Team USA had an early afternoon practice at Lindab Arena that lasted about 75 minutes. Creating traffic in front of the net was a point of emphasis. Last night, both of the U.S. goals came on deflections, while the Swedish netminder stopped all of the shots he saw clearly. Special teams execution was another key element during the latter half of practice. As was the case vs. Sweden, the games at the World Junior Championship are often close and can be won or lost during power play situations.
The coaching staff also experimented with some different defensive pairnings and swapped a few players around on the forward lines. At times, Henrik Samuelsson skated alongside Jack Eichel and Ryan Hartman, forming an all-righty trio. By pairing Jaccob Slavin with Brett Pesce, Team USA may be previewing the future of the Carolina Hurricanes blue line. Carolina selected Slavin in the fourth round pick in 2012 and picked Pesce in the third round in 2013.
"HEY EVERYONE, COME AND SEE HOW GOOD I LOOK (IN SWEDEN)"
Later, Team USA was treated to a night at the movies. After a grueling travel, practice and game schedule this past week, the staff decided to give the players a break from their routine. A nearby theater was showing Anchorman 2 in English. Though many players still liked the original better - and can quote it on cue - they all appreciated the chance to relax and laugh at the GNN News Team before tomorrow's game vs. Finland.