Four Minnesotans will play for the United States national development program's Under-18 team this season out of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Goalie Hunter Miska of North Branch, defensemen Gage Ausmus of East Grand Forks and Clint Lewis of Burnsville, and forward Hudson Fasching of Burnvsville were chosen for the roster, it was announced this morning.
The team has a game against the Gophers at Mariucci Arena on Oct. 26.
Here is USA Hockey's release:
2012-13 U.S. National Under-18 Team Roster and Schedule Announced
Granato to Lead Team USA in Second Season as Head Coach
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, which enters its 16th season on ice in 2012-13, today announced the roster and schedule for its U.S. National Under-18 Team. The squad, comprised of some of the top American-born players in the 1995 birth year, will compete against teams from the United States Hockey League and NCAA Division I and III schools, in addition to participating in three international competitions.
Highlighting the 23-player roster are forwards J.T. Compher (Northbrook, Ill.) and Anthony Louis (Winfield, Ill.) and defenseman Will Butcher (Sun Prairie, Wis.), all who were a part of the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that captured the gold medal at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Under-18 Championship held in Breclav, Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic.
Nineteen players on the roster are returning for their second year with the NTDP, including defensemen Gage Ausmus (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Butcher, Trevor Hamilton (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.), Clint Lewis (Burnsville, Minn.), Steven Santini (Mahopac, N.Y.), Scott Savage (San Clemente, Calif.) and Keaton Thompson (Devils Lake, N.D.); forwards Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, Mich.), Compher, Dawson Cook (Cadillac, Mich.), Hudson Fasching (Burnsville, Minn.), John Hayden (Greenwich, Conn.), Tyler Kelleher (Longmeadow, Mass.), Kevin Labanc (Staten Island, N.Y.), Louis, Michael McCarron (Macomb, Mich.) and Tyler Motte (St. Clair, Mich.); and goaltenders Curtis Frye (Northwood, N.H.) and Hunter Miska (North Branch, Minn.).
Defenseman Connor Clifton (Matawan, N.J.) joins the squad after spending last season with the Eastern Junior Hockey League's New Jersey Hitmen. The defenseman was most recently named to the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that is currently competing in the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia. Clifton also helped the U.S. National Under-17 Team and Under-17 Select Team claim the 2011 Four Nations Tournament title in both Balishikha, Russia, and Ann Arbor, Mich. respectively. Clifton also skated in eight games with the U.S. National Under-17 Team in USHL action.
Forwards Shane Eiserman (West Newbury, Mass.) and Sean Malone (West Seneca, N.Y.) also earned a spot on the U.S. National Under-18 Team roster for the 2012-13 season. Eiserman most recently completed a season with Cushing Academy (Mass.), accumulating 44 points (18-26) in 30 games. Eiserman also earned a title with the 2011 U.S. Under-17 Select Team at the Four Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. Malone comes to the NTDP from Nichols School (N.Y.), where he posted 36 points (18-18) in 16 games with the Vikings. Malone is currently competing with the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Netminder Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) joins the squad after splitting last season between the USHL's Omaha Lancers and L.A. Junior Kings Midget Minor team. Demko is currently playing for the U.S. in the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and has also been part of U.S. teams that competed in the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont. and the 2011 Four Nations Tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Don Granato will guide the U.S. National Under-18 team in 2012-13, after serving behind the bench for the Under-17 team last season. Nick Fohr will enter his second season as an assistant to Granato, while Josh Brown will serve as intern assistant coach for the first time this season.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team will begin its home schedule, and play its first competition, on Sept. 15 with a pre-season tilt against the Youngstown Phantoms at the St. Mary's Athletic Complex in Orchard Lake, Mich. The team's first collegiate game will come at the University of Wisconsin on Oct. 6, while its opening regular-season USHL contest will take place on Oct. 16 at home against Youngstown. The U.S. National Under-18 Team will serve as the host country in its first international competition of the season, as the 2012 Four Nations Tournament will be held in Ann Arbor, Mich, Nov. 6-11. In addition, the U.S. National Under-18 Team will compete in the 2013 Five Nations Tournament Feb. 5-10 in Jonkoping, Sweden. The season culminates with the 2013 IIHF Men's World Under-18 Championship April 7-22 in Sochi, Russia.
NOTES: The 23 players on the U.S. roster represent 11 different states. Michigan leads the way with five natives on the roster, while Minnesota boasts four and New York has three … A total of 19 members of Team USA have verbally committed to NCAA Division I schools … Of the 21 games against college opponents, 16 are against NCAA Division I schools, including four that finished the 2011-12 season ranked in the top 15 of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll (No. 4 University of Minnesota, No. 6 University of Notre Dame, No. 7 University of Michigan and No. 13 Cornell University).