Dec. 4, 2012
Colorado Springs, Colp. - USA Hockey today named 27 players to its preliminary roster for the 2013 U.S. Junior National Team. The 27 selected players will attend training camp from Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. An additional camp will follow in Helsinki, Finland, Dec. 19-23 with the final 23-man roster announced on Dec. 23.
Among the players selected is University of Notre Dame freshman left wing Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.) who will compete for a chance to play in the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship from Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.
The training camp in Finland will be highlighted by pre-tournament games versus Sweden (Dec. 20) and Finland (Dec. 22).
"We have a young, but talented group of players," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "There will be some tough choices to get to the final roster, but that's certainly a good problem to have."
Lucia is a 6-2, 193-pound left wing who is in his first season at Notre Dame. His rookie season started with a broken leg (Aug. 29) in preseason that caused him to miss the first nine games of the season. Lucia returned to the lineup on Nov. 15 at Michigan and has since played in six games, collecting four goals with one assist for five points. Two of his goals have come on the power play and he is +1 for the year.
A second-round selection, 60th overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Lucia played last season in the British Columbia Hockey League for the Penticton Vees. There, he was second in scoring with 42 goals and 52 assists for 94 points in 56 games and was the Interior Division's Rookie of the Year. He helped lead Penticton to the BCHL championship and then the RBC Cup title as the top junior team in Canada.
Lucia will have the chance to become the 16th Notre Dame player selected to play in the World Junior Championships. Last season, defenseman Stephen Johns (Jr., Wampum, Pa.) and center T.J. Tynan (Jr., Orland Park, Ill.) were members of the 2012 team that finished seventh in Calgary, Alta.
Lucia and the Irish return to action this weekend with a home CCHA series versus Michigan State on Dec. 7-8. Game time both nights at the Compton Family Ice Arena is set for 7:05 p.m. Notre Dame then closes out the first half of the season with a 7:05 game on Dec. 15 when the Irish travel to Bowling Green to face the Falcons.
Notre Dame Participants In The IIHF World Junior Championships