Wednesday, December 5, 2007

USA Hockey announced last night that 22 players have been named to the 2008 United States National Junior Team, which includes three Hockey East players. Sophomore blueliner Brian Strait (Waltham, Mass.) and freshman forward Colin Wilson (Greenwich, Conn.) of Boston University, and freshman forward James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) of the University of New Hampshire will represent Team USA. The team will compete at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic, December 26, 2007 to January 5, 2008.

Strait, a former captain of the U.S. National Under-18 Team, is the oldest player on the roster, as he will turn 20 on Jan. 4, the day of the World Championship’s semifinal round. Strait has recorded seven assists in 15 games for the Terriers this season.

Wilson has amassed 11 points (4g,7a) in his freshman season at BU. He ranks tied for third in scoring among the league’s rookie class. Wilson is the second youngest player on the squad. Wilson and vanRiemsdyk were linemates last season on the U.S. Under-18 Team and he ranked second on the team in scoring last year. He helped the team to a gold medal at the 2006 World U-18 Championships.

vanRiemsdyk, who currently ranks second in the nation in rookie scoring (1.25 ppg), was a two-year member of the United States National Program.

Last year, he led the US Under-18 team in scoring and also helped the squad to a gold medal at the U-18 Championships in 2005-06. vanRiemsdyk was selected as the second overall pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2007 NHL Draft.

In addition to the players, former Terrier John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team, will serve as head coach of the 2008 U.S. National Junior Team. Hynes played at BU from 1994-1997 and was a member of the Terriers’ National Championship Team in 1995. Former University of New Hampshire captain Patrick Foley (Charlestown, Mass.) has been named an assistant coach for the team. Foley was a member of the UNH hockey team for five seasons (1999-2004) and helped lead the team to two Frozen Fours in 2002 and 2003. He was the captain of the Wildcats in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.

Hockey East referee Peter Feola (Rochester, N.Y.) has been named as one of the two United States officials to the event. Feola will serve in a linesman capacity for the championships.

The team will play two pre-tournament games, including one at Western Michigan on Dec. 18. The complete schedule is below.

The Hockey East Association is a 10-team, Division-I college hockey conference, with offices based in Wakefield, Mass. Founded in 1983, the league has won four NCAA championships in the past 13 years. The conference also sponsors an eight-team women’s league which began play in 2002-03.

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