USA Hockey named today its support staff for the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship set for Dec. 26, 2018 - Jan. 5, 2019, in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic.
The group includes video coach Nick Siergiej (South Bend, Ind./University of Notre Dame); athletic trainers Dennis MacDonald (Plymouth, Mich./USA Hockey National Team Development Program) and Stan Wong (Boca Raton, Fla./USA Hockey); equipment managers Scott Aldrich(Colorado Springs, Colo./USA Hockey) and Chris Garner (Duluth, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) and team physician Dr. Phil Johnson (Fargo, N.D./USA Hockey).
All six have previously served on U.S. staffs in international competition, including four who have been a part of a collective nine medal-winning U.S. National Junior Teams. Wong is the most decorated U.S. staff member at the IIHF World Junior Championship level, having served on all U.S. medal-winning entries since 2004, including four gold medals (2004, 2010, 2013, 2017), one silver medal (2019) and four bronze medals (2007, 2011, 2016, 2018). Joining Wong as fellow returnees are Aldrich (8th appearance; gold - 2013, 2017, bronze - 2011, 2016), Johnson (14th appearance; gold -2010, 2013, 2017; silver - 2019; bronze - 2007, 2011, 2016) and Siergiej (2nd appearance; bronze - 2016).
The 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship will be the third international appearance for both MacDonald and Garner and their first with a U.S. National Junior Team. MacDonald has served as an athletic trainer on two U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team staffs (2016-bronze, 2018-silver) while Garner has fulfilled equipment manager duties for the championship-winning U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team at the 2017 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament as well as the U.S. entry at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
The support staff will join the previously announced coaching staff that includes head coach Scott Sandelin (Hibbing, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth), and assistant coaches Steve Miller(Sun Prairie, Wis./Ohio State University), David Lassonde (Durham, N.H./Dartmouth College), Jerry Keefe (Saugus, Mass./Northeastern University) and Brett Larson (Duluth, Minn./St. Cloud State University) along with 44 invited players at the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase, which will take place at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, from July 26-Aug. 3.
The event features the best Under-20 players from four nations – the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden – auditioning for a spot to represent their country in the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. Tickets to the games are available online at USAHockeyArena.com, at the USA Hockey Arena Box Office (14900 Beck Road, Plymouth, Michigan) or by calling (734) 453-8400.
Derek Plante (Cloquet, Minn.) and Ben Simon (Shaker Heights, Ohio) will serve as guest coaches for Team USA during the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase. A Stanley Cup champion with the Dallas Stars in 1999, Plante skated eight years in the NHL and represented the United States internationally on nine occasions, including seven times as a player and twice as a head coach. From 2010-15, Plante was part of Sandelin's coaching staff at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he helped his alma mater capture the program's first-ever NCAA national championship in 2011. Currently head coach of the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, Simon skated on a U.S. National Junior Team twice (1997, 1998), helping the U.S. to its first-ever silver medal finish in 1997. A fifth-round NHL Draft choice by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1997, Simon appeared in 762 regular-season professional games across the NHL, AHL and IHL ranks. In 2001, he helped the IHL's Orlando Solar Bears win the Turner Cup before hoisting the AHL's Calder Cup in 2002 with the Chicago Wolves.
NOTES: Several of the expected participants in the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase are notable NHL prospects, including a combined 34 NHL Draft first-round selections between the U.S. (11), Canada (16), Finland (2) and Sweden (5) ... Among the 44 U.S. players participating in the World Junior Summer Showcase, 22 are alumni of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, including 2019 NHL Draft first-round selections John Beecher (Boston Bruins, 30th overall), Matthew Boldy (Minnesota Wild, 12th overall), Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens, 15th overall), Ryan Johnson (Buffalo Sabres, 31st overall), Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers, 13th overall), Alex Turcotte (Los Angeles Kings, 5th overall), Cam York (Philadelphia Flyers, 14th overall) and Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks, 9th overall), as well as 2018 NHL Draft first-rounders Joel Farabee (Philadelphia Flyers, 14th overall), K'Andre Miller (New York Rangers, 22nd overall) and Oliver Wahlstrom (New York Islanders, 11th overall) ... The United States enters the 2020 tournament having medaled in an unprecedented four-straight IIHF World Junior Championships, winning gold in 2017, silver in 2019 and bronze medals in 2016 and 2018 ... Join the conversation by using the official hashtag #WJSS ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.