Gophers defenseman Mike Reilly is ever so close to making the U.S. team for the World Junior Championships.
The roster was cut from 26 to 24 players early Sunday morning and he is still on it, although coach Phil Housley has to cut one more, and it's going to be a D-man.
Everything I've read said the last cut involved defenseman Connor Murphy and whether he is healthy to play. If not, he is gone. If he is OK, somone else will go.
The two players cut Sunday, before the team left for Ufa, Russia, were Gophers freshman defenseman Brady Skjei and forward Stegan Matteau.
That leaves the team with 13 forwards and three goalies. It will have seven defensemen after one is cut.
As things stand, four WCHA players are on the team:
D Mike Reilly, Gophers
D Jake McCabe, Wisconsin
F Rocco Grimaldi, North Dakota
F Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech
Two other players who made the roster are Don Lucia's son, Mario, a left winger who is a freshman at Notre Dame, and Boston College sophomore John Gaudreau. BC plays in the Mariucci Classic on Saturday and next Sunday and he is one of the Eagles' top players.
Lucia was a second round NHL draft pick of the Wild in 2011. He is the only one prospect on the U.S. team.
Twenty one of players have been drafted, one is a free agent and two are draft eligible in 2013. Here is a breakdown:
First round, five
Second round, five
Third round, five
Fourth round, two
Fifth round, two
Sixth round, one
Seventh round, one
Free agent, one; F Cole Bardeau
Draft eligible, two; D Seth Jones and F Ryan Hartman