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By Justin Cuthbert – The Score

The United States and Canada will take their long-standing junior rivalry outdoors for the first time at the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo.USA Hockey confirmed Friday afternoon that the rivals’ preliminary-round matchup – on Dec. 29, 2017 – will be staged at New Era Field, home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.

The Orchard Park, NY., venue is easily accessible to fans of both countries on either side of the border, ostensibly making it the ideal spot to host the first-ever outdoor game for a top-level IIHF-sanctioned event.

“The U.S.-Canada rivalry is as good as it gets in sport,” USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean said in a press release. “And to have an outdoor game between the two countries as part of the World Juniors in hockey-rich Western New York will be spectacular.”

KeyBank Center and HarborCenter – both also based in Buffalo – will host the other games throughout the tournament.