Five former USHL players are among the 16 representing the United States this week in hockey competition, but this event is not played on ice. The U.S. InLine National Team is participating in the 2009 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship in Ingolstadt, Germany.
USHL alums on the roster include Lee Sweatt who is making his eighth appearance on the National Team. He was a defenseman for the Chicago Steel during the 2002-03 season posting 15 points (6g, 9a) in 58 games.
Returning from the 2008 InLine National Team are Itan Chavira and Rafael Rodriguez. Chavira played nine games for the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets during the 2006-07 recording two points (1g, 1a) while Rodriguez appeared in one game for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the 2004-05 season.
Newcomers to the squad include Shawn Gawrys and Troy Redmann. Gawrys played 21 games with the Lincoln Stars in 2004-05 recording three points (2g, 1a) while goaltender Redmann played 27 games in net for the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets during the 2006-07 season.
Team USA has won its first two games of the tournament (6-5 vs. Czech Republic and 7-4 vs. Canada) as they are competing in the Top Division. In the 12 years of the tournament, Team USA has captured a medal on 10 occasions, including gold in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004, and 2006.
For more on the U.S. InLine National Team, visit www.usahockey.com.
The USHL celebrated its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 175 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks that played in the league this season, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.ushl.com.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)