The Czech Republic and Russia drop the puck at 6 a.m. on the 2016 World Junior Championships in Helinski, Finland.
Sweden vs. Switzerland is next at 8 a.m., followed by Chicago Blackhawks prospect Joni Tuulola and Finland against Belarus at 10 a.m. and Nick Schmaltz, the Hawks 2014 first-round pick, and Team USA play Canada at noon.
The Blackhawks are off for the Christmas break, and return Sunday at home against Carolina.
The Hawks have won seven of their 12 games in December, and sit in third place in the Central Division at 44 points. Dallas holds the division lead with 54 points followed by St. Louis at 46 points.
**Rob Scuderi, Michal Rozsival back together 12 years later (Sun-Times)
**NHL success was worth the wait for Dennis Rasmussen (Sun-Times)
**Phillip Danault gets his chance again with Hawks (CSN Chicago)
**Week ahead: Hawks rest up during Christmas break; WJC begins (SCH)
**Three reasons for Predators' lackluster offense (The Tennessean)
**Maple Leafs better than overall record indicates (The Star)
**15 gifts hockey gave us in 2015 (SBN NHL)
**Which nation is team to beat at WJC (National Post)