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Two Ohio Natives Named to 2006 United States National Junior Team

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
Ohio Natives Tom Fritsche (Parma, Ohio) and Nate Davis (Rocky River, Ohio) were named to the 2006 U.S. National Junior Team announced on Monday. The 22-member squad will compete at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in British Columbia.

In addition, CBJ 2005 Draftee Kris Russell was one of 34 invited to Team Canada’s selection camp from Dec. 11-16. Russell, who was Columbus’ third pick, 67th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has scored 8-16-24 in 27 games with Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League.

Fritsche, whose older brother Dan plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets, is a sophomore at The Ohio State University and was a second-round draft pick (47th overall) of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

The 5-11, 180-pound forward registered 11-34-45 his freshman season at OSU en route to being named the Inside College Hockey National Freshman of the Year. Fritsche has followed that season up posting 5-9-14 in 15 games this year for the Buckeyes.

A native of Rocky River, Ohio, Davis leads Miami in scoring this season with 13 points on six goals and seven assists, while leading the squad with a +12 rating. Earlier in the year, he recorded just the third natural hat trick in program history, when he scored three consecutive goals in Miami’s 6-1 win over Bowling Green on Nov. 25.

Last season, Davis was selected in the fourth round of the 2005 NHL Entry by the Chicago Blackhawks after leading all Miami freshmen in scoring with 25 points on 14 goals and 11 assists. He tied for the NCAA lead with four shorthanded goals and earned Miami’s Rookie of the Year Award.

The 2006 IIHF World Championship features athletes under the age of 20 on international teams representing the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Team USA will gather in Seattle, Wash., on Dec. 18 before traveling to Victoria, British Columbia on Dec. 19. The United States plays two exhibition games before opening the tournament versus Norway on Dec. 26. Team USA is in a pool with Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Canada.

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