USA Hockey today announced the naming of 12 players to the U.S. National Junior Team that will represent the U.S. at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The tournament features the top under-20 talent from 10 nations and will run from December 25, 2004 to January 4, 2005.
Among the players named today are eight returnees from the 2004 gold medal-winning squad. Ten of the 12 are National Hockey League prospects, selected in the 2003 or 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Returning in goal for the red, white and blue will be 2004 Tournament Top Goaltender Al Montoya (Glenville, Ill.). Montoya led Team USA to a perfect 6-0-0 record last year, posting a 1.33 GAA and a .933 save percentage. In June, the New York Rangers made Montoya their first choice in the NHL Entry Draft, selecting him with the sixth overall pick. Montoya is currently in his junior year at the University of Michigan where he has posted a 5-2-1 mark, along with a 2.22 goals against average in eight games this season.
Four players named today will be making their World Junior debut. All four are 2004 NHL draftees. Columbus's second round pick, Adam Pineault (Holyoke, Mass.) joins the team from Moncton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Ryan Callahan
(Rochester, N.Y.), currently skating with the OHL's Guelph Storm, is property of the New York Rangers after going 127th overall. Mike Brown (Northbrook, Ill.), chosen 159th overall by the Vancouver Canucks, and T.J. Hensick (Howell, Mich.) join two University of Michigan teammates (Hunwick, Montoya), bringing the number of Wolverines on the squad to four.
Callahan, Guelph's captain, leads his club with 17 points (11 goals, six assists) in 16 games this season.
Tournament exhibition action kicks off on December 19 with round-robin play set to begin December 25. The championship will be decided in the medal games on January 4.2005 IIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
December 25, 2004 - January 4, 2005Team USA Schedule:
Sun., Dec. 19 - USA vs. Univ. of North Dakota (exhib.) - Grand Forks, N.D.
Wed., Dec. 22 - USA vs. Germany (exhib.) - Thief River Falls, Minn.
Sat., Dec. 25 - Russia vs. USA - Grand Forks, N.D.
Mon., Dec. 27 - USA vs. Switzerland - Grand Forks, N.D.
Wed., Dec. 29 - Belarus vs. USA - Grand Forks, N.D.
Thurs., Dec. 30 - USA vs. Czech Republic - Grand Forks, N.D.
Sat., Jan. 1 - Qualification Round/Relegation - Grand Forks, N.D.
Sun., Jan. 2 - Semifinal Round/Relegation - Grand Forks, N.D.
Mon., Jan. 3 - Semifinal Round/Relegation - Grand Forks, N.D.
Tues., Jan. 4 - Medal Round - Grand Forks, N.D.