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Postgame audio: Coaches Cameron, Allain; USA goalie Campbell; Canada goalie Visentin; USA forward Brown

I escaped the crush of media members inside HSBC Arena with a few audio interviews that you can actually hear. Most of the interviews featured the muffled sounds of players drowned out by pushing and yelling media members, so I trust you don't want to hear all that.

The following is from Team USA goalie Jack Campbell, the only American who knew the game was tonight, and the coaches, Canada's Dave Cameron and Team USA's Keith Allain. Meanwhile, Miguel Rodriguez has audio of Canada goalie Mark Visentin and United States forward Chris Brown.

Jack Campbell

Coaches Dave Cameron (Canada) and Keith Allain (Team USA)

Mark Visentin

Chris Brown

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski

Live from the big one: USA vs. Canada

So it's not the gold medal game. Who cares? It's what everyone wanted. Team USA and Team Canada. The building is sold out and the place is electric. Stanley Cup final electric. I would expect 75 percent Canadian fans even though the Sabres are correctly treating this as an American home game by passing out flags and other red, white and blue items at the gate.

PA man Jay Moran made me chuckle when he greeted the Americans for warmups with a loud here-come-the-Sabres bellow and announced Canada as if "the NHL's Florida Panthers" were taking the ice. Of course, he got drowned out by the huge ovation for the boys from north of the border. 

There's nothing poetic I can really say to set this one up. There are dueling chants of "Ca-na-da, Ca-na-da" and "USA, USA" going on in different spots around the building. Lots of flags waving from both country. The story in the stands is going to be nearly as compelling as the one on the ice.

Let's get it on.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Canada starters: Hamilton-Schenn-Eakin-Cowan-Barrie. Goal: Visentin
USA starters: Morin-Bourque-Bjugstad-Ramage-Merrill. Goal: Campbell 

Third Period

9:18 p.m.: We're under way. 

14:30 left: It's a bad wireless night here with so many media in the house. It's still 3-0. Most noteworthy item to this point was Marcus Foligno crushing Brock Nelson just about over the boards into the Canada bench. Visentin with a couple good saves too.

13:58 left: That should just about do it. Kassian on a breakaway. Low to the stick side. Great hands. Sabres gotta put him here next year. Forget about Portland. Canada, 4-0.

12:34 left: Visentin with the great glove save on Chris Kreider. Crowd roars the grab.

9:10 left: It's 4-1 Canada. Chris Brown broke Visentin's shutout at 9:37. Terrible night in the press box with the wireless system. Apologies. Must be all those Canada fans using their smartphones.

6:34 left: Canada in control. Shots are 37-21.

It's over: Now that I was able to get back on the wireless system finally I can tell you Canada won 4-1 and had a 41-23 edge in shots. Canada plays Russia for gold Wednesday at 7:30. The US plays Sweden for bronze Wednesday at 3:30. I had that game as the gold medal matchup going into today. Whoops!

Second Period

8:25 p.m.: The puck is dropped.

17:27 left: A break for Team USA. Howden goes for high sticking Campbell in the head after the goalie had frozen a shot. First penalty of the night.

15:45 left: Best save of the night for Visentin, stoning Bjugstad from the slot on a rebound.

15:27 left: Just as Howden gets out of the box, Charlie Coyle takes a foolish high sticking penalty as the Americans are going up ice.

15:02 left: Bigger trouble for Team USA as Patrick Wey goes for hooking. Alert play by Kassian to give the U.S. the puck to allow the 5-on-3 to go for 1:36.

14:10 left: Campbell stones Hamilton's pair of whacks after great work down low by Kassian, who is an absolute beast and will really help the Sabres next year.

14:01 left: Ryan Johansen jumps on a rebound, a tap-in of Ellis' point shot. Canada leads, 3-0.

9:02 left: Campbell making saves all over. Robbed Couturier on a breakaway after a blatant giveaway by Bourque. Shots are 25-11. The Canadian fans are chanting "This is our house" and rightly so. If this were boxing, it's nearly a TKO. Almost ready to be stopped.

3:42 left: This baby if flying with few whistles. US to the power play as Calvin de Haan goes for Canada on a ticky-tack slashing call.

2:53 left: Sensational save by Visentin to spear a Coyle tip from the edge of the crease.

End-2nd: After a wireless outage, I can tell you it's 3-0 and shots are 28-15 and there was another big ovation to end the period. Gotta pound print story for a bit.

