"I like the team we have put together so far," said Paul Holmgren, general manager of Team USA and the assistant general manager of the National Hockey League's Philadelphia Flyers. "We've got a number of players with World Championship experience as well as several younger guys that are likely going to be part of our program for many years to come."
Team USA's roster includes seven players that have previously played in the IIHF World Championship. The group includes defensemen Joe Corvo
(Oak Park, Ill./Los Angeles Kings/2003) and Hal Gill (Concord, Mass./Boston Bruins/2000, 2001, 2004, 2005)
and forwards Dustin Brown (Ithaca, N.Y./Los Angeles Kings/2004), Andy Hilbert (Lansing, Mich./Boston Bruins/2002, 2004), Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Penguins/2004), Richard Park (Seoul, South Korea/Vancouver Canucks/2002, 2004, 2005) and Marty Reasoner (Honeoye Falls, Mich./Boston Bruins/2002, 2003)
In addition, seven players named are under the age of 25, including goaltenders Craig Anderson (Park Ridge, Ill./Chicago Blackhawks) and Jason Bacashihua (Garden City, Mich./St. Louis Blues); defenseman Andrew Alberts (Minneapolis, Minn./Boston Bruins)
; and forwards Brown, Ryan Kesler (Livonia, Mich./Vancouver Canucks), Jim Slater (Petosky, Mich./Atlanta Thrashers), and Drew Stafford (Milwaukee, Wis./University of North Dakota).
Rounding out the first group of players named is defenseman Brooks Orpik (San Francisco, Calif./Pittsburgh Penguins), who was a member of the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2000 IIHF World Junior Championship; and Mark Cullen (Moorhead, Minn./Chicago Blackhawks), who is making his debut with Team USA.
Team USA will play with an exhibition game against Slovenia on May 2 at 12 p.m. EDT before beginning competition in the IIHF World Championship on May 5 at 9:15 a.m. EDT against Norway. The United States will play two additional preliminary round games against Denmark (May 7) and Canada (May 9) before advancing to qualification round action. NOTES:
All Team USA games will be audiocast live on www.usahockey.com
with Clay Matvick calling the action ... The average age of the first 15 players named to Team USA is 25.1 years old ... Mike Eaves (Madison, Wis.), head men's ice hockey coach of the 2006 NCAA champion University of Wisconsin Badgers, was named head coach of the 2006 U.S. Men's National Team on April 12. Keith Allain (Centerville, Mass.), who was recently named the head men's ice hockey coach at Yale University and Jay Leach (Snellville, Ga.), assistant coach of the Washington Capitals, will serve as the team's assistant coaches.