COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Darren Turcotte (Brentwood, Tenn.), who led the United States to the gold medal at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation InLine Hockey World Championship, has been named head coach of the 2007 U.S. InLine Men’s National Team. Tim Graham (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was named an assistant coach.
The United States will compete in the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship May 26-June 3 in Passau and Landshut, Germany.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Darren back guiding our team,” said Jim Johannson, senior director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “He knows what it takes to be successful at the international level.”
Turcotte is currently coaching the North Bay Skyhawks of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League and served as the assistant coach for Team USA at the 2005 Deutschland Cup. Turcotte played for several U.S. national teams during his career, including the 1993 U.S. Men's National Team and the 1987 and 1988 U.S. National Junior Teams. His National Hockey League career included stops with the New York Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators between 1988-2000.
“It will be a privilege to once again coach the InLine Men’s National Team,” said Turcotte. “We hope to get our core veterans back from last year to help defend the gold medal.”
Graham, who served as assistant coach from 2003-2005, will be an assistant to Turcotte in 2007. Graham is also a district Coach-In-Chief for USA Hockey InLine.
The roster of the team will be selected from the best inline hockey players in the United States. Team USA will conduct a three-day training session in Germany prior to the start of the 2007 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship.
SUPPORT STAFF NAMED
Kings assistant equipment manager Dana Bryson (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) will serve as the club's equipment manager and Lou Favata (Loxahatchee, Fla.) has been selected as the team's athletic trainer.
The 2007 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship will include 16 teams divided into the A-Pool and B-Pool World Championship. The defending-champion United States will compete in the A Pool alongside Finland, Sweden, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia. Great Britain, Brazil, Japan, Hungary, Australia, Namibia, South Africa and New Zealand will comprise the B Pool.
Seeding for the pools is based on the results of the 2006 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship. The A Pool will feature the eight highest ranked teams from the 2006 World Championship while the B Pool will include the next five lower ranked teams as well as the three newly qualified teams.
For the preliminary round of the 2007 IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship, the A Pool and the B Pool will each be divided into two groups of four teams based on their rankings. Following round-robin play within each group, the two lowest ranked teams from the A Pool and the top two teams from the B Pool will face off as part of play-in games to determine their pools for the playoff round.
NOTES: In the 11-year history of the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championship, the United States has earned gold medals in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2006; silver medals in 1998 and 2001; and bronze medals at the 2000 and 2003 tournaments.