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USA Hockey reveals Four Nations Tournament team

by Mike G. Morreale

USA Hockey on Monday revealed the U.S. National Under-18 Team roster that will represent the country at the 2012 U-18 Four Nations Tournament scheduled Nov. 6-10 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan.

U.S. National Under-18 Roster

GOALIES -- Thatcher Demko, USA U-18 (USHL); Hunter Miska, USA U-18 (USHL).

DEFENSEMEN -- Gage Ausmus, USA U-18 (USHL); Will Butcher, USA U-18 (USHL); Connor Clifton, USA U-18 (USHL); Trevor Hamilton, USA U-18 (USHL); Clint Lewis, USA U-18 (USHL); Steven Santini, USA U-18 (USHL); Scott Savage, USA U-18 (USHL); Keaton Thompson, USA U-18 (USHL).

FORWARDS -- Evan Allen, USA U-18 (USHL); Dawson Cook, USA U-18 (USHL); Shane Eiserman, Cushing Academy (US-Mass.); Hudson Fasching, USA U-18 (USHL); John Hayden, USA U-18 (USHL); Connor Hurley, USA U-18 (USHL); Tyler Kelleher, USA U-18 (USHL); Kevin Labanc, USA U-18 (USHL); Anthony Louis, USA U-18 (USHL); Sean Malone, USA U-18 (USHL); Michael McCarron, USA U-18 (USHL); Tyler Motte, USA U-18 (USHL).

The roster for the United States will include forward Hudson Fasching, who was recently given an A rating by NHL Central Scouting in its preliminary rankings of players to watch for this year's draft. J.T. Compher, another NTDP player given an A-rating prior to the season, is still recovering from an undisclosed injury suffered last month and will not be available.

Fasching, who had missed the last two games with an upper body injury, has three goals and eight points in 13 games.

"You look at his size and how he moves with his size, and there's potential there," NHL Central Scouting's David Gregory said of Fasching. "You just want him to do a little more. He's definitely in the top five in USHL and he's going to battle and people will always expect so much out of him. Once he adjusts, he'll do fine."

United States head coach Don Granato will also have five B-rated skaters, seven C-rated skaters and one C-ranked goalie in Hunter Miska at his disposal. Miska is 3-4-0 with a 3.48 goals-average and .850 save percentage for the U-18 NTDP team. The other goalie on the roster, Thatcher Demko of the USNTDP, is 4-2-1-1 with a 2.39 GAA and .898 save percentage.

The B-rated players include defensemen Keaton Thompson and Steve Santini and forwards Tyler Motte Mike McCarron and Connor Hurley, who spent three games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks and six more with the USNTDP in the United States Hockey League this season. McCarron, a 6-foot-5, 228-pound right wing, has one goal, six points and 37 penalty minutes in 15 games for the U-18 National Team Development Program this season.


Tuesday: Sweden vs. Switzerland; USA vs. Finland

Wednesday: Finland vs. Sweden; USA vs. Switzerland

Friday: Switzerland vs. Finland; Sweden vs. USA

Saturday: Third-place game at 3:30 p.m. (ET); Championship at 7 p.m. (ET)

"There are a lot of big guys I've seen that have the ability off that first step to get going and [McCarron's] moving at high speed right away," Gregory told "From last year to this year, he's starting to handle the puck more and gaining that confidence where he can be more productive offensively than we originally thought. I see him as a guy moving up the ladder."

Motte (5-9.25, 190) is tied for the team lead with 10 points, including six goals, in 15 contests.

"He's special with the plays he makes and the speed at which he makes them," Gregory said of Motte. "To me, that's what gets you fired up about him. He's not afraid and works hard. You never know how his size will translate to the next level but I don't think you really need to worry about Motte's size right now. You just worry about his development and then, later on, make a decision on size."

Forward Tyler Kelleher, who is committed to the University of New Hampshire next fall, leads the U-18 Team with eight goals, including three on the power-play. He ranks tied with Motte for the team-lead in points with 10. Kelleher, who is also eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, was not rated by NHL Central Scouting prior to the season.

The U.S. will open the tournament on Tuesday against Finland at 7 p.m. (ET).

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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