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Team USA highlighted on NHL Network's broadcast schedule

The NHL Network has announced it will broadcast all four preliminary-round games involving the United States National Junior Team and 15 contests total during the IIHF World Championship.

Team USA opens against Finland at 8 p.m. Sunday. The U.S. also faces Slovakia at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Germany at 7 p.m. Dec. 30 and Switzerland at 8 p.m. Dec. 31.

Gary Thorne, Dave Starman, Fred Pletsch and Billy Jaffe will be the NHL Network team assigned to broadcast Team USA games. Thorne, the play-by-play man for the Baltimore Orioles, spent 12 years as the voice of ESPN's NHL telecasts and served as NBC's lead play-by-play hockey voice during the 2002 Olympics.

NHL network will televise all medal-round contests as well as five other preliminary-round games. The network plans on airing Sunday's 4 p.m. game between Canada and Russia, along with the Dec. 31 contest between Canada and Sweden, which could have potential medal-round bye implications.

All potential Team USA medal-round playoff games will start at 7:30 p.m.
    
The broadcast schedule:
     
Dec. 26: Russia vs. Canada, 4 p.m.; USA vs. Finland, 8 p.m.

Dec. 28: Canada vs. Czech Republic, 4 p.m.; USA vs. Slovakia, 8 p.m.

Dec. 29: Norway vs. Canada, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 30: Sweden vs. Czech Republic, 3 p.m.; USA vs. Germany, 7 p.m.

Dec. 31: Canada vs. Sweden, 4 p.m.; USA vs. Switzerland, 8 p.m.

Jan. 2: Quarterfinals, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 3: Semifinals, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 5: Bronze-Medal game, 3:30 p.m.

Jan. 5: Gold-Medal game, 7:30 p.m.

---Miguel Rodriguez

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