CGD: For all the golden marbles (Canada/USA)

Welp, this is it. Rebounding quite nicely off of a disappointing 2016 tournament, and doing well to pull themselves out of a tough spot against the Swedes last night, the Canadians will take on the United States of America in an epic grudge match at the Bell Centre, to decide the Gold Medal Winner at the 2017 World Juniors. Here’s what’s going down tonight.

Team Canada

Team Canada’s projected lines (based on Wednesday)

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#17 Tyson Jost #19 Dylan Strome #21 Blake Speers
#11 Mathieu Joseph #14 Mathew Barzal #16 Taylor Raddysh
#18 Pierre-Luc Dubois #25 Nicolas Roy #12 Julien Gauthier
#9 Dillon Dubé #22 Anthony Cirelli #27 Mitchell Stephens
#20 Michael McLeod
Left Defence Right Defence
#5 Thomas Chabot #10 Kale Clague
#2 Jake Bean #3 Noah Juulsen
#15 Jeremy Lauzon #8 Dante Fabbro

Canada has done some minor tinkering throughout the tournament, but at this point, they’re unlikely to mess too much with the roster. Their skaters did quite well against the Swedes last night; particularly Julien Gauthier, who picked up a pair of goals.

Team USA

Team USA’s projected lines (based on Wednesday)

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#19 Clayton Kelller #18 Colin White #13 Joey Anderson
#12 Jordan Greenway #9 Luke Kunin #17 Jeremy Bracco
#23 Kieffer Bellows #28 Jack Roslovic #29 Tage Thompson
#14 Erik Foley #10 Tanner Laczynski #20 Troy Terry
#11 Patrick Harper
Left Defence Right Defence
#4 Caleb Jones #25 Charlie McAvoy
#2 Ryan Lindgren #6 Casey Fitzgerald
#3 Jack Ahcan #33 Joe Cecconi

The United States haven’t really changed their lineup since the start of the tournament, and with the success they’ve had, it’s unlikely to see them make much of an adjustment headed into tonight. Troy Terry is the name that everybody will be talking about today, after his multi-goal effort in the shootout against the Russians.

Starting Goaltenders

After Connor Ingram’s less than stellar performance at the start of the semi-final game, look to the Canadians to start Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart. The Everett Silvertips starter and Flyers draft pick has put up a 0.929 through three games in this tournament and was the calming presence that got last night’s game back on track.

Meanwhile, expect London Knights starter and Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Parsons to get the nod for the Americans tonight. That could change, of course; Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Joseph Woll has better numbers in this tournament and played the first game against Canada, but the general rule of thumb is that you once you pick a goalie in the knockout rounds, you stick with him until he gives you an excuse not to.

What To Look Out For

The New Years Eve game was one that was heavily influenced by special teams. The United States were given power plays in very crucial turning point moments of the game, and their penalty kill was extremely effective. Canada might be able to find a way to break through the latter, but staying out of the box is going to be a major key in this game.

One thing is for sure; the Canadians will be hungry. That was a shocking loss for that group; even if the USA might arguably have the better roster, losing to them is always a blow to the nation’s pride. Never has Canada conceded defeat to the Americans twice in the same World Junior Championship, and they’ll do their best to ensure it doesn’t happen tonight. 

Coverage for tonight’s game will begin at 7:30 EST (6:30 Manitoba, 5:30 Alberta, 4:30 British Columbia) on TSN.