June 18, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Gopher Hockey will send five skaters to the 2014 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp with sophomores Vinni Lettieri, Michael Brodzinski, Taylor Cammarata, Hudson Fasching and incoming freshman Ryan Collins representing the Maroon & Gold in Lake Placid, Aug. 2-9.
The camp will be held at the Lake Placid Olympic Center. The U.S. players will practice and compete in international games against Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. Ticket information will be announced at a later date.
The five Gophers are among 42 individuals auditioning for roster slots on the U.S. National Junior Team, which will compete at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal, Dec. 26, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015.
Lettieri skated in 37 games for the Gophers during the 2013-14 and totaled eight points (two goals, six assists) including the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win against New Hampshire on Oct. 12 for the Ice Breaker Tournament title. The goal marked the Excelsior, Minn., native’s first career point. Lettieri has previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, scoring four points (two goals, two assists) in four games, and also dressed with the U.S. Under-18 Team for a pair of games in 2012-13 including an exhibition contest against the Gophers.
Brodzinski tallied 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in 26 games last year as a freshman for Minnesota. A Ham Lake, Minn., native and a San Jose Sharks prospect (selected 141st overall in 2013), Brodzinski is making his second audition at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp after competing for a roster spot for head coach Don Lucia last year.
A native of Plymouth, Minn., Cammarata played in 39 games for the Gophers during the 2013-14 campaign and recorded 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists). The New York Islanders prospect (76th overall in 2013) tallied two game winners as a freshman including the lone goal in a 1-0 Minnesota win over Ohio State in the 2014 Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium. Cammarata previously skated for the U.S. at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, tallying four points in four games, and also competed for a roster spot at last year’s U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp.
An All-Big Ten Freshmen Team honoree as well as All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, Fasching skated in 40 games for Minnesota last season and tallied 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists). The Burnsville, Minn., native was also named Minnesota’s Frank Pond Rookie of the Year. Fasching is a product of the US. National Development Team Program (USNDTP) and competed at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden under Lucia and alongside current Gophers teammate Brady Skjei. A Buffalo Sabres prospect (drafted 118th overall by Los Angeles in 2013), Fasching previously earned a silver medal with the U.S. at the 2013 Under-18 World Championship, tallying six points.
A native of Bloomington, Minn., Collins wrapped up his second year with the USNDTP in 2013-14 after helping Benilde-St. Margaret’s win the 2012 MSHSL Class AA state championship. The Gophers newcomer is coming off a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF Under-18 World Championship in Lappeenranta, Finland and previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 Four Nations Tournament in Switzerland (gold medal), the 2013 Five Nations Tournament in Finland (bronze medal) and the 2013 World Under-17 Challenge in Canada (bronze medal). Collins participated in the 2013 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Pittsburgh last September and is eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
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