USA Hockey today announced the roster for the World Junior A Challenge taking place November 4-10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The entire 22-man roster for the United States is comprised of players competing in the USHL this season.
Three players named to the roster were selected in the 2013 NHL Draft, including Buffalo Sabres picks Connor Hurley of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and goaltender Cal Petersen of the Waterloo Black Hawks, as well as Fargo Force defenseman Teemu Kivihalme who was chosen by the Nashville Predators.
All 22 players on the roster are committed to play NCAA Division I hockey following their USHL careers, while 17 are eligible to be selected in the 2014 NHL Draft. Two players – Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms) and Chris Birdsall (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) – are not draft-eligible until 2015.
Thirteen of the 16 USHL Member Clubs have at least one player named to the roster. Six of the players selected are currently among the top 15 scorers in the USHL, including high-scoring Sioux Falls Stampede forwards C.J. Franklin, Zeb Knutson, and Dennis Kravchenko. The Green Bay Gamblers, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, and Dubuque Fighting Saints also have three players from each of their teams named to the roster for the international competition, including Saints forwards Shane Eiserman, Karson Kuhlman, and Seamus Malone who went to Russia in August to help the Saints win bronze at the Junior Club World Cup.
The United States has dominated play at the World Junior A Challenge, winning the tournament four of the last five years with teams made up of almost entirely USHL players.
The coaching staff for the U.S. Team also comes from the USHL as Derek Lalonde of the Green Bay Gamblers is the head coach, joined by Anthony Noreen (Youngstown Phantoms) and Mark Abalan (Sioux City Musketeers). Additionally, Darrin Flinchem of the Indiana Ice will serve as equipment manager for the team.
This year, the six-team international tournament features the United States, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland, and two teams from Canada. The United States will be an exhibition game against Canada West on November 2nd before starting tournament play on November 5th vs. Russia.
USA Roster for World Junior A Challenge
Jordan Gross, Green Bay Gamblers
Josh Jacobs, Indiana Ice
Steven Johnson, Omaha Lancers
Teemu Kivihalme, Fargo Force
Clark Kuster, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Ryan Mantha, Sioux City Musketeers
Neal Pionk, Sioux City Musketeers
Kyle Connor, Youngstown Phantoms
Shane Eiserman, Dubuque Fighting Saints
C.J. Franklin, Sioux Falls Stampede
Marcel Godbout, Des Moines Buccaneers
Connor Hurley, Muskegon Lumberjacks
Zeb Knutson, Sioux Falls Stampede
Dennis Kravchenko, Sioux Falls Stampede
Karson Kuhlman, Dubuque Fighting Saints
Seamus Malone, Dubuque Fighting Saints
Andrew Oglevie, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Austin Poganski, Tri-City Storm
Nick Schmaltz, Green Bay Gamblers
Matthew Weis, Green Bay Gamblers
Chris Birdsall, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Cal Petersen, Waterloo Black Hawks
World Junior A Challenge schedule
November 2nd vs. Canada West (exhibition)
November 5th vs. Russia
November 6th vs. Canada East
November 7th – Quarterfinals
November 8th – Semifinals
November 9th – 3rd place and 5th place games
November 10th – Championship
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)