Team USA announces its World Junior roster

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USA Hockey announced its final 23-player roster for the 2017 World Junior championships that will begin on Monday.

Team general manager Jim Johannson said the talent level in the United States is currently among the best in the world, and their difficulty in assembling this roster spoke to that.

The team will be coached by St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko, and the roster has a heavy NCAA influence with 19 of the 23 players on the final roster currently playing collegiate hockey in the United States. Only three players are currently playing major junior hockey, while (forward Jack Roslovic) is playing in the American Hockey League.

Boston University alone has six players on the roster.

Arizona Coyotes first-round draft pick Clayton Keller (pictured above) is one of the players that headlines the roster.

Here is a look at the final roster.


Tyler Parsons, London Knights (Calgary Flames)

Jake Oettinger, Boston University (2017 draft)

Joseph Woll, Boston College (Toronto Maple Leafs)


Ryan Lindgren, University of Minnesota (Boston Bruins)

Jack Ahcan, St. Cloud State (2017 draft)

Caleb Jones, Portland Winterhawks (Edmonton Oilers)

Casey Fitzgerald, Boston College (Buffalo Sabres)

Adam Fox, Harvard University (Calgary Flames)

Charlie McAvoy, Boston University (Boston Bruins)

Joe Cecconi, University of Michigan (Dallas Stars)


Luke Kunin, University of Wisconson (Minnesota Wild)

Tanner Laczynski, Ohio State University (Philadelphia Flyers)

Patrick Harper, Boston University (Nashville Predators)

Jordan Greenway, Boston University (Minnesota Wild)

Joey Anderson, University of Minnesota-Duluth (New Jersey Devils)

Erik Foley, Providence College (Winnipeg Jets)

Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Colin White, Boston College (Ottawa Senators)

Clayton Keller, Boston University (Arizona Coyotes)

Troy Terry, University of Denver (Anaheim Ducks)

Kieffer Bellows, Boston University (New York Islanders)

Jack Roslovic, Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets)

Tage Thompson, University of Connecticut (St. Louis Blues)

The heavy NCAA influence on the roster is especially interesting when you look at who is not on the roster, especially when it comes to Alex Debrincat and Logan Brown.

DeBrincat, a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016, is one of the most dominant offensive players in junior hockey and is currently working on what should be his third consecutive 50-goal, 100-point season for the Erie Otters in the OHL. He had a tough showing at last year’s tournament, but he is still a potential game-breaker that the United States left at home, something that has become a habit at all levels of USA hockey in recent years.

The Brown decision is probably a little more understandable because he has been battling a wrist injury this season that has limited him to only 15 games for the Windsor Spitfires, but he and Debrincat are probably two of the best offensive players Team USA would have had at their disposal.

The Ottawa Senators selected Brown with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft.

The tournament opens on Monday and runs through January 5. It is being co-hosted by Toronto and Montreal.

Video: AHL goalie Jonas Gustavsson scores his first career goal

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He didn’t shoot, but Jonas Gustavsson still scored.

The former NHL netminder, now with the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL, scored his first career goal Friday, as part of his team’s victory over the San Diego Gulls.

From the AHL:

With San Diego goaltender Dustin Tokarski on the bench for an extra attacker and the Gulls working on a power play, Gustavsson made a save before an errant San Diego pass slid down the length of the ice and into the vacated net at 16:56 of the third period.

Gustavsson is the fifth AHL goaltender to be credited with a goal without actually shooting the puck into the opposition net. In addition to his goal, Gustavsson stopped 30 of 31 shots in the Condors victory.

Bolts and Islanders both win, which is bad news for Bruins


The New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning each had to work overtime to decide their separate games, but when they ended, both clubs were victorious.

And that makes things even more interesting in the Eastern Conference wild card race.

With their shootout win in Pittsburgh, the Islanders tie the Bruins in points but take over the final playoff spot for now with fewer games played. The Lightning, despite an abundance of injuries all season, are just a point back of Boston and New York.

Nikita Kucherov scored the winner for Tampa Bay against the Red Wings. He’s up to 38 goals, which is second most in the league behind Sidney Crosby, currently at 42 goals.

Sellers leading up to the trade deadline, and without Steven Stamkos since the middle of November, the Lightning are in the thick of this race, even if others may have counted them out.

“Once again, people counted us out,” defenseman Victor Hedman told the Tampa Bay Times. “But we showed a lot of character. And we’re right back in it.”

The Bolts don’t play again until Monday, when they host the Chicago Blackhawks — only one of the hottest teams in the league.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s busy slate of games includes a showdown between the Bruins and Islanders. For Boston, it’s a chance for redemption after a particularly costly third period against Tampa Bay on Thursday.

What is wrong with the Sharks?

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Not that long ago, the San Jose Sharks appeared well on their way to winning the Pacific Division title.

On March 14, they had a seven-point lead on both Anaheim and Calgary. Gone is that advantage. Not only have the Ducks surged back into the fight for the division, but the Sharks have lost five in a row and are having a terrible time of late creating any offense.

The Ducks defeated the Jets on Friday, moving into a tie with the Sharks at 91 points.

San Jose’s struggles hit a new low Friday with a 6-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, a team with its own flaws and nowhere close to a playoff position.

At one point midway through the second period, the Sharks trailed the Stars by four goals and had only six lousy shots on goal. During this skid, San Jose has scored only five goals.

Earlier this week, members of the Sharks said they weren’t terribly worried about this losing streak. The losses, they had said, were in close games, which is true: San Jose lost three consecutive one-goal games.

“When I look at the losing streak, we dominated some of those games for long periods and found ways to lose. You never like to lose, but I’m not that concerned,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “We’ve got to obviously end it. We’ve got to get healthy. I don’t see a bunch of symptoms of a team that can’t get this fixed pretty quickly.”

This, however, was a blowout. Adam Cracknell recorded the hat trick, pushing his single-season career-high in goals to 10.

The performance at one point forced DeBoer to take a timeout, in which he expressed his displeasure.

Making matters worse for the Sharks: Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic left the game early in the third period and was put under further evaluation. He didn’t return.

The Sharks visit the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

Halak and the Islanders defeat Penguins, move into wild card spot


Quite a hockey game between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

It offered plenty to enjoy — Phil Kessel‘s dominant but unfruitful shift in overtime, a combined 86 shots on goal between both teams, a showcase of skill from the likes of John Tavares and Sidney Crosby, and two strong goaltending performances from Jaroslav Halak and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Josh Ho-Sang, who wears No. 66, which is just fine in the eyes of Mario Lemieux, set up Brock Nelson‘s goal in the second period.

The Islanders and their fans probably aren’t hung up on style points at this juncture of the season. They just care about wins and points in the standings, and those are exactly what New York accomplished with a 4-3 shootout win in Pittsburgh.

Anthony Beauvillier and Tavares scored for the Islanders in the shootout. Halak made 37 stops, including a game-saver in overtime off Matt Cullen. Halak trapped the puck, which was right on the goal line, between his legs on a chance from in front. The play was reviewed but no goal.

The win gives the Islanders 82 points, which is the same total as the struggling Boston Bruins.

However, the Islanders, with one game in hand on the Bruins, take over the final wild card spot in the East for now.