Photo: University of Michigan forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect JT Compher is one of a growing number of young players from Illinois to be drafted ny NHL teams (courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
As long as Brady Skjei can remember, he wanted to be a Minnesota Gopher. His grandfather Stan Skjei and relative Brett Sadek both played football at the University of Minnesota and like many other players born in the self-proclaimed State of Hockey, Skjei went to many games at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis hoping to one day be on the other side of the Plexiglas representing the school as a student-athlete.
Photo: Quebec Remparts forward and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Adam Erne is taking part in his first U20 World Junior Championship for Team USA (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Team USA started their quarterfinal contest against Russia on the offensive, scoring three goals to take a 3-2 lead into the first intermission. But a string of USA penalties in the second period swung the momentum towards Russia as they scored the last three goals of the game to take the win, 5-3.
Photo: Boston University defenseman and Boston Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk is tied for the scoring lead on Team USA as he has picked six points (2G, 4A) in four games at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Both teams won their first three games at the 2014 World Junior Championship, but both Russia and the USA also lost key matchups in the final game of the preliminary round, causing those countries to miss out on a less daunting start to the playoff round.
Photo: Colorado College defenseman and Minnesota Wild prospect Gustav Olofsson (#13) has been effective for the Tigers in his freshman year in that program (courtesy of Dan Sanger/Icon SMI)
While a majority of the players on the roster for Sweden at the 2014 World Junior Championship were plucked directly from that country, there is a handful of Swedes that are plying their trade in North America. One such player is defenseman Gustav Olofsson, a Minnesota Wild prospect who is currently playing NCAA hockey for Colorado College.
Photo: The host country for the 2014 World Junior Championship, Sweden, has performed well so far at this WJC, going undefeated in three games including a 5-3 win over Switzerland on opening night (courtesy of LUDVIG THUNMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
It has been an interesting 2014 World Junior Championship so far, with one major upset plus a fair amont of offense being generated, albeit with a couple of teams proving to be far more generous than most of the field competing in Malmo, Sweden.