Thursday, December 31, 2009

Schmaltz, McCabe, Fiala Playing In World U17 Challenge

I was going to post about this a few days ago but things came up and I was running short on time. The USA National Team Development Program is playing in the U17 World Challenge this week in Timmins, Ontario. This tournament is obviously overshadowed by the U20 World Junior Championships but we'll try to get you as much coverage as possible.

Committed recruit Jake McCabe, who has been with the NTDP all season long is obviously playing. The surprise, is that 2012 committed recruit Jordan Schmaltz was invited for the tournament. Schmaltz, who was snubbed from the NTDP tryouts last spring has been playing midget hockey for the Chicago Mission this season. Schmaltz did spend a short two game stint with the Sioux City Musketeers who own his rights.

Joe Fiala, who like Schmaltz is from Verona, has also been invited to play in the tournament. Fiala was taken late in the OHL Priority Selection but probably will go the college route. He's currently a junior and plays for Verona's high school team along with Team Wisconsin Majors. Fiala is currently not committed to a school but you would have to assume that the Badgers would have strong interest. .Schmaltz and Fiala are only two of three players from outside of the NTDP to be invited. The other player is a forward named Austin Wuthrich who plays for Team Illinois but is from Anchorage, Alaska.

Team USA pounded the Canadian-Atlantic team in the opener of the tournament 7-0. Schmaltz had a goal right at the end of regulation. McCabe was scoreless. Yesterday the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2.

The United States next game will be tonight at 6:00 PM against the communist Russians. You can follow team USA at the tournaments website.