COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced today that all U.S. games from the upcoming International International Ice Hockey Men's Under-18 World Championship will be streamed live on FASTHockey free of charge. Tournament play begins Thursday (April 17) in Lappeenranta, Finland.
The tournament, which runs through April 27, features a collection of the best players under the age of 18 from 10 nations. Team USA opens preliminary-round play on Thursday (April 17) against Switzerland. A full schedule can be found here.
Bill Crawford, radio play-by-play voice of the Lake Superior State University men's ice hockey team for more than 35 years, will provide play-by-play coverage during the event.
The U.S. squad seeks its eighth gold medal in the event after capturing the tournament title in four of the last five years. Team USA had won four-consecutive gold medals before having its streak snapped last year in Sochi, Russia. The silver medal in 2013 marked 10-straight top-three finishes for the U.S.
The roster for the U.S. features 15 players recently listed on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of draft-eligible players. Among those players in the top twenty are forwards Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y./12th), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y./16th) and Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich./17th). Goaltenders Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio) and Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) were ranked fourth and seventh respectively.
For a complete U.S. roster, click here.
The U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team will be led by Danton Cole, serving as head coach at his second IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship. Cole is currently in his fourth season as one of two head coaches at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. ... Twenty players on the U.S. roster come from USA Hockey's NTDP. Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.) skated this season for the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. Alex Nedeljkovic played for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers ... Team USA's roster includes 20 players born in 1996 and two from the 1997 birth year. Forward Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), born Sept. 17, 1997, is Team USA's youngest player, while Nedeljkovic, born Jan. 7, 1996, is the oldest ... Eleven different states are represented on the roster. New York leads the way with five skaters, while Minnesota boasts four ... The U.S. enters the tournament having captured a record 10-consecutive medals, including back-to-back golds in 2005-06 and four-straight gold medals from 2009-12; three silver medals (2004, 2007, 2013); and one bronze medal (2008). Team USA's seven gold medals are the most of any country in IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship history. The event began in 1999. Team USA earned its first gold medal in 2002 ... The U.S. will play in Group B alongside the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland. Group A consists of Canada, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden ... Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with the #U18Worlds tag ... For additional coverage, visit the NTDP Facebook page and follow @USANTDP on Twitter.