Thursday, October 23, 2008

USA's Roster for the WJAC

USA's Roster

Days after announcing the coaching staff that will guide Team USA at the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, USA Hockey has released the roster for the event, which will take place in Camrose, Alberta, Canada November 2-9.

The roster consists of 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. All 22 players come from the USHL.

"This appears to be an event that is going to continue to get bigger and better and we're glad that we're able to provide USA Hockey with enough quality talent to go into the event and compete for a gold medal," said USHL Executive Vice President Gino Gasparini. "It's always special for a player to get to represent their country and we're excited for all these young men who will get to play in the event."

In addition to Team USA, other participants will be Belarus, Germany, Russia and two teams from Canada, one from the eastern part of the country and one from the western part of the country. Team USA's game against Germany on November 4 will be their first of the event. All games in the event will be played at Camrose's Edgeworth Center.

Below is the Team USA roster breakdown.

Joe Howe - Waterloo
Mike Lee - Fargo

Matt Donovan - Cedar Rapids
Seth Helgeson - Sioux City
Dave Makowski - Green Bay
Lee Moffie - Waterloo
John Moore - Chicago
Max Nicastro - Chicago
Darren Rowe - Cedar Rapids

Josh Balch - Des Moines
Josh Birkholz - Fargo
Greg Burke - Cedar Rapids
Rocco Carzo - Des Moines
Mike Cichy - Tri-City
David Gerth - Lincoln
Danny Kristo - Omaha
Nick Larson - Waterloo
Pat Mullane - Omaha
Nick Oddo - Cedar Rapids
Craig Smith - Waterloo
Matt White - Des Moines
Robbie Vrolyk - Sioux Falls

Cedar Rapids Head Coach Mark Carlson will be the head coach of Team USA. He'll be assisted by Sioux City's Todd Knott and Omaha's Bliss Littler. Indiana's Darrin Flinchem will travel with the team as the equipment manager and Waterloo's Todd Klein will be the team's athletic trainer. The remainder of the staff will be provided by USA Hockey.

The USHL is celebrating its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 100 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks playing in the league, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at

This team looks to be very talented and they have some very intriguing prospects. Starting in net with Mike Lee. He's one of the top eligible goaltenders for the 2009 NHL Draft. With the Fargo Force this season he's 1-4 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.

Defense it looks like the team will be led by Matt Donovan, Max Nicastro, and Lee Moffie. Donovan is a Denver recruit and had 12 goals and 20 assists last year. This season he has three assists in five contests. Nicastro is a Boston University recruit and a Detroit Red Wings prospect, he has a goal and four assists in five contests. Last year he had six goals and 14 assists. Lee Moffie is a rookie in the USHL after playing last year in the prep ranks. He has a goal in two assists in four contests. Another player to look out for is John Moore who's 2009 Eligible.

At the forward position, Danny Kristo is the biggest name. The North Dokata recruit and the Canadiens draft pick spent the last two years with the National Team Development Program. With the Lancers, he has a goal and five assists in seven games. His teammate Pat Mullane has five goals for a total of ten points. He's a Boston College recruit. Nick Oddo is having a solid year with three goals and four assists in seven matches.

That's My Take

(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at

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