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USHL Players to Represent United States at World Junior A Challenge

11/12/2014, 10:00am CST

Neal Pionk, Dakota Joshua, and Seamus Malone are among 21 USHL players named by USA Hockey to the U.S. Select Team for the 2014 World Junior A Challenge international tournament.

Full roster of USHL players seeking third consecutive tournament title for U.S.

USA Hockey today released the roster of players chosen for the U.S. Junior Select Team that will compete at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge from December 14-20th in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.  All 21 players selected are currently playing in the USHL.

Nine different USHL Member Clubs have at least one player on the U.S. Junior Select Team, led by four players from both the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Waterloo Black Hawks, and three players each from the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Omaha Lancers, and Sioux City Musketeers. 

Four of the players selected make a return visit to the World Junior A Challenge after helping the United States win the 2013 event – Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms), Seamus Malone (Dubuque Fighting Saints), Andrew Oglevie (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and defenseman Neal Pionk (Sioux City Musketeers)  who was named to the all-tournament team last year.

Multiple players have previous international experience, including the trio from the Sioux City Musketeers – Neal Pionk, Joe Snively, and Ryan Zuhlsdorf – that helped the team win bronze in August at the 2014 Junior Club World Cup in Russia.

The roster includes three of the current top four scorers in the USHL – Brock Boeser (10g, 9a) of the Waterloo Black Hawks who is second in the League, Tyler Sheehy (8g, 10a) of Waterloo at third, and Kyle Connor (6g, 11a) at fourth in USHL scoring. 

Four players named to the team were selected in the 2014 NHL Draft, including three from the Omaha Lancers – Shane Gersich (Washington Capitals), Anthony Angello (Pittsburgh Penguins), and Hayden Hawkey (Montreal Canadiens).  Sioux Falls Stampede forward Dakota Joshua (Toronto Maple Leafs) rounds out the quartet.  The remaining members of the team are all eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, including “A” rated prospects Kyle Connor of the Youngstown Phantoms and Tom Novak of the Waterloo Black Hawks.

Hayden Hawkey, the 2013-14 USHL Goaltender of the Year, is the lone goaltender named to the U.S. Select Team as USA Hockey will add another netminder to roster prior to the tournament.

Robby Jackson of the Chicago Steel is the youngest player on the team as he just celebrated his 17th birthday this past August.  The forward was named the 2013-14 USHL Rookie of the Year.

All 21 players on the roster are committed to play hockey at NCAA Division I programs following their USHL career.

In addition to entire roster of USHL players, the coaching staff is also from the USHL.  Jay Varady, head coach of the Sioux City Musketeers, was named coach for the U.S. Select Team last month, joined by Brian Kaufman, head coach of the Omaha Lancers, and Keith Paulsen, associate head coach of the Madison Capitols. 

Also joining the U.S. Select Team staff for the event are athletic trainer Phil Faught from the Fargo Force and equipment manager Jason Smits of the Muskegon Lumberjacks.

It is the ninth year for the World Junior A Challenge and eighth time that the United States will send a team to the Under-20 event.  The United States, annually made up of players from the USHL, has earned a medal in each of the previous seven tournaments, including winning gold five times (2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008).  They have won 26 of the 31 games they have played in the event.

The tournament has been previously played in November but has moved to December this year.  The 2014 World Junior A Challenge field includes teams from four other countries – Denmark, Russia, Switzerland, and two from the host country Canada (East and West).  Denmark is competing in the tournament for the first time.

2014 U.S. Select Team Roster


Charlie Curti, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Blake Hillman, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Bobby Nardella, Tri-City Storm

Neal Pionk, Sioux City Musketeers

Mitch Reinke, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Hayden Shaw, Waterloo Black Hawks

Ryan Zuhlsdorf, Sioux City Musketeers



Anthony Angello, Omaha Lancers

Brock Boeser, Waterloo Black Hawks

Kyle Connor, Youngstown Phantoms

Dylan Gambrell, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Adam Gaudette, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Shane Gersich, Omaha Lancers

Robby Jackson, Chicago Steel

Dakota Joshua, Sioux Falls Stampede

Seamus Malone, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Tom Novak, Waterloo Black Hawks

Andrew Oglevie, Cedar Rapids RoughRiders

Tyler Sheehy, Waterloo Black Hawks

Joe Snively, Sioux City Musketeers



Hayden Hawkey, Omaha Lancers


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15.  A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 300 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.

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