Olympic Weekend Preview While many Americans will be taking time out to celebrate the holidays with their friends and family this weekend and through New Year’s, there will be many members of Team USA who will be competing.
Photo Courtesy: unathleticmag.com - Lindsey Vonn will carry a 230-point lead in the World Cup overall standings into the tour’s next event in Lienz, Austria, which begins Wednesday.
While many Americans will be taking time out to celebrate the holidays with their friends and family this weekend and through New Year’s, there will be many members of Team USA who will be competing in different time zones around the globe. From competition on the ice to the slopes to the pool, American athletes might be in the holiday spirit but definitely in the Olympic spirit. Check out this week’s holiday edition of the Olympic Weekend Preview to find out where all these athletes will be.
ICHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 26-Jan. 5, Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The U.S. National Junior Team will begin play in the International Ice Hockey Federation (ICHF) World Junior Championship on Monday, when it faces Denmark at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta. Face-off for the opener is 8 p.m. ET.
The United States returns seven players from the 2011 squad which won the bronze medal at last year’s worlds: Goaltender Jack Campbell of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, defensemen Jon Merrill of the University of Michigan and Derek Forbort of the University of North Dakota, and forwards Nick Bjugstad of the University of Minnesota, Charlie Coyle of Boston University, Jason Zucker of the University of Denver, and Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers. Zucker and Campbell were both on the 2010 team which won gold.
“Having been behind the bench when we won the gold medal two years ago, I can’t wait to get started again,” U.S. coach Dean Blais said. “This is an incredible group of players whose speed and tenacity should help us succeed in Edmonton and Calgary.”
The United States will finish up its pre-tournament exhibition schedule Friday, when it plays Slovakia in Three Hills, Alberta. Following the opener Monday, the squad will face Finland on Wednesday, Czech Republic on Dec. 30 and Canada on Dec. 31. Quarterfinals begin Jan. 2, leading up to the Jan. 5 medal-round games.
2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, Dec. 28-Jan. 4, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
The U.S. Men’s National Under-17 Team will begin play in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge next week, when it faces the Czech Republic on Thursday in Windsor, Ont. The squad will play Canada’s Team Atlantic in an exhibition game Wednesday in LaSalle, Ont.
The United States earned the silver last year and gold in 2010. Of the 22 players on the roster, 20 come from USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. The other two are defenseman Michael Downing of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and goaltender Thatcher Demko of the Omaha Lancers. Both are teams in the United States Hockey League, a junior league in which the national team from the development program also plays.
FIS Alpine World Cup, women, Dec. 28-29, Lienz, Austria
Lindsey Vonn will carry a 230-point lead in the World Cup overall standings into the