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U.S. has a tough road to repeat

Updated: December 8, 2004, 6:58 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | Special to ESPN.com

Team USA's gold-medal win over Canada in the 2004 World Junior Championship was in many ways a victory in a vacuum. It was a perennial underdog team winning an international tournament played abroad that gained little attention in the United States outside of hockey circles.

A year later, the dynamics are reversed.

Not only are the Americans defending a title for the first time in the 27-year history of the tournament, they are doing so on home soil in the highest profile and most ...

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