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 United States Hockey League

National Team Development Program Weekly Update

December 17, 2008 - United States Hockey League (USHL) News Release

THIS WEEK: The U.S. National Under-17 Team will meet the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League South Division on Friday and Saturday (December 19-20) at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, with both games set to begin at 7 p.m. ET. The series against the Jr. Blues represents the last two games for the U-17s before they head to the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Alberni Valley, B.C. ... The U.S. National Under-18 Team will travel to Grand Forks, N.D., to meet the University of North Dakota at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Friday night at 7:37 p.m. CT.

UNDER-18 HEAD COACH RON ROLSTON: Ron Rolston is in his fifth year as a head coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. He has amassed a career record of 165-98-7-16 (W-L-T-OTL). Rolston is also the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ontario. He is currently with that team at its pre-tournament camp.

UNDER-17 HEAD COACH JOHN HYNES: John Hynes is in his sixth year as a head coach with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. He has amassed a career record of 188-105-9-14 (W-L-T-OTL).

U.S. NAT'L U-18 TEAM NOTES: The U.S. National Under-18 Team defeated Michigan State University on Tuesday (December 16), 4-2. Kenny Ryan (Franklin Village, Mich.) recorded the game-winner late in the third period, while Brandon Maxwell (Winter Park, Fla.) made 37 saves to propel Team USA ... Ryan notched his 12th goal of the season against MSU, which ranks second on Team USA. He is tied with Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) for the team lead with three game-winning markers. Additionally, Ryan has posted four of Team USA's nine shorthanded goals this season ... Maxwell's win against the Spartans marked the 31st of his NTDP career, which is 10th best all-time.

U.S. NAT'L U-17 TEAM NOTES: The U.S. National Under-17 Team is coming off a weekend split with NAHL North rival Mahoning Valley. Team USA fell to the Phantoms on Friday night, 2-1, but bounced back with a 2-1 win on Saturday ... Will Yanakeff (Jerome, Mich.), who earned the win Saturday, ranks fourth in the NAHL with a 2.10 goals-against average ... Luke Moffatt (Paradise Valley, Ariz.) took over the team lead with his 11th goal on Saturday night ... Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.) recorded a pair of assists over the weekend to stretch his team best to 14 helpers on the season.

FORBORT, SAAD TO JOIN TEAM USA AT CHALLENGE: The U.S. National Under-17 Team has added defenseman Derek Forbort (Duluth, Minn.) of Duluth East (Minn.) High School and Mahoning Valley Phantoms forward Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa.) for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Forbort has recorded three assists in his first three games this season, while Saad is the leading goal scorer for the Phantoms with 10. Additionally, Forbort will play for the U.S. U17s against the Springfield Jr. Blues this weekend.

U17s vs. SPRINGFIELD: Both NTDP squads have combined for a 14-10-2 record in the North American Hockey League... The Jr. Blues are members of the NAHL South Division. Springfield has compiled an 8-14-5 record and currently sit in last place in the division ... Jon Gaffney (10-18--28) and Nick Curry (9-19--28) lead Springfield with 28 points each. They are tied for 14th overall in the NAHL scoring race ... The weekend series marks the only times these teams will play each other in 2008-09 ... Springfield last visited Ann Arbor during the 2006-07 campaign for a weekend series with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. Team USA earned the sweep of the Jr. Blues with a 5-4 shootout win (March 23) and a 7-3 victory (March 24).

U18s at NORTH DAKOTA: The U.S. National Under-18 Team is 5-6-1 against NCAA Division I competition and 1-0-0 against Western Collegiate Hockey Association opponents ... Team USA last met the Fighting Sioux on December 1, 2006 and came away with a 5-4 overtime loss. The U18s are 0-2-0 against UND all-time.

UP NEXT: The U.S. National Under-18 Team will be off next week ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team travels to the Alberni Valley in British Columbia for the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, December 29, 2008-January 4, 2009. Team USA will play a pre-tournament game against Team Pacific (Canada) at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET on December 28.

NTDP IN THE NHL: As of today, a total of 42 National Team Development Program alumni have suited up in at least one National Hockey League game ... Patrick Kane (2004-06) of the Chicago Blackhawks sits tied for fourth in the NHL and first among all American-born players with 37 points (14-23). He is currently the top vote-getter in the Western Conference for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game ... Boston Bruin Phil Kessel (2003-05) is tied with Alexander Ovechkin for third in the NHL with 19 goals. He was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending December 14. During that span, Kessel notched eight points (3-5) in four games ... Mike Komisarek (1999-2000) of the Montreal Canadiens is second among Eastern Conference defensemen for NHL All-Star balloting ... Matt Hunwick (2001-03) has appeared in 18 games for the Bruins and has posted a plus-14 rating.

NTDP IN THE NCAA: The National Team Development Program has produced nearly 300 NCAA ice hockey players in its 12-year history including three Hobey Baker Memorial Award winners and 25 All-Americans. This season, 65 alumni are suiting up on campuses across the country. ... James vanRiemsdyk (2005-07) of the University of New Hampshire leads the nation with 26 points (9-17) and is averaging 1.53 points per game ... The University of Minnesota's Jordan Schroeder (2006-08) continues to pace the nation's freshmen with 21 points (7-14) ... Another Golden Gopher, Ryan Stoa (2003-05) is tied for fourth in the nation with 11 goals ... Jamie McBain (2004-06) of the University of Wisconsin, ranks third among the nation's defensemen with 19 points (3-16).

HOCKEY WEEKEND ACROSS AMERICA: The second annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok -- a three-day nationwide celebration of the sport of hockey -- will take place Feb. 13-15, 2009. Each of the three days associated with Hockey Weekend Across America has a theme, including Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey on Friday, Bring a Friend to the Rink on Saturday and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes on Sunday. rial for download, including the event logo and poster. For more information on Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok visit

ABOUT THE NTDP: Founded in 1996, USA Hockey's National Team Development Program was created to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on U.S. National Teams and success in their future hockey careers. Its efforts focus not only on high-caliber participation on the ice, but creating well-rounded individuals off the ice. Located in Ann Arbor, Mich., the 46 players in the program are split into two squads - the U.S. National Under-18 and Under-17 Teams.

- In the 10 years NTDP players have been eligible for the draft, 152 players have been selected, including the number one overall selection in 2000 (Rick DiPietro), 2006 (Erik Johnson) and 2007 (Patrick Kane).

- In 2007-08, 44 NTDP alumni appeared in at least one game in the National Hockey League.

- Patrick Kane (2004-06) became the first NTDP alumnus to earn the National Hockey League's Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie in 2007-08.

- Kevin Porter (2002-04), of the University of Michigan, joined Jordan Leopold (1997-98) and Matt Carle (2000-02) as the third NTDP alumnus to win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player in 2007-08.

- In the 12-year history of the National Team Development Program, players from 28 states have donned the Team USA uniform. This season 18 different states are represented between the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams.

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United States Hockey League Stories from December 17, 2008

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