It doesn't get much bigger than this in the preliminary round.
The United States and Canada face-off at 3:30 ET on New Year's Eve in Toronto with the top seed in Group B for the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship at stake. Both teams enter Saturday's final preliminary round contest with a perfect record of 3-0.
Canada has been led offensively by Dylan Strome and Taylor Raddysh, who scored four goals in the team's victory over Latvia. Strome's two goals and five assists for seven points has him tied for second in the tournament scoring race.
The U.S. offense has been paced by Boston University freshman Clayton Keller and Boston College sophomore Colin White. Keller, the seventh overall pick by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2016 NHL Draft, has three goals and two assists. White, a 2015 first rounder, has three goals and an assist. Denver sophomore Troy Terry, who scored the game-winning goal against the Russians on Thursday, has been a big story as well.
Each team has split its goaltending duties so that position is a little more up in the air in determining which team has an advantage. Both the Canadians and Americans like to get their defense involved in the rush.
Seven Boston University Terriers are scattered across the lineups of each team, including Canadian defenseman Dante Fabbro. In total, there are 12 current Hockey East players on the rosters of both teams.
Sweden has secured the top spot in Group A. In perhaps the most shocking development of the 2017 World Junior Championship, defending Gold Medalist Finland finds itself in the relegation round against Latvia.
The game will be telecast on NHL Network in the United States and on TSN north of the border.
USA Line Chart
Clayton Keller - Colin White - Joey Anderson
Jordan Greenway - Luke Kunin - Jeremy Bracco
Kieffer Bellows - Jack Roslovic - Tage Thompson
Erik Foley - Tanner Lacyznski - Troy Terry
Caleb Jones - Charlie McAvoy
Ryan Lindgren - Casey Fitzgerald
Jack Ahcan - Joe Cecconi
Joe Woll - Tyler Parsons