team USA’s leading point-getter with 2-10–12. No U.S. player has had more points in a world championship for Team USA since at least 1981 … Tonight’s game marks the fifth different starting time for a game that Team USA has played in this tournament (12:15 p.m., 7:00 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and tonight’s 6:30 p.m.) … The U.S. will wear its blue jerseys tonight … Team USA has won six of its first seven games in the world championship, a feat it has accomplished just one other time (1939) … The winner of the U.S.-Finland game plays the winner of the Russia-Norway game in semifinal play on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Helsinki.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Helsinki, Finland — The U.S. and Switzerland battle tonight in the final preliminary round game of Group H and the seventh game overall for each team. Opening faceoff is set for 8:15 p.m. local time at Hartwall Arena and the game will be broadcast live in the United States on the NBC Sports Network.
While Team USA has already locked up a spot in the quarterfinals on Thursday, the game is an important one for the U.S. in terms of final seedings should it not be successful in the quarterfinal round.
Jimmy Howard is back in the net for the U.S. tonight after an 18-save performance in a 5-0 shutout of Finland on Sunday.
J.T. Brown, who did not play vs. Finland, is back in the lineup tonight in place of Ryan Lasch, who has played in each of the first six games (coaches decision).
The U.S. had yesterday completely off and practiced this morning for 30 minutes in preparation for tonight’s contest.
Max Pacorietty continues to lead Team USA in points with 10 (2G, 8A) and is the lone member of the U.S. to have at least one point in each of the first six games.
Team USA has 15 players that have scored at least one goal in the tournament, the most players of any of the 16 teams in the tournament.
The U.S. will play either Slovakia, Canada or Finland in the quarterfinals. If Team USA beats Switzerland in regulation, it will finish second in Group H and play third-place Finland. If Team USA loses in any fashion, it will finish fourth and take on first-place Canada. And if Team USA wins in overtime or a shootout, it will finish second and play third-place Slovakia (a Team USA win in overtime or a shootout forces a three-way tie for second and the U.S. wins the tiebreaker to be second, Slovakia finishes second in the tiebreaker to finish third in the group and Finland finishes third in the tiebreaker to finish fourth in the group).
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Helsinski, Finland — Happy Mother’s Day from Hartwall Arena where Team USA and Finland will battle today (4:15 p.m. local time/9:15 a.m. ET) in the sixth preliminary round game of the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship for both teams. The game will be shown live in the United States on NBC Sports Network.
For Team USA’s game notes, click here.
Team USA can advance to the quarterfinals, regardless of the outcome of its final preliminary round game against Switzerland on Tuesday, if it beats Finland today in regulation.
The U.S. has won four of its first five games in the world championship for only the seventh time ever (it has never finished lower than fifth when winning four of first five), including a 3-2 overtime victory in its last outing Friday against Kazakhstan.
Jimmy Howard will be back in goal today for Team USA. He was the starter in the first four games (3-1-0, 2.98, .895) of the world championship, however, had Friday off as Richard Bachman backstopped Team USA to victory against Kazakhstan.
The U.S. practiced yesterday in Hartwall Arena’s practice arena. It’s unique in the fact that players have to take an elevator two floors underground to get to the practice sheet. Below is a photo from yesterday’s practice.
Team USA practice on Saturday, May 12, at Hartwall Arena's practice sheet in Helsinki, Finland.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Helsinki, Finland — Team USA will take the ice shortly for warm-up as it prepares for its fifth preliminary round game of the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship against Kazakhstan.
The game will be aired live in the United States on NBC Sports Network beginning at 9:15 a.m. ET.
Craig Smith from the Nashville Predators arrived in Helsinki this morning about 10:30 a.m. and is in the lineup today. Kyle Palmieri will sit this game out.
Richard Bachman will get the start in goal today for Team USA, with John Curry serving as his backup. Jimmy Howard, who has started the first four U.S. games has the day off and said, with a smirk, that he’ll be helping video coordinator Ryan Ward with his duties during the game.
John Lu, who was absent from yesterday’s television broadcast due to illness, is back today.
Team USA's Justin Abdelkader visits with NBC's John Lu during warm-up prior to the USA-Kazakhstan game.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Helsinski, Finland — Team USA plays its fourth of seven preliminary round games here today at Hartwall Arena. The contest can be seen live on NBC Sports Network beginning at 9:15 a.m. ET (4:15 p.m. local time).
For Team USA’s game notes, click here.
It’s an important game for Team USA with three points on the line. Team USA is currently fifth in Group H with five points, but has played one less game than three of the teams ahead of it. With a victory in regulation, the U.S. would vault to third.
Jimmy Howard will get the call in net today. He has been Team USA’s starter in each of its first three games.
Forward J.T. Brown, who played at the University of Minnesota Duluth this season and was signed by the Tampa Bay Lightning after the year, has played sparingly so far, but could see more ice time in today’s game.
