COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey today announced the 22-player roster for the U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team that will compete in the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge Dec. 28, 2013 - Jan. 4, 2014, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Team USA claimed third place in last year's tournament after back-to-back second place finishes (2011, 2012). The U.S. won the tournament in 2010 and has now placed in the top three for seven consecutive years (2006, 2008-13). No tournament was held in 2007.
The U.S. lineup features eight defensemen, including Nicholas Boka (Plymouth, Mich.), Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa), Casey Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass.), Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.), Caleb Jones (Frisco, Texas), Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.), Charles McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) and Zach Werenski (Grosse Pointe, Mich.).
Twelve forwards will skate for Team USA in the tournament, including Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.), Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.), Michael Floodstrand (Hinsdale, Ill.), Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.), Luke Kirwan (Dewitt, N.Y.), Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.), Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio), Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.), Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.), Colin White (Hanover, Mass.) and Dennis Yan (Troy, Mich.).
Backstopping the U.S. will be goaltenders Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) and Luke Opilka (St. Louis, Mo.).
Don Granato will lead Team USA for the second time in this event. He previously coached the U.S. National Under-17 Team at the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ontario, as the U.S. earned second place. Assisting Granato behind the bench will be Nick Fohr, Josh Brown and Kevin Reiter.
All games of the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge are to be streamed live, and will also available on-demand, at FASTHockey.com.
The U.S. Men's National Under-17 Team will play one pre-tournament game against Team Quebec on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Richmond Arena in Louisdale, Nova Scotia, before opening tournament play on Dec. 29 against Russia at the Civic Centre in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)