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A handful of the Boston area’s young hockey hot shots will be in action next week, as Wednesday morning, USA Hockey announced the 22-man roster that will travel to Buffalo to play in the World Junior Championship tournament.
This group includes a trio of Boston College Eagles, led by forward Chris Kreider. Kreider, a Boxford, MA native and sophomore at the Heights, is one of eight returnees to the roster from last year, where the U.S. bested Canada for the gold medal in a 6-5 overtime win. In last winter’s Juniors tournament, Kreider had six goals and an assist in seven games, with those six goals good for third-most in the entire tournament. Kreider was drafted by the New York Rangers 19th overall in 2009.
Along with Kreider, BC will send a pair of defenseman to Buffalo, with Biddeford, Maine native Brian Dumoulin and Patrick Wey, who hails from Pittsburgh, surviving the final roster cut to make this year’s squad. Both players were drafted to the NHL in 2009 also, with Dumoulin property of the Carolina Hurricanes and Wey a prospect for the Washington Capitals.
Boston University will send just one Terrier to the Juniors, with East Weymouth, MA native Charlie Coyle, a 6-foot-2 forward, heading to the tournament. Coyle was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round (28th overall) of this past spring’s NHL entry draft and is a freshman at BU. Coyle has two cousins with NHL experience, being related to both Bobby Sheehan (310 NHL games back in the 70′s) and Tony Amonte, a five-time NHL All-Star and two-time U.S. Olympian.
Ray Bourque’s son Ryan will also be a part of the US roster in Buffalo. Like Kreider, Ryan Bourque grew up in Boxford, MA, but currently plays for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League). Also like Kreider, Bourque won gold with last year’s US Junior team as well. Ryan was drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL entry draft, 80th overall by the Rangers, again like Kreider.
The action gets going on Thursday, when the U.S. will face off with Norway in a pre-tournament tune-up. They will start playing for real on Sunday, when the tournament games get rolling with the U.S. leading off with Finland. In last year’s tournament, the U.S. topped Finland 6-2 in the medal round, en route to their gold medal-winning performance in the exciting final against Canada.
All U.S. National Junior Team games will be broadcast on the NHL Network here in the States, as well as all medal-round games and five additional preliminary-round match-ups, all available in high definition. The tournament wraps up on January 5th.