USA Hockey announced today the 22 players who will make up the U.S. National Under-18 Team that will compete at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championship in Kazan, Russia, April 13-23.
The 2008 roster features 20 players who competed within USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program during the 2007-08 season, as well as two players who will be making their second-consecutive appearance at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship. Forwards Vinny Saponari (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn.) were both a part of last year’s team that compiled a 4-2-0 record and earned a silver medal at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Tampere and Rauma, Finland.
“I think we have a good complement of players,” said John Hynes, head coach of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. “We are looking forward to working hard over the next few weeks so we can compete to the best of our abilities at the World Championship."
The seven-member defensive corps includes six 2007-08 National Team Development Program players, including U.S. National Under-18 Team captain David Warsofsky (Marshfield, Mass.). In addition to five NTDP veterans, Aaron Ness (Roseau, Minn.), who joined the U.S. National Under-18 Team for two games this season, will help patrol Team USA’s blue line. Ness was named Mr. Hockey in the state of Minnesota this past season while playing for Roseau High School.
The offensive attack will be led by Saponari, Schroeder, and Philip McRae (Chesterfield, Mo.), who spent the 2005-06 slate with the NTDP and has played the past two campaigns with the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights. Also up front will be Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.), Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.) and Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.), all three who competed for the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams this season.
Team USA will be backstopped by NTDP goaltenders Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) and Brandon Maxwell (Winter Park, Fla.). Cannata posted a 14-13-1 record with a .901 save percentage and a 2.54 goals-against average for the U.S. National Under-18 Team this year. Maxwell amassed a 17-14-0 record with an .895 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average while playing in 26 games for the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams in the 2007-08 campaign.
View the complete roster at www.usahockey.com.