Photo by Hickling Images
Des Moines Buccaneers forward Chris Berger has been named to the U.S. Select Team for the World Junior A Challenge in Bonnyville, Alberta. Berger is one of 13 forwards to make the team, including Des Moines teammate Isaac Johnson. The team is comprised of 22 members, all currently playing in the USHL.
"I'm very honored to be selected for the tournament and I can't wait to get started," said Berger. "I'm very proud to be representing USA."
Des Moines Buccaneers head coach Dave Allison is not surprised at the selection. "He played for the US team in the summer time and did really well," points out Allison.
Berger knows that the time and work he put in over the summer helped him gain exposure, but he also feels he learned a thing or two during that time.
"I gained a lot of experience in figuring out how to be able to travel for a while and then perform when the time comes," he said. Travel will certainly be in the cards for Berger as Bonnyville is over 1,400 miles from Des Moines and over 2,100 miles from his hometown Buffalo, NY. Berger is a Brown University commit and has four goals and 11 points in 15 games for Des Moines in his USHL career.
Team USA is in Group B and will play the Czech Republic on December 12 and Canada East on December 13 in pool play. Quarterfinal and semifinal matches take place on December 14 and 15, respectively. The fifth place game and Bronze Medal game will be held on December 16, while the Gold Medal game will be held on December 17.
2016 marks the 11th year of the World Junior A Challenge, and Team USA leads all nations with six gold medals. They have won the gold medal six of the last eight times, and their current streak of nine straight tournaments with a medal is a World Junior A Challenge record.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
Tag(s): Player News