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Junior Journal / News, notes and quotes

Swiss star struggles

Switzerland's Nino Niederreiter (right) turned the 2010 edition of the world championships into a coming-out party, earning first-team all-tournament status from the media after amassing 10 points in seven games. He scored the game-tying and overtime-winning goals in Switzerland's quarterfinal upset of Russia.

He did that as an underage junior, but it was tough sledding for the New York Islanders prospect in this year's event.

Niederreiter has just two goals and an assist as he has clearly drawn more defensive attention from the opposition.

He did receive lots of ice time in Sunday's game and proved to be slippery on a couple occasions but his best plays came on the defensive end in the 4-1 loss. The Swiss forward dove back to break up a potential slam-dunk goal on a 2-on-1 feed in the first. He sprawled out to block a shot when the game was still tied, 1-1.

But getting loose offensively was a problem this year.

"Last year everything was easier," he said. "I think it's getting better and better. I'm trying to lead the team and play the best."

Switzerland faces either Russia or Finland on Tuesday in the fifth-place game.


Sweden's win is for real

Count Finland assistant coach Karri Kivi in the camp of those not surprised that Sweden defeated Canada on Friday.

When asked if he was shocked the Swedes took a 6-5 shootout from the all-time winningest team in the history of this tournament, he said: "We follow the games. It's very tight. Everybody is playing at the same level. We saw the first exhibition game between Canada and Sweden. OK, Canada won but it wasn't an easy game."


Kivi, Takko connection

Kivi is from Pori, the same hometown as former Minnesota North Star goalie Kari Takko, one of the first goalies to sport the all-white look on the ice with white pads, white gloves and a white old-school helmet cage before getting a painted modern mask.

Takko appeared in 104 international games for Finland and helped the Finns take silver and bronze at the world juniors in 1981 and 1982. Although his NHL career ended in 1991, he played nine more seasons in Europe.


USA enjoys bye

While Canada needed an extra game to fight into its semifinal showdown against Team USA, the Americans enjoyed a day off. The team practiced for an hour in the morning and rested -- important for a team with plenty of bumps and bruises.

"Playing this many games in this many days, it's kind of hard to get your legs under you," forward Jerry D'Amigo said. "Getting that rest was great."

The Americans have somewhat of a different attitude on their quest to a gold medal this time around. Last year, they were underdogs, the "Cinderella," D'Amigo said. This year, they're considered a favorite.

"So this year we may have a little more presure," he said. "But I think with our hard work and mental mindset that we want to win we'll be OK."


Pro-Canada crowd?

At the time, his opponent was unknown. Canada still had to play Switzerland when USA goalie Jack Campbell met the media. But with the seemingly inevitable matchup looming, Campbell was asked if he was worried about Team USA playing in front of a boisterous pro-Canada crowd.

Campbell didn't sound concerned.

"Everyone in the dressing room is prepared for whatever the outcome may be with the fans," Campbell said. "We've all played in front of Canadian fans Whether the crowd is an advantage or disadvantage, we'll be fine."

Compiled by News Sports staff.