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Dylan Cozens 1, Mattias Samuelsson 0. In a battle of top Buffalo Sabres prospects on the opening day of the World Junior Championships, Cozens' team got the upper hand as Canada roared back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Team USA, 6-4, in their initial pool play game in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Alexis Lafreniere, the Quebec League superstar expected to be the No. 1 pick …

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PHILADELPHIA – In the 50th anniversary season of the franchise, you have to go back nearly 50 years before you find a Buffalo Sabres player who has registered a point in 18 consecutive games. Jack Eichel can join some pretty good company Thursday night. If Eichel gets a point in Buffalo's game against the Philadelphia Flyers in Wells Fargo Center, he will equal the c…

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The Buffalo Sabres suffered a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders when the teams met Nov. 2 in KeyBank Center. They're not the only team to get shut down by coach Barry Trotz's crew this season. But the Sabres are scoring four goals a game of late, collecting 36 in their last nine starts while going 5-1-3. And they're gunning for their first four-game winning streak of t…

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LETHBRIDGE, Alberta – The Dog Days of December absolutely exist for junior hockey stars. And they can be tough ones. It's quite the dilemma. Keep grinding away through long bus rides across the prairies while counting down the days to training camp for the World Junior Championship, a tournament many of them have been aiming for their entire young lives. That's where…

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STOCKHOLM — Even as the sun shines brightly on Stockholm this week, it's chilly in Kungstradgarden and not nearly as crowded as the city's most popular downtown park is in the summer. Small children stumble around the park's ice rink, carrying tiny hockey sticks because, well, they start them young here like they do in Canada. Sabres center Johan Larsson last week encou…

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Who: USA vs. Canada What: World Junior Championship, Group A game. First outdoor game in World Juniors history. Where: New Era Field When: Friday, 3 p.m. Gates open: 1:30 p.m. Parking lots: Open at noon; close two hours after the game TV: NHL Network. TV coverage begins at 2 p.m. Attendance: Crowd of more than 40,000 expected, setting the record for a …

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UPDATED The World Junior Championship game between Team USA and Team Canada on Friday will remain outdoors at New Era Field. Game time is 3 p.m. The committee that needed to give its final approval for the game did so during a brief meeting Thursday afternoon. Projections call for a game-time temperature of 6 degrees with the wind chill making it feel like 4 degre…

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Team USA's practice at New Era Field on Wednesday was a testament to the difficulty of keeping ice in good condition in 12-degree weather. Players and staff placed water bottles over divots in the ice throughout practice, steering skaters away from particularly beat up areas. There were around 10 scattered around the rink when the Zamboni was called out. Defenseman Q…

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Casey Mittelstadt didn't want the focus to be on him as he and Team USA arrived in Buffalo for the World Junior Championship. But the attention is inevitable with the Sabres having selected Mittelstadt as their No. 1 pick in the NHL draft last June. Team USA practiced at KeyBank Center on Monday. Check out this video of him scoring an incredible goal as the team practic…

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Team Belarus World Juniors history: There's not much at the top level. The best finish for Belarus, which made its debut at the top level of U-20 competition in 1998, was ninth place in 2001 and 2002. They enter this tournament after winning gold in the 2017 Division I tournament to earn a promotion. At that tournament, they won four of their five games with their only …

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Team Canada World Juniors history: Canada is the winningest country in World Juniors history with 30 medals. Canada has 16 golds, nine silvers, and five bronze. Last year's silver medal was a sting as Canada lost to the U.S., 5-4, in a shootout on home soil. Canada's last gold was in 2015. Coach: Dominique Ducharme Key players: Canada returns seven players from la…

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ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — The Canadians went as far as you can in the 2017 World Junior Championship without leaving victorious. The team was up two goals twice in the gold medal game. Even after losing both leads, the championship was up in the air in the second half of the five-round shootout. One shootout goal was the difference between gold and silver. That made it eve…

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What: 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Hockey Championship When: Dec. 26-Jan. 5 Where: 23 games at Key Bank Center; seven games at HarborCenter; outdoor game at New Era Field on Friday (3 p.m.) Participating teams: Group A – United States, Canada, Denmark, Slovakia, Finland. Group B – Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus. Co…

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Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt had a goal and an assist in the United States’ 3-1 pre-tournament victory against Sweden in Erie, Pa. Mittelstadt opened the scoring six minutes into the game, beating the Swedish goalie with a glove-side wrist shot on the power play. Kailer Yamamoto scored the game winner, collecting a rebound following a Mittelstadt shot. Fellow…

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The countdown clock for the start of the World Junior Championships is under two months, and the 2017-18 version of the tournament that starts the day after Christmas is going to look quite a bit different than the 2010-11 event that played to strong reviews here seven years ago. On the ice, one big difference is that lesser-profile games in pool play as well as contest…