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Jake McCabe, U.S.A., Open Up World Junior Championship Play Thursday

Badger defenseman Jake McCabe is one of nine defenseman vying for a roster spot on Team USA for the upcoming World Junior Championships.

UW sophomore Jake McCabe is a hopeful for a Team USA roster spot
UW sophomore Jake McCabe is a hopeful for a Team USA roster spot
Photo Credit: Larry Radloff/INCHWriters.com

One of the most anticipated hockey tournaments in the hockey world is just around the corner, and once again the United States are anticipated to be a contender for a medal.

Team USA opened up their quest for a U20 World Junior Championship gold medal by hosting training camp at the MSG Training Center (home of the New York Rangers) from Sunday through Tuesday. Shortly after training camp wrapped up, all 26 players in camp boarded flights overseas for the start of this year's WJC tournament.

USA will participate in two exhibition games--one Thursday vs. Sweden, one on Saturday vs Finland--in an attempt to create chemistry, and whittle the roster from 26 to 23 players.

This year's World Junior Championships are being held in Ufa, Russia.

Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe is one of the Team USA hopefuls. The Eau Claire, Wisc. native is one of nine defenseman on the preliminary roster. Team USA is expected to make final cuts on Sunday, and will head into the tournament with only seven defensemen on the roster, meaning they still have two cuts on defense to make.

McCabe is on the bubble for one of the final roster spots, but reports out of Team USA training camp have been positive. Accrording to Matt Lavanco, McCabe saw power-play time paired up with Michigan star Jacob Trouba. That certainly bodes well for his chances at making the final roster.

Before his time at Wisconsin, McCabe spent two seasons as a member of the U.S. NTDP in Ann Arbor. McCabe was a member of the 2011 United States Under 18 team that won a gold medal at the world championships in Germany.

Thursday's exhibition game vs Sweden will be broadcast live on the NHL Network at 11:30 AM CT. USA's second--and final--exhibition vs Finland will be played on Saturday, and broadcast live on the NHL Network at 5:00 AM CT.

All Team USA games will be broadcast live on the NHL Network, and also shown live online at NHL.com.

The NHL Nework will also broadcast all of Team Canada's preliminary round games, as well as both quarterfinals, both semifinals and both the bronze and gold-medal games, regardless of U.S. participation.

Steve Mears, who handles play-by-play for Pittsburgh Penguins HD Radio, will call all U.S. games in the tournament for the NHL Network, with E.J. Hradek serving as the analyst and Rob Simpson the rink-side reporter.

2013 IIHF World Junior Championship NHL Network-U.S. Schedule
Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013 • Ufa, Russia • Ufa Arena

Date
Matchup
Time (EST)
Replay Time (EST)
Live Streaming
Thurs., Dec. 20
USA vs. Sweden* 12:30 p.m. -- --
Sat., Dec. 22
Finland vs. USA* 6:00 a.m. -- --
Wed., Dec. 26
Canada vs. Germany
Russia vs. Slovakia
4:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
6:30 p.m.
8:00 p.m.

Thurs., Dec. 27
USA vs. Germany 9:00 a.m. 8:00 p.m. NHL.com
Fri., Dec. 28
Slovakia vs. Canada
USA vs. Russia
4:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
5:30 p.m.
8:00 p.m.

NHL.com
Sat., Dec. 29
Russia vs. Germany 9:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 30
USA vs. Canada
Germany vs. Slovakia
4:30 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
8:00 p.m.
5:30 p.m.
NHL.com
Mon., Dec. 31 USA vs. Slovakia
Canada vs. Russia
5:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
8:00 p.m.
5:30 p.m.
NHL.com
Wed., Jan. 2
Quarterfinal #1
Quarterfinal #2
4:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
TBA TBA
Thurs., Jan. 3
Semifinal #1
Semifinal #2
4:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
TBA TBA
Sat., Jan. 5
Bronze Medal Game
Gold Medal Game
4:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
TBA TBA

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention friend of the blog @chrismpeters, who runs the United States of Hockey blog. Chris is a must follow on twitter, and his blog is a must-bookmark. I can promise you he'll have outstanding, non-stop coverage until the end of the tournament.

Here at Bucky's 5th Quarter, we'll also have coverage of Team USA and Jake McCabe, don't forget about us.

For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter (@AndyJohnsonB5Q)

You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)