USA Hockey today announced the 22-man roster for the U.S. Men's National University Team that will compete at the 2015 Winter World University Games. The event is scheduled to take place Feb. 4-14, in Granada, Spain.
The U.S. team is comprised of players from collegiate ice hockey teams affiliated with the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
"We're excited about the group of players we selected," said Ashley Bevan, USA Hockey's senior director of adult hockey, who will serve as team leader of the 2015 Men's National University Team. "This is a very skilled, experienced group, and it's fantastic we can take them to Spain to represent the U.S."
The roster is highlighted by a record seven players returning from the 2013 U.S. Men's National University Team, including two First-Team All-Americans, goaltender Matt Cooper (Duluth, Minn./Iowa State University) and defenseman Chris Joseph (Levittown, N.Y./Stony Brook University). Also returning to the squad are defenseman Jordan Young (Cave Creek, Ariz./Arizona State University); forwards Bill Balent (Waterford, Mich./Oakland University), Sean Murphy (Cary, N.C./Arizona State University), Bobby Bodette (Garden, Mich./Adrian College) and John Olen (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./University of Illinois), who along with his brother, goaltender Joe Olen (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./University of Illinois), are the first pair of brothers to play on the U.S. Men's National University Team.
Highlighting the new players on the defensive corps will be Connor Schmidt (New Boston, Mich./Arizona State University), a transfer from NCAA Division I Ferris State; Eddie McGovern (Scottsdale, Ariz./Arizona State University), a three-year starter in the United States Hockey League for the Sioux Falls Stampede; and Nicholas Zern (Auburn, Ind./Minot State University), a two-time All-American and NJCAA national champion with Williston State College. Up front, Team USA will rely on freshman Luke Hannon (Buffalo, N.Y./Liberty University), the leading scorer in ACHA Men’s Division 1 (28-28-56); Jordan Greenberg (Plano, Texas/ University of Oklahoma); Bryce Johnson (Des Moines, Iowa/ University of Oklahoma); and Ryan Belonger (Green Bay, Wisc./Arizona State University), a two-year starter from NCAA Division I Northeastern.
NOTES: Men's games will be played at both the Granada Sport Palace and the Mulhacen Pavilion ... To follow Team USA at the Winter World University Games, visit the event page at USAHockey.com and follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter ... Fifteen different states are represented on the U.S. roster. Illinois and Michigan lead the way with three representatives apiece, while Arizona, New York and Texas each have two. California, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin each have one ... Arizona State University leads all schools with six representatives, while Ohio University and the University of Oklahoma each have three. The University of Illinois, Iowa State University and Stony Brook University have two apiece. Adrian College, Liberty University, Minot State University, and Oakland University have one representative each ... Scott Balboni (State College, Pa.), who guided the U.S. to a fourth-place finish at the 2013 Winter World University Games, its best ever, returns as head coach in 2015, and is making his fourth overall appearance ... Dan Phelps (Livonia, Mich), returning for his third trip as an assistant, and Sean Hogan (Athens, Ohio), head coach of the men's ice hockey team at Ohio University, will serve as assistant coaches. This is the same coaching staff from the 2013 Games ... The United States will field a men's ice hockey team in the Winter World University Games for the eighth straight time.