COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Anthony Noreen (Kearney, Neb.), head coach and general manager of the Tri-City Storm, has been named head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team that will participate in the 2018 World Junior A Challenge from Dec. 9-16 in Bonnyville, Alberta. Joining Noreen will be assistant coaches Mark Abalan (Sioux City, Iowa), Shane Fukishima (Waterloo, Iowa) and David Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.).
USA Hockey also named 21 players for the 2018 U.S. Junior Select Team (12 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders). All players currently play in the United States Hockey League, the lone Tier I junior league in the U.S.
The U.S. will play an exhibition game against Canada East on Friday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. ET before opening the competition Sunday, Dec. 9, against Canada West at 9 p.m. ET.
This is the third time Noreen will serve on a U.S. Junior Select Team staff and his first stint as head coach. In 2013, he helped lead the U.S. to a championship at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He also served as an assistant coach last year in Truro, Nova Scotia, when the U.S. claimed second place with a 4-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record.
Currently in his second season as head coach and general manager of the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, Noreen gained experience after serving as head coach for the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears for two seasons along with serving as head coach and general manager of the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms for four seasons. In his last season with the Phantoms, the club won a USHL record 17-straight contests and took home the Anderson Cup with Noreen being named the USHL Coach of the Year.
ABOUT ABALAN, FUKISHIMA AND WILKIE
Abalan, who is in his first season as associate head coach of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, is serving on a U.S. Junior Select Team for the second time after coaching alongside Noteen with the 2013 squad that won the tournament. Fukishima, who is in his 13th season as an assistant coach and director of scouting and player personnel with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, is also serving on a U.S. Junior Select Team for the second time. He served previously as an assistant coach in 2011. Making his international debut as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior Select Team is Wilkie, a second-year head coach and general manager for the Omaha Lancers, who skated for Team USA at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in 1993 and 1994.
ABOUT THE ROSTER
The 21-player roster includes 10 players who have skated for the U.S. internationally. Of those 10 players, nine have skated on U.S. Select Teams, including seven skaters who helped lead the U.S. to first-place finishes at the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament in Plano, Texas, in 2016 and Ostrava, Czech Republic, in 2017. Moreover, Trevor Janicke (Maple Grove, Minn./Central Illinois Flying Aces) was a member of the 2018 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that earned a silver medal at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship last April in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia.
In addition, eight players have competed in the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, an annual event featuring the top American players eligible for the NHL Draft. Ethan Frisch (Moorhead, Minn./Green Bay Gamblers), Janicke, Zac Jones (Glen Allen, Va./Tri-City Storm), Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip, N.Y./Chicago Steel), Shane Pinto (Franklin Square, N.Y./Lincoln Stars), Isaiah Saville (Anchorage, Alaska/Tri-City Storm), and Grant Silianoff (Edina, Minn./Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) all participated in the 2018 event. Furthermore, Ryan O’Reilly (Southlake, Texas/Fargo Force) played in the 2017 event before bring drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth round, 98th overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas, Texas.
NOTES: Twelve USHL teams are represented on the roster. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Sioux City Musketeers and Tri-City Storm lead the way with three players each … The 21 players represent 11 different states. Minnesota has the most representatives with six, while Michigan has five … Marc Boxer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s director or junior hockey, will serve as general manager of the 2018 U.S. Junior Select Team … The World Junior A Challenge is in its 13th year, and the U.S. is competing for the 12th time … The 2018 field includes Canada East, Canada West, the Czech Republic, Russia and the United States … Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times (2008-10, 2012-14, 2016).