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Continued: Gophers' Lucia answers the call for U.S. world juniors team

  • Article by: JASON GONZALEZ , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 25, 2013 - 8:32 PM

Skjei still doesn’t quite know why they sent him home, but said he’s much more confident this time around.

Skjei expects to play a big part in the penalty kill and be responsible for shutting down opponents’ top lines. His impressive skating should play a big role in his success in both areas.

Fasching playing older

Age hasn’t been a factor for Fasching.

The Gophers standout freshman forward continued to show he can play with anyone by earning a spot on the U.S. junior team’s roster despite being a year younger than most of his teammates.

Succeeding against older talent hasn’t been an issue for Fasching throughout the fall. He is among the Gophers’ leading scorers and has been a regular on the first line.

Fasching likely won’t have such a prominent role this weekend in Sweden, but his big body and scoring ability should factor into Lucia’s lineup. Whatever his role might be, Fasching is just thankful to get the chance to play up.

“It’s a really big opportunity for me. I just need to go try and do my best and focus on my game and everything else will fade away,” Fasching said.

Though Fasching only knows a handful of his new teammates because of the age difference, he’s very familiar with USA Hockey. He played for the U.S. National Team Developmental Program and has competed internationally, including a trip to Sweden.

Fasching continues to increase his stock wherever he plays. Lucia said he looked strong coming out of summer training camp. Once he joined the Gophers this fall, he surprised Lucia even more with his scoring ability.

If the trend continues, Fasching could be an integral part to USA’s push for back-to-back gold.

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