COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- The U.S. National Junior Team will face the Rensselaer men's ice hockey team on Sunday, Dec. 19, at Houston Field House in Troy, N.Y., it was announced today by USA Hockey. Opening faceoff is slated for 4 p.m. EST.
The contest is part of Team USA's preparation for the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will be staged Dec. 26 - Jan. 5 in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S. are defending gold medalists at the tournament, having captured the top prize last year in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask.
"We're pleased to have the chance to play a quality college team like RPI," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team and assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "The game will be fun for the fans and players alike and will give us an opportunity to further evaluate who will be on our final roster."
Johannson anticipates inviting approximately 28 players to a training camp that will likely begin on Dec. 16 in Rochester, N.Y. In addition to the RPI game, he said the U.S. National Junior Team will also face the Czech Republic and Norway prior to the commencement of the World Junior Championship.
"We'll be announcing dates and locations for our games against the Czech Republic and Norway shortly, as well as our final camp schedule," added Johannson.
Johannson noted the final 22-player U.S. roster for the World Junior Championship is likely to be unveiled on Dec. 23.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)