ANN ARBOR, Mich. - When the U.S. National Under-18 Team takes on the University of Michigan on Jan. 4, 2013, the lights will be a little bit brighter. That's because the matchup between the two Ann Arbor (Mich.) based squads will be broadcast locally on Comcast.
The broadcast is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST, while the puck drop will occur at 7:38 p.m. EST. Viewers in the state of Michigan can catch the action on Comcast channel 900.
The U.S. roster features three players who have verbally committed to the Wolverines, including forwards Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich.), J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill.) and Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.).
"I'm beyond excited to be playing against my future team," said Compher, a highly touted prospect for the upcoming 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft. "I've been looking forward to this game all year and playing at Yost Ice Arena is going to be an awesome experience."
The broadcast will feature an interview with Don Granato, head coach of the Under-18 Team, as well as Q&A sessions with Compher and Motte before the second and third periods.
Michigan touts eight former National Team Development Program alumni on its roster including defensemen Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich./2008-10) and Jacob Trouba (Rochester, Mich./2010-12); forwards Kevin Clare (New Rochelle, N.Y./2008-10), Andrew Copp (Ann Arbor, Mich./2010-12), Kevin Lynch (Grosse Pointe, Mich./2007-09), Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz./2008-10) and A.J. Treais (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./2007-09); and netminder Jared Rutledge (Chicago, Ill./2010-12).
Notable alumni of both the NTDP and the University of Michigan include NHL stars Matt Hunwick (Roseville, Mich./2001-03) of the Colorado Avalanche, Jack Johnson (Faribault, Minn./2003-05) of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Mike Komisarek (Islip Terrace, N.Y./1999-2000) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Eric Nystrom (Syosset, N.Y./1999-2001) of the Dallas Stars and Kevin Porter (Detroit, Mich./2002-04) of the Buffalo Sabres.
Team USA has a record of 5-4-4 (W-L-T) against NCAA Division I and III schools so far this season, including ties against college hockey powerhouses Notre Dame (Oct. 7), Minnesota (Oct. 26) and New Hampshire (Dec. 9). The Under-18 Team has claimed victory over Oswego State (Oct. 20), Saint Thomas (Oct. 27), Saint Mary's (Nov. 25), Alabama-Huntsville (Nov. 30) and Merrimack College (Dec. 8).
Notes: The U.S. is winless in 12 meetings with the Wolverines all-time ... Team USA has been outscored by Michigan 52-23 in the series ... Thirty-one players from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program have suited up for the University of Michigan.
All-Time Results (Team USA - Michigan)
Dec. 12, 2000 Team USA 2 - Michigan 4 Loss
Oct. 9, 2001 Team USA 1 - Michigan 3 Loss
Nov. 1, 2002 Team USA 2 - Michigan 8 Loss
Jan. 17, 2004 Team USA 3 - Michigan 5 Loss
Feb. 26, 2005 Team USA 5 - Michigan 6 Loss
Jan. 13, 2006 Team USA 3 - Michigan 4 Loss
Oct. 8, 2006 Team USA 2 - Michigan 3 (OT) Overtime Loss
Jan. 8, 2008 Team USA 1 - Michigan 5 Loss
Oct. 4, 2008 Team USA 1 - Michigan 4 Loss
Oct. 3, 2009 Team USA 2 - Michigan 4 Loss
Oct. 12, 2010 Team USA 0 - Michigan 3 Loss
Oct. 3, 2011 Team USA 1 - Michigan 3 Loss
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)