Alex Goligoski, who will play for Team USA at the IIHF World Championship, had 98 career points as a Gopher.
The 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship begins this week in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Minnesota will be represented by four former players participating for three different countries in the annual tournament, which begins May 4 and ends with the Gold Medal game on May 20.
Alex Goligoski and Kyle Okposo will play for the United States, while Evan Kaufmann will play for Germany and Matt DeMarchi will suit up for Italy. Minnesota has had at least one player compete in the tournament every year since 1995.
Goligoski and Okposo were on campus last weekend to get ready for the tournament. They were joined by Team USA goaltender, former Boston University standout and Shorewood, Minn., native John Curry.
The United States will play an exhibition tomorrow against Sweden in Gavle, Sweden, to prep for the event. The Americans will face France in the first game of the tournament in Helsinki on May 4 and will play seven official tournament games from May 4-15.
Goligoski, who played in 118 games and had 98 points (25g-73a) for Minnesota from 2004-07, played 71 games in his first full year with the Dallas Stars this year. He finished sixth on the team in scoring and led Dallas' defensemen with 30 points (9g-21a). His 16 penalty minutes were also the lowest among team blueliners who played more than 55 games. Goligoski is making his first appearance for Team USA in the World Championship.
Okposo, who recorded 51 points (26g-25a) in 58 games at Minnesota from 2006-08, had 45 points this year for the New York Islanders. He finished sixth on the team in scoring and was third in goals (24), while playing in 79 games. Okposo also played for Team USA in the World Championship in 2009 and 2010.
Kaufmann was a Gopher from 2004-08. He played in 147 games at Minnesota and had 32 goals and 30 assists. He has played the last four seasons for the DEG Metro Stars in Germany and finished fourth on the team in scoring this past year with 42 points (19g-23a) in 52 games. Kaufmann will be making his first appearance for Germany in the World Championship when he plays this year.
DeMarchi played in 158 games for Minnesota from 1999-2003. He totaled 48 points (16g-32a) as a Gopher, but was more known for his rugged play. The Bemidji, Minn., native racked up 204 penalties (second most in program history) and 473 penalty minutes (most in program history) during his career. DeMarchi played 17 games for Vasteras IK of the Swedish league this season, where he totals six points (1g-5a) and 14 penalty minutes. DeMarchi also played for Italy in the 2010 World Championship.