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Pietila selected for U.S. National Jr. squad

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Devils forward prospect Blake Pietila will represent the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Pietila, New Jersey’s fifth-round selection in 2011, earned one of 13 forward spots on the U.S. National Junior Team that will be seeking its third medal in four years when the tournament opens in Ufa, Russia, on Dec. 26.

Devils 2012 first-round selection Stefan Matteau was one of two U.S. cuts that were announced on Sunday.

A native of Milford, Mich., Pietila is a sophomore at Michigan Tech (WCHA) where he has 10 goals, two assists in 17 games.

He scored Team USA’s lone goal in their 5-1 loss to Finland on Saturday. The U.S., which beat Sweden, 3-2, in overtime on Thursday, split its two pre-tournament games.

Team USA hopes to rebound from last year's seventh-place finish. They captured gold at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, then claimed bronze the following year in Buffalo.

The U.S. begins tournament play against Germany on Dec. 27.

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