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WBS Pens And Auburn, NY Native To Coach US Under-18 Men’s Select Team

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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach J.D. Forrest will be behind the bench this summer, guiding the 2021 U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

The annual, international tournament will take place between August 2-7 and be held in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia.

The tournament features the top U-18 players from the United States, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Forrest, a native of Auburn, NY, is no stranger to USA Hockey, having previously served as an assistant coach during the 2015 U-18 IIHF World Championships, the 2016 Youth Olympic Games, and the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

THE TOURNAMENT

The competition began in 1991 as the Phoenix Cup, and was renamed the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2007, in honor of the late Czechoslovakian standout and former Pittsburgh Penguins coach who died in 2004.  

The tournament became the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2018, when the Canadian, Czech and Slovak ice hockey federations agreed to alternate hosting duties.

Team USA will participate in a pre-tournament warm up against the Czech Republic on Saturday, July 31 at 12:30pm ET in Breclav.  

The U.S. will face Slovakia, Sweden and Germany in preliminary round play, while the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Switzerland will battle in a second group.

The top two teams from each four-team group will advance to the semifinals on Friday, August 6, with the championship game set to take place on Saturday, August 7.

Team USA has finished in the top three of the Hlinka tournament 13 times since the tournament began in 1991. The U.S. earned first place in 2003, second on nine occasions (1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2010, 2013, 2016) and third three times (1991, 1995, 2014).

TEAM USA SCHEDULE

 DATE OPPONENT/ROUND TIME (LOCAL/ET)/RESULT  LOCATION
Sat., July 31 Czech Republic  | Pre-Tournament  6:30 p.m. / 12:30 p.m. FOSFA Arena Břeclav, Břeclav, Czech Republic
Mon., Aug 2 Slovakia | Preliminary 7 p.m. / 1 p.m. Easton Arena Piešťany, Piešťany, Slovakia
Tues., Aug. 3 Sweden | Preliminary 3:30 p.m. / 9:30 a.m. Easton Arena Piešťany,  Piešťany, Slovakia
Wed., Aug 4 Germany | Preliminary

(WBS Penguins Photo)

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