MINNEAPOLIS – Gopher Hockey’s Ryan Lindgren and Casey Mittelstadt have been named to the preliminary roster for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., from Dec. 26-2017-Jan. 5, 2018.
The University of Minnesota enters this year’s tournament having boasted representatives at 39 of 41 IIHF World Junior Championships including 2017’s gold medal performance by the U.S. National Junior Team featuring Lindgren and Gopher Hockey alum and former assistant coach Grant Potulny, who will return to the U.S. staff again this year as an assistant coach.
A sophomore defenseman from Minneapolis, Minn., Lindgren is serving as an alternate captain for the Gophers this year. A Big Ten All-Freshman Team pick last year, Lindgren has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 50 career games including four points (two goals, two assists) in 18 games this year. In addition to helping USA Hockey go unbeaten at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, Lindgren captained the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team to a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, won gold at the IIHF Under-17 Four Nations Tournament and added silver medals at the 2015 IIHF Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, the 2014 IIHF Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2014 IIHF Under-17 Four Nations Tournament. The defenseman was selected in the second round (49th overall) by the Boston Bruins in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
A freshman forward from Eden Prairie, Minn., Mittelstadt has recorded 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 17 games this year with the Gophers. The rookie previously helped the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team claim a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship and also skated with the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Mittelstadt was selected in the first round (eighth overall) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The U.S. will compete in pre-tournament games against Belarus on Dec. 20 at the Northwest Arena in Jamestown, N.Y., where it will also train from Dec. 20-22. Team USA will then face Sweden for its final pre-tournament game on Dec. 22 at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Team USA will play its preliminary-round games against Denmark, Slovakia, Canada and Finland. Quarterfinals will be split between the KeyBank Center and HarborCenter. The semifinal and medal games will be played at the KeyBank Center.
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