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2017 World Juniors: United States vs. Lativa

It’s team USA’s first game, and it should be an easy win. Hopefully.

2016 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images

As we have learned with Team USA hockey over the past several years, there’s no such thing as a gimmie. 2014 in Sochi? Meh. The World Cup of Hockey? Go Team North America!

The 2017 World Juniors? Who knows. What we do know is that the last time Team USA saw Team Latvia in this tournament (2012), it was a 12-2 blowout for the US. This year shouldn’t be much different, seeing as how Team USA is stacked with scoring power. From their game preview:

Of the 18 skaters on Team USA, 16 rank in the top five of their respective teams in scoring, including seven who rank first. In addition, Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y./Kitchener Rangers) ranks second in the OHL in assists and third in points; Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas/Portland Winterhawks) leads WHL defensemen in assists; Tanner Laczynski (Shorewood, Ill./Ohio State University) sits second among all NCAA freshmen in assists and points; and Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio/Manitoba Moos)is fourth among all AHL rookies in points.

Not bad.

We also have St. Louisan Joseph Woll representing Boston College in goal, though Tyler Parsons will probably start. Keep an eye on Chesterfield’s own Luke Kunin and the Coyotes’ first rounder from this year, Clayton Keller, who also hails from St. Louis. The Blues’ first round pick from this year’s draft, Tage Thompson, also will feature in today’s game.

The game will air on NHL Network at 2:30 Central Time. Take advantage of Boxing Day and settle in.