Two former Gophers and two former UMD Bulldogs were among the 17 players named to the U.S, team that will compete in the IIHF men's world championships from May 4-20 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Ex-Gophers on the team are defenseman Alex Goligoski of the Dallas Stars and forward Kyle Okposo of the New York Islanders. Former UMD players named to the team were forward J.T. Brown of Tampa Bay and defenseman Justin Faulk of Carolina.
* The U.S. team beat Finland 4-0 in its first game in the 2012 IIHF under-18 men's world championships in the Czech Republic. Goalie Collin Olson of Apple Valley made 21 saves for the shutout and was named the U.S. player of the game.
THE DON SAYS
In one of his late-season radio interviews:
* On sophomore winger Nate Condon: "He has speed and seems to score big goals. He has been outstanding on the penalty kill and is a good two-way defensive player as well."
* On sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt: "He had a breakout year. A guy that we thought had the ability, the talent. He learned what it meant to work this past year, especially this offseason, getting himself iin great shape. He has earned everything he received this year and is very deserving of being a second team all-league player."
* On assistant coach Grant Potulny: "He has got the experience, having been through [a college hockey career]. And the guys know what he bring to the table. He works with the forwards on a daily basis in breaking down video and showing them line by line what they can and can not do."
* On volunteer goalie coach Justin Johnson: "He did a great job with Kent [Patterson]."
* On associated head coach Mike Guentzel: "Certainly Mike Guentzel has been terrific all season long in working with the defensemen and penalty kill and has brought that enthusiasm as a great alum into our program again. ... Grant does a lot of recruiting. He is gone more than anybody. ... He is kind of the recruiting coordinator. ... Mike does a lot of the video breakdown."