Forward Craig Smith, who was added to Team USA’s roster on Wednesday, will arrive tomorrow morning and could be in Team USA’s lineup here tomorrow afternoon against Kazakhstan. Smith made a name for himself in this tournament a year ago. He was second on the U.S. in points with six and named one of Team USA’s three best players of the tournament. At the time he was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, but was signed by the Nashville Predators over the summer and made the team out of training camp. He played in 72 regular season and two playoff games for the Predators.
Tidbits: Team USA is the lone team to open the tournament with games with four different starting times. Team USA played its first game at 12:15 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. game and then an 8:15 p.m. tilt. Today’s contest is set to faceoff at 4:15 p.m. … Don Waddell, an original member of the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group, arrived in Helsinki earlier today and will be here throughout the duration of the world championship … John Lu, who is the sideline reporter for the NBC Sports Network’s broadcasts at the world championship, is sick today and will not be on the air.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 — 4:30 p.m local time
Helsinski, Finland — Team USA had yesterday completely free from practice and media obligations. A team outing to the Flamingo Spa took place yesterday afternoon, where the players used the various saunas and also enjoyed the waterpark, including partaking in a robust water polo match. Following the Flamingo visit, the players had a team dinner at Amarillo, a Tex/Mex restaurant where the 2004 U.S. National Junior Team dined after it captured the first-ever gold medal for the USA in the IIHF World Junior Championship.
The team departed for the arena today at 8:30 a.m. to get set for a 60-minute practice that began at 9:45 a.m. Following practice, Bobby Ryan, Cam Fowler and Kyle Palmieri went to the Canal+ studios in Helsinski for a roundtable interview. Canal+ has the broadcast rights in Finland for the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship and is televising every game from the event. The experience was an interesting one as a cameraman was in the van filming interviews with the three on the ride over to the studio. The players were touched up in the make-up department (a first for Fowler and Palmieri) prior to their roundtable interview in the Canal+ studios.
At the hotel tonight, a team meeting is set for 6:15 p.m. , followed by dinner. The team eats most of its meals at the hotel.
Team USA is scheduled to take its team photo tomorrow morning at 10:15 a.m. The United States and Belarus faceoff tomorrow in an important game at 4:15 p.m. local time (9:15 a.m. ET) with the game live on NBC Sports Network in the U.S.
Earlier today, USA Hockey announced the Nashville Predators’ center Craig Smith has been added to the U.S. Men’s National Team roster and is slated to arrive in Helsinski Friday morning.
(l to r) Team USA's Cam Fowler, Kyle Palmieri and Bobby Ryan on the van ride over to Canal+ studios in Helsinski. Inside the van was a cameraman filming interviews with the players on the ride over to the studio.
Team USA's Cam Fowler getting makeup done prior to his appearance in a roundtable discussion at Canal+ studios in Helsinki.
Monday, May 7, 2012 — 5:15 p.m. local time
HELSINKI, Finland — Team USA will arrive shortly here at Hartwall Arena to prepare for its third preliminary round game of the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship against Slovakia. The game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on the NBC Sports Network at 1:15 p.m. ET.
The U.S. has won its first two games — 7-2 vs. France and 5-4 in overtime against Canada.
Team USA hasn’t played Slovakia in the world championship since 2007 (a 4-2 victory). The U.S. earned its last medal in the world championship in 2004, thanks to a 1-0 victory over Slovakia in a shootout in the bronze medal game. All-time, Team USA is 4-1-1 against the Slovaks in this event.
Team USA is attempting to win its first three games in the world championship for the first time since 1997.
The U.S. will go with the same lineup it has used in its first two games, including Jimmy Howard in goal.
Team USA still has two roster spots available and is likely to fill them at some point.
Saturday, May 5, 2012 — 5:50 p.m. local time
Helsinki, Finland — Team USA is preparing for its game with Canada — the second of seven preliminary-round games for both teams in the 2012 IIHF Men’s World Championship — as we write from Hartwall Arena. The game will air same-day delay on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight.
Both teams earned victories yesterday — the U.S. a 7-2 victory over France and Canada a 3-2 triumph over Slovakia.
Team USA arrived at Hartwall Arena this morning for an optional morning skate. Most players did skate for the allocated 30 minutes. The mood was loose in and around the team.
It was a quiet bus ride over to the rink for the game tonight, with a focus on the task at hand.
Ironically, Team USA and Team Canada have dressing rooms directly across from each other at the end of a very narrow hallway that leads directly to the ice.
Jimmy Howard will start in goal for Team USA after stopping 21-of-23 shots on goal yesterday vs. France.
The U.S. and Canada have played very close games in the World Championship in recent history, with six of the last seven games being decided by two goals or less and five of those seven by a single goal. Unfortunately, Team USA has won just one of the seven games and three in the 41-game history of competition between the two teams in this event.
Brian Burke, Dale Tallon and Ray Shero from the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group are currently here in Helsinski. Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma is also here observing. Stan Bowman and Don Waddell will be here later in the tournament.
Enjoy the game. It should be a good one.