COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Forwards Colin McDonald (Wethersfield, Conn./New York Islanders/Providence College) and Andy Miele (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich./Phoenix Coyotes/Miami Univ.) and defenseman Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio/Phoenix Coyotes) have been added to the 2014 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus.
McDonald is making his debut on a U.S. National Team.
Miele previously skated for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2011 IIHF Men's World Championship in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia.
Murphy helped Team USA win gold at both the 2011 IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championship in Crimmitschau, Germany, and the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.
The first 15 players for the U.S. Men's National Team were announced April 15. Team USA now has 10 forwards, seven defensemen and one goaltender on its roster. The maximum roster size is 25, which includes three goaltenders and 22 forwards and defensemen.
NOTES: Fourteen of 18 announced members of Team USA played U.S. college hockey ... Seven of the 18 players are products of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, including Jimmy Hayes, Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, Peter Mueller, Connor Murphy, Drew Shore and Jacob Trouba ... Eight NHL teams are represented on the roster: Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets ... Peter Laviolette will serve as head coach of the 2014 U.S. Men's National Team. The assistant coaches are Joe Sacco, Phil Housley and Don Granato ... The staff and players of the 2014 U.S. Men's National Team are selected by the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Other members, all affiliated with National Hockey League teams, include Stan Bowman (Chicago), Brian Burke (Calgary), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh), Dale Tallon (Florida), and Don Waddell (Pittsburgh). Tom Kurvers (Tampa Bay) will be part of the advisory group for this year's championship ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams … Sixteen teams will compete at the 2014 IIHF Men's World Championship, split into two groups of eight. Teams will play a round-robin format among their group with the top four teams from each group advancing to quarterfinals … NBC Sports Network is scheduled to televise all Team USA games in the 2014 IIHF Men's World Championship. A final broadcast schedule will be available in the near future.
HELSINKI, Finland -- When it comes to rooting for the Red, White and Blue here in Helsinki, Bill and Diane Slater are about as dedicated as can be.
The parents of Team USA forward Jim, the Slaters journeyed from their home in Lapeer, Mich., to vociferously cheer on their son and his U.S. teammates – and not for just one or two games, but for the duration of the tournament.
“We’ve seen them all – we wanted to make it here for the first game against France and heck, the win against the Canadians was the best of them all,” said Bill Slater. “We wouldn’t have missed that one for anything.”
“We wear our USA shirts, hats and scarves and we’re up there cheering ‘go Red, White and Blue’ and really supporting the team,” said Diane, who celebrated a birthday during her time here in Finland.
Ten years ago, Jim made his debut for Team USA at the 2002 IIHF World Junior Championship – the rugged forward notched a goal and four assists during seven games in the Czech Republic. In 2006, he played on his first U.S. Men’s National Team at the IIHF Men’s World Championship in Latvia.
“I know Jim jumped at the chance to play at the World Juniors. This year was a contract year and he’s a free agent, but he really wanted to take the opportunity once again play for Team USA,” said Bill.
It has been the perfect chance for the dedicated parents to catch up with their son, who has now played a total of seven NHL seasons – six for the Atlanta Thrashers and this past year for the Winnipeg Jets.
“This is real quality time for us because with four kids, we don’t get to see that much of Jim,” said Bill. “This has been an excellent opportunity.”
Like his son, Bill was also a professional athlete, having played defensive line for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots. He has liked what he has seen from the U.S. team thus far: “I think you really see the heart and the team play. It doesn’t seem like there are any magnified stars. I’m impressed with the team. They’re all playing and meshing together.”
As one of the more experienced players on the team, Jim, who has a goal and two assists while averaging 15:45 of ice-time per game, will be counted upon heavily in critical games moving forward.
You can bet that Bill and Diane will be doing their part as ardent fans, cheering and screaming for the U.S. boys from the stands.
“Our goal here is hopefully the celebration of a gold medal,” said Diane. “It would be wonderful.”