Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Prelim WJC Roster Announced

Today the preliminary USA World Junior Championship roster was announced. The 26 man roster will be trimmed to 23 before the tournament gets underway in Malmo, Sweden starting on December 26th. Last year, of course, the US won the gold medal with a 3-1 win over Sweden.

This year's prelim roster has 19 players with NCAA ties. BU has three: Danny O’Regan, Matt Grezlcyk, who was the last cut of last year’s team, and 2014 recruit Jack Eichel. Eichel is the only “underage” player on the prelim roster.

Other players from Hockey East include Ryan Fitzgerald, Ian McCoshen, Steve Santini, and Thatcher Demko all from BC. Along with those four, Tommy DiPauli (Notre Dame), Brett Pesce (New Hampshire), and Jon Gillies (Providence) will all be out in Minnesota for the pre-tournament training camp. Out of the 19 NCAA players invited, 10 are from Hockey East.

Miami’s Riley Barber, Gillies, and Ryan Hartman, who plays for the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL, are the only three returning players from last year’s gold medal team.

In years after winning the goal medal, the US has a tendency to not live up to the hype of the previous year. In 2004 the US won their first ever WJC title, beating Canada in the gold medal game. The next year the US served as tournament host in Grand Forks, North Dakota and failed to medal. In 2010, again the US topped Canada in the championship game and again they served as tournament host the next year, this time in Buffalo, New York. The US, again, did not medal.

Hopefully the trend does not continue this year.

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