The United States will begin its quest for Gold Medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship on Monday afternoon with a 3:30 ET matinee against Latvia at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
The game will be aired live on NHL Network in the United States. USA Hockey is looking to take home Gold for the first time since 2013.
Six players on the 23-man USA Hockey roster hail from Boston University, tied for most of all-time. In 1979, the University of Minnesota sent six players to represent the red, white and blue.
St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko is the team’s bench boss. Wisconsin sophomore center Luke Kunin will serve as the team’s captain while Boston University’s Charlie McAvoy and Boston College’s Colin White will be the team’s alternate captains.
McAvoy and White are the only two returnees from last year’s team that claimed Bronze Medal. The U.S. has only medaled in back-to-back tournaments once before, when it won Gold in 2010 and Bronze in 2011.
Team USA won both of its pre-tournament warmup games, skating to a 4-3 victory over Switzerland and shutting out Czech Republic, 4-0.
The U.S. has won its only two meetings against Latvia in World Junior Championship history. The two teams last played in 2012 with the U.S. coming away with a 12-2 victory.
Latvia has college hockey players and recruits and North American connections on its roster. Quinnipiac freshman Karlis Cukste, a San Jose Sharks prospect, is the only current collegiate on the roster. Three NCAA recruits are on the roster, led by Chicago Steel forward Eduards Tralmaks, committed to Maine. Lake Superior State recruit Roberts Blugers (Fairbanks Ice Dogs) and Arizona State commit Gvido Jansons (Aston Rebels) are other two. In total, 12 players on the Latvian roster are playing in North America this winter.
USA Line Chart
Clayton Keller - Colin White - Tage Thompson
Jordan Greenway - Luke Kunin - Troy Terry
Erik Foley - Jack Roslovic - Jeremy Bracco
Kieffer Bellows - Tanner Lacyznski - Joey Anderson
Caleb Jones - Charlie McAvoy
Ryan Lindgren - Adam Fox
Jack Ahcan - Joe Cecconi
Tyler Parsons - Joe Woll