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Team USA looking not only to reach finals, but to get gold as well

By on August 5, 2014 in Ivan Hlinka Memorial with 0 Comments

By Radoslav Vavřina, Lead Writer, The Czech List

Team USA has also announced their roster for the upcoming Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup that takes place August 11 – August 16 in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia. The new team will be looking not only to get back to the finals, but this time finally win the gold following an eleven-year-long drought. Last year, Canada prevented them from ending that drought by a perfect 4-0 win in final game.

This time, the Americans are not going to spend the event in Slovakia, but in the Czech Republic where Břeclav will welcome them just a day after a pre-tournament game with Slovakia in Piešťany. West of the border, USA will meet the Czechs, Russia and Team Suomi, one of the two only teams that managed to beat them last year, 3-2 in shootout in tourney opener.

It’s not easy to say who is going to be the number-one goalie for the Americans, but it sure looks like 16-year-old Evan Sarthou will take the spot. Hailing from Black Diamond, Wash., just outside of Seattle, he might not come from a traditional hockey hotbed, but has already played in 16 games for the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. Chicagoland product Matt Jurusik will be his backup.

Leading the defensive corps should be big blueliner Grant Gabriele, a native of Brighton, Mich., who has been a member of the USNTDP for a year already and has had a solid training camp prior to the Ivan Hlinka. Following a first full season in their Ontario Hockey League careers are fellow defensemen Douglas Blaidell (Kitchener) and Zach Wilkie (Niagara). Also having a good summer camp with the Under-18 national team was Youngstown, N. Y., product Joseph Cecconi, a member of USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks.

Unfortunately, Team USA will be a couple stars shy of a full roster as many first-round prospects will be missing in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup roster. One of those is top-ranked defenseman at the upcoming draft, Noah Hanifin, who had an amazing Under-18 World Juniors in April in Finland. Also missing in the roster is Colin White, a top-ten prospect for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Looking at the recent training camp stats, it looks like one of the leaders of the team’s offense is going to be Ryan Moore, a full-time member of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. Also representing is going to be Dennis Yan, a Portland, Ore., native who has a Russian passport in addition to the American one. His hometown is Ann Arbor and he’s entering his second year with the USNTDP. Also impressive at the camp were Erik Foley and Brock Boeser.

The Americans are opening the tournament on Monday, August 11, at 7:00 CET against Team Czech Republic. Following are games with Russia on Tuesday and Finland on Wednesday, both starting at 3:30 CET.

Roster

Goaltenders

Evan Sarthou (Tri-City, WHL)

Matthew Jurusik (Cleveland, T1EHL)

Defensemen

Grant Gabriele (USNTDP)

Douglas Blaisdell (Kitchener, OHL)

Zach Wilkie (Niagara, OHL)

Joseph Cecconi (Muskegon, USHL)

Tory Dello (Tri-City, USHL)

Jacob Olson (Hill-Murray High School, MSHSL)

Spenser Young (Phillips Exeter Academy, NEPSHA)

Forwards

Ryan Moore (Windsor, OHL)

Dennis Yan (USNTDP)

Erik Foley (Tabor Academy, NEPSHA)

Brock Boeser (Burnsville High School, MSHSL)

Karch Bachman (Culver Military Academy, IN)

Matt Filipe (Malden Catholic High School (MIAA)

Brent Gates (Green Bay, USHL)

Robert Jackson III (Chicago, USHL)

Tanner Laczynski (Chicago, T1EHL)

Thomas Novak (St. Thomas Academy, MSHSL)

Ryan Smith (Northwood School, NY)

Nicholas Swaney (Lakeville South High School, MSHSL)

Troy Terry (Colorado, T1EHL)

Photo courtesy of Roman Kantor

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