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World Juniors: Final Test for USA vs. Canada

World Juniors: Final Test for USA vs. Canada

Follow the ECJ warm-up match against USA from noon on RDS and

Junior Team Canada wraps up their World Juniors preparation schedule this afternoon by taking on their American rivals.

“It might be a prep meeting, it doesn't mean much, but it's important for us,” Canadian team forward Fraser Minten told our colleague TSN Mark Masters. “We want to compete and win.”

So this fight will not have the appearance of a typical exhibition match.

“It definitely won't be,” ECJ Canada head coach Alan Letang assured.

Canada usually avoids its North American rival during the tournament's preparatory phase, so as not to show its cards against another competitive favorite it could face in the final. This year, however, Canadians want to experiment.

“It allows us to approach the first match [du tournoi] In good condition,” Letong explained. “Our team is a tough team, where you have to rise to the occasion every night. If you take your foot off the accelerator, you never know what will happen, so this is good preparation for us. »

Canada defeated the USA 6-2 in the semi-finals of last year's tournament in Halifax. Seven Americans who competed in the tournament are returning to the tournament this year. They are forwards Cutter Gauthier, Gavin Brindley, Rutger McGorty and Jimmy Snookerud, defensemen Lane Hudson and Ryan Chesley and goalie Trey Augustin. The Canadian team has only one returning player, forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck.

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The Canadians beat Switzerland 6-3 in another exhibition game on Friday. Beck scored two goals in the game, including a shorthanded one.

Macklin Celebrini, considered a top pick in the next NHL draft, collected two assists in the win, but he stood out for the wrong reasons.

The striker was sent off for tackling Swiss player Leo Braillard against the crossbar from behind. The FIHG announced on Saturday that Celebrini would not be sanctioned for his actions.

Halifax Mooseheads Quebec goalie Mathis Rousseau played the entire match in front of the Canadian net. He will once again start against the Americans. He will be supported by Sherbrooke Phoenix's Samuel St-Hilaire. USA will give Habs hopeful Jacob Fowler a start.

Canada will also be without defenseman Tanner Molendyk, who left Friday's game with an upper-body injury. Ill, Quebec fullback Tristan Luno will also be out.

Canada opens its tournament against Finland on Tuesday and plays against Latvia the following day.