The most exciting amateur hockey tournament of the year is about to begin, and four New Englanders have been named to the U.S. roster.
The International Ice Hockey Federation's World Junior Championship kicks off on Thursday in the Czech Republic. The Americans take on Canada at 1 p.m. EST in a preliminary game to start.
Darien, Connecticut's Spencer Knight returns to the squad to play goalie. He was part of last year's team that won a silver medal.
There are two Massachusetts residents on this year's team. Quincy's Oliver Wahlstrom, who is currently with the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and Haverhill's Jordan Harris are on the roster. Harris currently plays for Northeastern University.
Parker Ford, a right-handed forward from Wakefield, Rhode Island represents the country's smallest state. He is the only player on the team that has not yet been drafted by an NHL team.
Seven New England colleges are represented on Team U.S.A. including Boston College, Yale and UMass-Amherst.
Saugus, Massachusetts resident Jerry Keefe and Durham, New Hampshire's David Lassonde are both assistant coaches.
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Bruins' prospect John Beecher - a 6'3 defenseman who is currently playing for the University of Michigan - is also on the team.