Submitted by donaldemachado on Thu, 05/23/2019 - 13:45
Team USA takes on Russia with a spot in the 2019 World Juniors gold medal game on the line at 3 p.m. CT Friday afternoon at Rogers Arena. It’s a chance for the Americans to improve upon last year’s bronze medal showing and attempt to win the tournament outright for the second time in the last three years.
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The winner will take on the winner of the Finland-Switzerland semifinal.
Canadiens forward Ryan Poehling leads Team USA with eight points in six games, and he’s joined by Flyers forward Joel Farabee and Stars forward Jason Robertson in averaging a point per game or better. Blackhawks forward Evan Barratt only has one highlight reel goal, but he leads the team with 22 shots on goal.
Those may not even be the Americans’ most impressive NHL talents. Jack Hughes, who missed some time early in the tournament, may end up being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. He’s recorded two assists in three games. Hughes’ brother, Quinn, is an elite defenseman prospect for the Canucks, and he’s tied for second on the team in SOG with Islanders forward Oliver Wahlstrom, who projects as a big-time goal scorer one day.
The Russians’ lineup is similar stocked with potential NHL talent, including recent first-round picks Vitali Kravtsov (Rangers), Klim Kostin (Blues) and Grigori Denisenko (Panthers). They also have a likely lottery pick in the upcoming NHL Draft in winger Vasili Podkolzin.
Kravtsov is second on the team in points with six behind Rangers defenseman Alexander Romanov’s team-leading seven. Kostin (five points) and Denisenko (four) have also been productive in Russia’s five games.
The last time these two teams met in a World Juniors elimination game was Russia’s 2-1 win in the 2016 semifinals. The Russians went on to lose the gold medal to Finland, while the U.S. routed Sweden to win bronze.
Here’s how to tune into the Americans’ WJC semifinal matchup.
USA vs. Russia, 2019 World Juniors semifinal
Time: 3 p.m. CT
TV: NHL Network (U.S.), TSN (Canada)
Live stream: NHL Network via Sling TV or DirecTV Now (subscription required)