First Period

7:38: The puck is dropped.

17:22 left: First two shots of the game and Canada has a 1-0 lead. Cody Eakin finds Curtis Hamilton alone in front. Hamilton is stopped by Campbell but taps his own rebound into the net and does a Lambeau Leap into the glass. Canada, 1-0.

15:23 left: Huge save by Campbell on Couturier, breaking down the left wing on a 2-on-1.

14:07 left: Not much chance to say much when there's no whistles. Shots are 4-1 for Canada. Good hitting on both sides but the crowd is so far and away in favor of Canada that it feels like we're in Toronto. No surprise at all.

11:53 left: Canada's size really bothering the Americans. Quinton Howden crushed Brock Nelson and Jerry D'Amigo with big hits in about a 10-second span.

11:37 left: Campbell with a strong glove save on Hamilton. Shots are 5-1.

9:41 left: Americans finally starting to bang back. Bjugstad crushed de Haan with Team USA's best check of the night and some Canadian forwards got pushed away from Campbell after he froze the puck.

7:39 left: Visentin's best save is a glove stop on Chris Krieder. He's shaky with the glove, still stabbing at the puck, but hasn't been challenged much yet. Shots are 9-4.

6:06 left: Canada takes a 2-0 lead as Howden tips home a perfect pass from the right wing from Brett Connolly after beating Ramage down the slot. Big trouble for Team USA, which is getting beat to the puck and completely outworked in this period.

2:33 left: Kassian loses the puck off his stick in the slot just when he's going to uncork one on a 3-on-2. The ice looks bad and it looks like it got the Sabres draftee there. HUGE chance for a third goal.

End-1st: Canada gets a roaring standing ovation as it heads to the locker room with a 2-0 lead and a 12-5 edge in shots on goal. USA had only one real scoring chance, a tip from the slot by Ryan Bourque with 52 seconds left in the period that went wide. Total domination in the stands and on the ice so far.

US looks to keep taking care of business

Team USA and Switzerland are both moving on to the medal round and the US can clinch a first-round bye with a win tonight at 8. The Americans took care of business Thursday night against overmatched Germany, posting a 4-0 win in which they really could have named their score. In three games, they have outscored their opponents, 13-3.

"We're really pleased," coach Keith Allain said today. "It's an identity I hoped we'd develop and we have. You win championships with good defensive play and I think we've been great on that side on the puck."

Nino Niederreiter, the top Islanders prospect who was taken fifth overall in last June's draft, has two goals in the tournament for Switzerland and is certainly a dangerous player.

"He's their key offensive guy," Allain said. "He appears he's doing a lot of it by himself but you never play one guy in hockey. Our impressions of Switzerland are that they appear to be a more aggressive forechecking team than Swiss teams of the past so we'll be ready for that."

Team USA has taken over the Sabres' locker room for the tournament. Check it out:

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Kassian suspension now includes Friday's game vs. Sweden

The IIHF today gave Canadian forward and Sabres prospect Zack Kassian an additional game suspension for his hit Tuesday night on Czech Republic forward Petr Senkerik.

Kassian was by rule suspended for tonight's game against Norway after receiving a match penalty for a hit to the head but IIHF judge Dan Marouelli determined the hit warranted an additional game. That means Kassian will miss Friday's marquee showdown against Sweden.

"We all looked at the hit and thought it was a little bit cleaner than they portrayed but at the same time Zack's a big boy. When [he] hits someone, it's going to end up in a rough cause but we heard the other guy was OK and that's what mattered most," fellow Sabres prospect and Kassian linemate Marcus Foligno said after learning the news.

On did Kassian's past, last year's 20-game suspension by the OHL, play a role in the additional game:

"All I know is the IIHF comes down harder on head shots," Foligno said. "That's what I've learned in this tournament. ... Kassian's hit --- I don't really know what the difference was with some other head shots that they've had in earlier games. I know there were two head shots in the first game between Germany and Switzerland."

Below is audio of Foligno from this morning's pre-game session with the media at Team Canada's hotel. The Canadians canceled their morning skate before tonight's clash with Norway.

IIHF also announced Slovakia’s Marek Marincin will sit out a three-game suspension for his hit to the head and neck area on U.S.A. forward Jason Zucker with 7:51 left in the third period of Tuesday night's game. Slovakia’s Peter Hrasko was given two games for his hit to the head and neck area on American forward Jerry D’Amigo.

