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USA Hockey names its 2010 under-18 team

Mar 31, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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Hockey fans enjoyed some fantastic international hockey in the last year, with the United States producing fantastic results in the Vancouver Olympics as well as a thrilling gold medal performance in the World Junior Championships. For those who would like even more patriotic puck drops, United States hockey announced the 2010 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team today.

USA Hockey today announced the 22-player roster for its 2010 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Under-18 Championship April 13-23 in Minsk and Bobruisk, Belarus.

Highlighting the roster are five returnees from the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that captured the gold medal at the 2009 IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship in Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn. Goaltender Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.), who was named to the media all-star team at last year’s event, will return between the pipes. Defensemen Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) and Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.), and forwards Matthew Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev.) will also be competing in their second IIHF World Men’s Under-18 Championship.

In addition, Campbell and Zucker were also part of the U.S. National Junior Team that won the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Regina and Saskatoon, Sask., in January.

It’s a bit unfortunate for fans of junior talent that the tournament will start on Thursday, April 8 because that happens to be the same day as the Frozen Four games. Still, there’s no denying that the two events will provide great fun for fans of pre-NHL talent.

Perhaps the U.S. can maintain its red-hot international hockey winning streak?

(The full roster can be found here.)

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