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by Staff Writer / Arizona Coyotes

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- USA Hockey announced today that Coyotes defenseman Keith Ballard and center Peter Mueller will represent Team USA at the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Halifax and Quebec City May 2-18.

Ballard, 25, was one of just two Coyotes players (Derek Morris) to appear in all 82 games for the team this season.  He recorded 6-15-21 and 85 penalty minutes (PIM) this season and ranked 3rd on the team with a +7 rating.  He also led the Coyotes in hits (169) and blocked shots (162).

A native of Baudette, Minnesota, Ballard will be playing in his third World Championship tournament for Team USA.  He participated in the 2007 IIHF World Championships in Moscow, recording three assists in seven games.  In 2004, he earned a bronze medal with Team USA at the World Championships in Prague.  Ballard has also represented his country in the 2002 World Junior Championships and the 2000 Under-18 World Championships.

Ballard, who was acquired by the Coyotes from Colorado on March 9, 2004, has recorded 19-68-87 and 243 PIM in 233 career NHL games with Phoenix.

Mueller, 19, collected 22-32-54 and 32 PIM in 81 games for the Coyotes this season to rank 3rd on the team in goals, assists and points.  Among all NHL rookies, Mueller ranked 2nd in goals, T-3rd in points and 5th in assists.  He was also named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January.

A native of Bloomington, Minnesota, Mueller will be representing the United States for the fourth time.  In 2007, he helped lead Team USA to the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships in Sweden as he recorded 3-3-6 in seven games.  Mueller was the youngest member of Team USA at the 2006 World Junior Championships and registered 2-4-6 in seven games.  He also played for Team USA at the 2005 Under-18 World Championships where he collected 4-3-7 in six games.

Mueller was selected by the Coyotes in the first round (8th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

Team USA will open the 2008 IIHF World Championships against Latvia in Halifax on May 2.

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