Marcus Foligno:

--Miguel Rodriguez

Live: Switzerland vs. Finland

First Period

12:39 p.m.: Game on.

15:44 left: Is this a Sabres game? It's quiet enough to be. One good chance for the Finns so far was turned back by Swiss goalie Benjamin Conz.

14:05 left: Shots are 6-1 Finland, but still no score.

13:35 left: A break in the action here as Conz just made his best save of the game, stoning Finnish forward Erik Haula in front on a 2-on-1 break. Great save.

11:37 left:It's 10-1 on the shots clock and seems just like a matter of tie before Finland cashes in. Henri Tuominen had the best recent chance, just missing from the doorstep. Couldn't tell if Conz caught a piece of it.

9:40 left: Conz smothers a point shot and we're halfway through the first with still no score. 11-1 shots, Finland.

9:20 left:Chance for the Swiss here. Finn defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka goes off for holding (looked like interference, but whatever). Game's first power play.

7:10 left: Still no score as the Swiss power play ends. Two good chances for defenseman Romain Loeffel on the advantage, but he shattered his stick on the first shot and was stopped from the high slot by Finn goalie Joni Ortio. It's bloopers time on the HSBC scoreboard. Mike Harrington must be happy he's not here.

6:25 left: Ortio stops Nino Niederreiter on a breakaway with a glove save, his best of the game.

5:30 left: Too many men on the ice penalty against Switzerland. Finland's first shot on the power play.

3:37 left: First goal? Nope. Joel Armia's shot for Finland hits the post and drops into the crease. The loose puck eventually crossed the line, but it was ruled that the Swiss net had been dislodged before the puck went into the net. No goal, still no score.

2:02 left: No goal on the power play, but Finland has taken momentum back. Shots are 14-5.

:19 left: Finland finally cashes in. Joonas Nattinen tips a point shot past Conz for a 1-0 lead. Nattinen is a third-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens. Assists on the goal went to Toni Rajala and Jokipakka.

1:11 p.m.: End of the first period. Shots are 18-5 for Finland. Nice job by Conz of keeping his team close.

Second Period

1:27 p.m.: Game back on.

16:49 left: Still 1-0. Finland once again controlling play. Nearly all of the 3 minutes played in the second have been spent in the Swiss zone.

15:23 left: Jaako Turtiainen makes it 2-0 for Finland. He pounces on a loose puck in the left circle and drives one high past Conz. The goal was set up by a pretty give-and-go between Jokipakka and Joonas Donskoi. Jokipakka fanned on his shot, but it bounced to a wide-open Turtiainen.

9:52 left: Hooking penalty on Tuominen of Finland. Switzerland needs to do something with this power play.

9:02 left: Cheap, dirty hit by Sami Vatanen rightly earns him a two-minute boarding penalty. He's lucky it's not more. Two-man advantage for the Swiss.

7:35 left: After killing off the 5-on-3, Finland nearly adds another one, but Iiro Pakarinen is stopped on a short-handed breakaway.

6:45 left: Back to full strength, still 2-0.

3:36 left: The last few minutes have been like watching the Globetrotters vs. the Generals. Finland kept the puck in the Swiss zone for a good 90 seconds, but couldn't convert another goal, so it's still 2-0. Shots for the game are 24-7 for Teemu Selanne's countrymen. Oh, and they're doing the wave here in HSBC.

3:16 left: Swiss forward Sven Bartschi splits the Finnish defense and crashes into Ortio. He puts himself into the net, but not the puck.

1:58 p.m.: End of the second, 2-0, Finland. Shots are 25-9, including 7-4 in that period, for Finland. Last three minutes of the second period were the best of the game so far for the Swiss. No great chances, but they finally established some puck possession in the Finland zone.

Third Period

2:15 p.m.: We're back again.

17:36 left: Conz is legit. He just stopped Julius Junttila on a breakaway, keeping it 2-0.

15:34 left: Finland back to the power play as Loeffel goes off for slashing.

15:23 left: That didn't take long. It's 3-0 Finland after a perfect cross-ice pass from Erik Haula to Vatanen. Conz had no chance on that one-timer.

12:09 left: Finland is opening it up now. Junttila makes it 4-0 with a beautiful rush down the right side past Swiss defenseman Nicholas Steiner. Junttila finishes the play, flipping a shot top shelf over Conz's glove.

