USA vs. Canada for ... some of the marbles. - Richard Wolowicz
The U.S. and Canadian U20 teams meet for what feels like an annual pre-New Year battle in Ufa, Russia.
One of the marquee matchups of the 2013 World Junior Championship takes place (or took place, depending on when you see this) Dec. 30 at 4:30 a.m. EST. In North America it's airing on the NHL Network in the U.S. at 4:30 a.m. EST and will be replayed at 8 p.m. EST. In Canada, it's live on TSN and will be replayed at noon, plus at 8 p.m. ET on TSN2.
Whether you're watching live or on replay, consider this your comment thread for what you see. Though obviously -- spoiler alert -- if you're chiming in during a replay or delayed viewing, you risk seeing some spoilers herein.
This is a preliminary round match, the stakes of which are mostly for seeding and matchups in the elimination round. Canada survived a scare against Slovakia to start 2-0, while the U.S. lost a close one to Russia to drop their record to 1-1. This is big for the U.S., but not mandatory.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome are 1-2 in tournament scoring so far. (Fellow Isles prospect Griffin Reinhart has been rock solid for Canada so far.) The top U.S. scorer is Alex Galchenyuk, with a goal and three assists (though his ice time dropped against Russia).
Yahoo has some keys and difference-makers for the two teams. Canada will have 11 forwards thanks to JC Lipon's one-game suspension for a check to the head against Slovakia.
Standings entering today:
Enjoy, share what you see, and brew strong coffee if you're crazy enough to watch this live.