Dec. 10, 2013
Notre Dame, Ind. - When freshman center Vince Hinostroza (Bartlett, Ill.) was helped off the ice on Nov. 9 versus Minnesota due to a knee-on-knee hit, it looked like his chances of making the United States' roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships were going with him.
The talented center missed six games due to the injury but returned for Notre Dame's final games of the first half against Massachusetts last weekend and showed that he was back at full strength. That led to him getting some good news on Tuesday afternoon when he learned that he, along with Minnesota State forward Zach Stepan and Colorado College defenseman Jaccob Slavin, were being added to the preliminary roster and will attend training camp beginning Dec. 15-18 in Minneapolis, Minn.
The addition of the three players brings the roster size to 29 players looking to make it on the final 23-man roster for the tournament that will begin on Dec. 26th in Malmo, Sweden.
Hinostroza joins teammate Thomas DiPauli (So., Woodridge, Ill.) who will spend three days at Mariucci Arena for training camp before departing for exhibition games in Sweden. The U.S. team will face Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn., on Dec. 17 and then play games on Dec. 20 in Angelholm, Sweden against Finland and on Dec. 22 versus Sweden.
"I found out on Monday that I was being added to the training camp." said Hinostroza.
"They evaluated me this weekend and they liked what they saw, that I was at 100-percent so they invited me. I'm really excited for the opportunity to attend the training camp."
In his first year with Notre Dame, Hinostroza attended USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., last summer where he caught the eye of the coaching staff but would have to continue to impress as the year went on.
Hinostroza did that in the first half, leading the Irish in scoring until his injury. He goes into the break for finals and Christmas ranking second on the team in scoring with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 12 games. One of his goals came on the power play and he is second on the team in assists (11) and plus-minus (+5). His 14 points also tie him for third among rookie scorers in Hockey East.
"After the summer camp, I knew that I really had to work the first half of the season to continue to show that I could play," said Hinostroza.
"I had a good start to the season, before the injury, so that was disappointing. I can't thank our trainer, Kevin Ricks and our strength and conditioning coach Tony Rolinski enough for getting me back in the lineup so quickly."
This is not Hinostroza's first chance to play for the United States. In 2011, he was a member of the USA Under-18 Select team that finished fifth at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic. Later in 2011, he was on the USA Under-19 World Junior A Challenge team, along with Mario Lucia (So., Plymouth, Minn.) and Sam Herr (So., Hinsdale, Ill.) that won a bronze medal. In 2012, Hinostroza played on his second Under-19 World Junior A Challenge team, where he led all scorers with eight points (6g, 2a) and the U.S. team to a gold medal.
The speedy center iceman was selected in the sixth round (169th overall) by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Hinostroza and DiPauli have the chance to be the 17th and 18th Notre Dame players selected to play in the World Junior Championships. Last season, Lucia was a member of the gold-medal winning team in Ufa, Russia. Teams from the United States have medaled in three of the past four tournaments.
Notre Dame Participants In The IIHF World Junior Championships