10:34 left: It's just not meant to be for the Swiss. Gregory Hofmann has his stick tied up in front staring at an empty net and it remains 4-0. Shots are 32-12.

6:42 left: Another break. I'd say the building's a third full, but that may be kind. Somewhere between a fourth and a third probably.

3:57 left: Getting a head start on this game story, since Canada-Czech Republic is less than 90 minutes away. If something earth-shattering happens here, we'll be sure to share.

2:03 left: Ho-hum, Conz stops another breakaway. Toni Rajala took a hooking penalty for Finland, so we'll see if the Swiss can break up Ortio's shutout.

Final: Nope, they can't. 4-0 Finland. Shutout for Ortio, who made all 15 saves. Finland had 38 shots. Dominant performance by the Finns. Back with Canada-Czech Republic in a bit. Off for quotes now.

--------------

Hello from HSBC Arena, where Switzerland and Finland open the third day of play in the World Juniors.

I've survived the walk from The News' Scott Street parking lot to HSBC. If there's a colder 10 minute-walk out there, I don't want to feel it. Very little traffic outside the arena, even less inside. If you take the red-clad Canada fans out of the crowd, I'm not sure there would be 500 people here.

We'll see how it looks closer to the faceoff. The Swiss come into the game leading Group A with three points, courtesy of its 4-3 win over Germany on Sunday. Finland, of course, took the U.S. to overtime on Sunday before losing, 3-2. The Finns have one point.

Stay with us all afternoon for live updates from this game and the 4 p.m. game between Canada and the Czech Republic.

---Jay Skurski

http://twitter.com/jayskurski 

Live from USA-Finland

Greetings from HSBC Arena, which is certainly undergoing a workout today. The 8 p.m. matchup between USA and Finland will be the third game in the arena. The building just emptied a short time ago following Canada's 6-3 victory over Russia, and fans are already coming back in for the final outing. They're sharing the rows with ushers picking up beer cans and workers sweeping up popcorn boxes.

The Canada game was a red-clad event, with fans from The True North filling the building in their team jerseys. It appears this final game will be a flag-waving affair. Nearly all the fans walking in have American flags, so they were likely handed them upon entering.

The Americans are eager to start their title defense against the Finns and will do so with Jack Campbell in net.

"It’s the first game. You’re going to have a lot of mayhem, a lot of nerves out there," forward Jerry D'Amigo said. "You’ve got to stay composed and be a team. The winners in this tournament are the teams that get better each game. Obviously, you’re going to see a lot of mistakes out there, but hopefully we can manage them well."

FIRST PERIOD

8:03 p.m.: It's going to be a late start apparently, as the teams have yet to take the ice with all the pretournament festivities and the color guard still marching.

8:07 p.m.: Captain John Ramage and defense partner Jon Merrill get the start for USA, with Jeremy Morin, Ryan Bourque and Nick Bjugstad up front.

8:09 p.m.: Game on in a building that's more than half empty.

8:13 p.m.: Most of the fans in the arena are wearing the red sweaters of Team Canada, and several just started a "Let's go, Finland" chant. It quickly was replaced by "USA, USA," There is no score and only two Finn shots through four minutes.

8:18 p.m.: First commercial hits with 12:32 remaining. Finns have three shots, the U.S. team has one. It's amazing how packed and energized this building was four hours ago for Canada-Russia and how quiet and empty it is now.

8:22 p.m.: The U.S. kills a penalty to Ramage taken with 12:23 left and nearly takes a 1-0 lead while short-handed. Goalie Joni Ortio makes a right two save on Jason Zucker at the end of a two-on-one with D'Amigo.

8:38 p.m.: The U.S. team, thanks to two Finland penalties, finally establishes itself and hits the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. Blue-liners Justin Faulk and Merrill pass back and forth along the point on the power play, with Faulk's one-timer soaring short side past Ortio with 1:06 to go. Finland holds a 9-7 shot edge.

SECOND PERIOD

8:56 p.m.: The teams are back. Game on.

8:57 p.m.: Third straight penalty by Finns give U.S. a power play just 44 seconds in.

9 p.m.: Two shots, no goals for Americans on the power play. They hold their 1-0 lead with 17:04 to go.

9:05 p.m.: Finland hits the commercial in its 1-0 hole after Erik Haula fires wide with an open net in front of him with 13 minutes to go.

