U.S. National Under-18 Team Takes On No. 14 Clarkson University and SUNY Plattsburgh
THIS WEEK: The U.S. National Under-18 Team will play three games in three different cities within a four-day span. The National Team begins the stretch by traveling east to face a pair of NCAA opponents in Clarkson University (Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. EDT) and State University of New York - Plattsburgh (Oct. 29, 2:00 p.m. EST). The U.S. National Under-18 Team will host the Alpena IceDiggers next Tuesday (Oct. 31) at 7 p.m. EDT.
U.S. HEAD COACH RON ROLSTON: Ron Rolston is in his third season with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. He has amassed a career record with the NTDP of 92-43-8-5. Rolston was an assistant coach in the collegiate ranks at Lake Superior State University, Clarkson University, Harvard University and Boston College prior to joining the NTDP. This December, Rolston will serve as the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2007 World Junior Championship in Mora and Leksand, Sweden.
COACH ROLSTON ON THE WEEKEND AHEAD: "We had some good success last week versus Michigan State and followed it up with a strong showing versus Mahoning Valley. Our objective this week is to sustain that level of play and to develop some consistency with our on-ice performance."
THIS WEEK'S MATCH-UPS:
CLARKSON: This will be the fourth all-time meeting with the Golden Knights and will be the third consecutive year in which the squads have met. Team USA has a 0-2-1 record in the series. Clarkson defeated the National Team by a 6-4 count last season, and a 2-1 score in October 2002. The teams tied, 2-2, in October 2004. Clarkson (4-1-1), which is currently ranked No. 14 on the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's College Hockey Poll, is off to its best start since the 1991-92 season.
SUNY-PLATTSBURGH: Last season the U.S. National Under-17 Team and the Plattsburgh Cardinals played to a 2-2 tie. Matt Rust (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and Colin Wilson (Greenwich, Conn.) scored for Team USA and Josh Unice (Toledo, Ohio) stopped 35-of-37 shots in the match-up. Plattsburgh ranks No. 12 in the USCHO.com Division III Men's Pre-Season Poll.
GAME NOTES - Clarkson University: NTDP alumnus Mike Grenzy (Lockport, N.Y./2000-02) currently plays for the Golden Knights. Grenzy recorded six assists in 46 games played at the NTDP in 2001-02 ... U.S. National Under-18 Team head coach Ron Rolston spent three seasons at Clarkson as an assistant coach (1996-99), where he helped guide the Golden Knights to two Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season titles and three NCAA tournament berths.
U.S. NATIONAL UNDER-18 TEAM TIDBITS: The U.S. National Under-18 Team is comprised of 19 players who competed last season on the U.S. National Under-17 Team within the National Team Development Program, plus the additions of Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) and Mike Hoeffel (North Oaks, Minn.). Hayes, who attended the Noble and Greenough School (Mass.) last year, participated with Rolston's U.S. National Under-17 Team at the 2005 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia, and recorded three points (2-1) in five games. Hoeffel played at Hill-Murray High School (Minn.) last year and earned all-state honorable mention laurels ... Among those highlighting the list of NTDP returnees are Ryan Hayes (Syracuse, N.Y.), Wilson, vanRiemsdyk and Cade Fairchild (Duluth, Minn.), all of whom earned gold medals with the U.S. National Under-18 Team at the 2005 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Angelholm, Sweden ... USA forward James vanRiemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.), who leads the team in points (15), goals (9), and power-play goals (5), tallied five points last week (4-1) in two games.
LAST WEEK: The U.S. National Under-18 took advantage of four power-plays to defeat No. 5 Michigan State University at Munn Arena in East Lansing, Mich., on Thursday (Oct. 19) night. The victory marked the National Team's second triumph against an NCAA Division I opponent this season. Justin Vaive (Buffalo, N.Y.) recorded the game-winning goal and netminder Josh Unice turned away 22 Spartan shots to help Team USA earn a 5-4 victory. The Under-18 capped off the week with a 10-1 victory over the North American Hockey League's Mahoning Valley Phantoms. Team USA's offensive explosion was led by James vanRiemsdyk, who tallied four goals on the evening.
UP NEXT: On the horizon for the U.S. National Under-18 Team is its first international competition of the 2006-07 season. Team USA will travel to Lulea, Sweden, to compete in an Under-18 Four Nations Tournament against Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland from Nov. 6-10.
ALUMNI UPDATE: Miami University forward Nathan Davis (Rocky River, Ohio/2002-04) recorded a hat trick in the RedHawks' 4-1 victory over the University of Michigan on Friday (Oct. 20) night. Davis' hat trick matched the three-goal performance of former NTDP teammate and current Michigan Wolverine Chad Kolarik (Abington, Pa./2002-04), who netted three tallies in the third period of a 6-3 victory over the RedHawks ... Also on Friday night, University of Nebraska Omaha forward Brandon Scero (Canton, Mich./2002-04) recorded four goals in the Mavericks' 10-1 victory over Niagara.
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 eight years NTDP players have been eligible for the draft, 124 players have been selected, including the number one overall selection in both 2000 (Rick DiPietro) and 2006 (Erik Johnson).
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