9:13 p.m.: Campbell passes his first test with 7:15 left, getting his pad on Haula's point-blank blast. It's still 1-0 with Finns holding an 18-14 shot edge.

9:16 p.m.: Canadian Finn fans start "Camp-bell" mock after Toni Rajala steals puck from goalie and then from D'Amigo. Rajala had two teammates alone in front and fed Joonas Nattinen for the one-timer from the top of the slot. It's 1-1 with 6:10 to play.

9:18 p.m.: Americans come back to regain their lead on a goal by Zucker with 4:52 to go. A Finn defenseman blew a wheel trying to skate up the boards in his own end, with Zucker picking up the puck and firing a laser off the post and in. It's 2-1.

9:24 p.m.: The Americans head to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead. The Finns have a 23-17 shot edge. Again, I can't believe how empty this building is.

THIRD PERIOD

9:43 p.m.: And they're back ...

9:48 p.m.: Joel Armia misses a close-range backhand for the Finns with 15:25 left, keeping the Americans in front, 2-1. Ortio keeps his team in front, forcing Kyle Palmieri wide on a breakaway with 14:53 to go. The U.S. then goes back on the power play after a high-stick during the break.

9:51 p.m.: Americans get an apparent goal by Morin waved off with 13:48 left when Bjugstad was ruled to be in the crease.

9:58 p.m. Ortio hasn't been as busy as Campbell, but he's needed to make tougher saves. He stops a tip by D'Amigo with 8:45 left to keep it 2-1.

10:02 p.m.: Ortio does it again, getting his glove on Charlie Coyle's shot from the top of the crease with 7:16 left.

10:03 p.m.: The Finns tie the game with 7:01 left, getting a goal by Iiro Pakarinen. The U.S. blocked a shot by Haula, who continued following the rush and got another shot that Campbell stopped. The rebound bounced a driving Pakarinen.

10:12 p.m.: We're off to overtime with the score 2-2. Finns have a 34-29 shot edge.

OVERTIME

10:17 p.m.: One minute down during the four-on-four action.

10:20 p.m.: Bjugstad scores the winner with 1:52 left to give the United States a 3-2 victory.

---John Vogl

Ice work at HSBC

1223002319 In this day and age, serves me right for not carrying a camera at all times or having a cell phone to do the trick. So the AP's Bob Matuszak comes through for me with this shot (left).

It's after 11 p.m. in HSBC Arena following the Sabres-Panthers games. The board ads have all been stripped and new ones are going up. Circular goal creases have been painted.

And the picture taken from on high in the press box shows the biggie -- the Sabres logo at center ice is in the process of being painted over so the World Junior Championships logo can replace it. The words "HSBC Arena" are also being rubbed out.

Pretty huge undertaking. Details, details, details. Wonder if they have to spray everything over again and put the Sabres logo back for the Jan. 1 game or if the Sabres and Bruins are just going to play with the Worlds logo at center ice. Interesting.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Video: World Juniors Come to Buffalo

The top young hockey players in the world come to Buffalo to compete in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26. Miguel Rodriguez and Mike Harrington break down the field of 10.

2010 gold medal highlights

The World Junior Championships start in Buffalo on Sunday, and people are anticipating a gold medal rematch between the United States and Canada, won by the U.S., 6-5, in OT in Saskatoon.

There are a lot of games to be played before that can happen and the Swedes, Czechs and Russians will certainly do their best to ruin the party, but here is video of the 2010 final to whet your appetite.

Canada-Sweden pregame notes

TORONTO -- We're in the house at Air Canada Centre for tonight's Canada-Sweden exhibition, which begins at 7:30. We'll make a new post on this blog with some game thoughts.

Sweden's equipment, delayed in Europe by the big snowstorm on the other side of the Atlantic, arrived at the ACC just after 5:30 so the Swedes will have their own gear tonight. Hockey Canada had arranged an account for them at a local sporting goods store so tonight's game could go on.

Mark Visentin of the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs was in goal for Canada's 8-0 shutout of Switzerland Monday night in Oshawa. Olivier Roy of Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec League will get the call tonight. The No. 1 spot is surely still up for grabs for Canada. Will be fun to see Sabres prospects Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno on the same line with center Sean Couturier, tabbed by many as the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Meanwhile, Team USA's final roster will be announced Wednesday morning at 9:10 on USA Hockey's Facebook page.  So the verdict will soon be in for Niagara Falls native Adam Clendening.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

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