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USA Hockey trains at Kettler


USA Hockey trains at Kettler

By Ben Raby

Forty-two of the countrys best underage prospects will train at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in the coming days, as the Caps practice facility hosts the United States Under-17 and Under-18 Select Teams from July 31-Aug. 1 and from Aug.5-7.

The Under-17 team will train today at 5:20 p.m., and tomorrow at 7:40 a.m., before flying to the Czech Republic for the annual Five Nations Tournament (Aug. 7-11).

The Under-18 team, with prospects eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, will practice in Arlington on Aug. 5 (7:50 p.m.), Aug. 6 (8 a.m. & 7:50 p.m.) and Aug. 7 (9:10 a.m.).

The U-18s will then compete in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament considered among the most prestigious events for prospects entering their draft year- from Aug. 12-17 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The U.S. finished in fifth place in last years Ivan Hlinka Tournament but earned a silver medal in 2010. This years 22-man American roster is made up of players from ten different states, including three prospects from California.

Recent Capitals prospects to have competed at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament include Karl Alzner (2005), John Carlson (2007), Marcus Johansson (2007), Dmitry Orlov (2009), Evgeni Kuznetsov (2009), Filip Forsberg (2011) and Tom Wilson (2011).

The complete US Select Team rosters are included below:

2012 U.S. Under-17 Select Team

No. Name Ht (cm) Wt (kg) Birthdate SC Hometown Most Recent Team

1 Chris Birdsall 5-11 (180) 160 (72) 112496 L Glen Rock, N.J. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
30 Eric Schierhorn 6-0 (183) 175 (79) 2996 L Anchorage, Alaska Russell Stover 18U (MWEHL)

2 Jack Dougherty 6-1 (185) 185 (84) 52596 R Cottage Grove, Minn. St. Thomas Academy (Minn.)
3 Keegan Ford 5-9 (175) 180 (82) 53096 L Waunakee, Wis. Waunakee (Wis.) High School
4 Brandon Fortunato 5-9 (175) 150 (68) 6796 L North Hills, N.Y. Long Island Royals (AYHL)
5 Butrus Ghafari 5-11 (180) 180 (82) 7496 L West Bloomfield, Mich. Compuware 16U (Mich.)
6 Robert Nardella 5-8 (173) 155 (70) 42296 L Rosemont, Ill. Chicago Mission 16U
7 Blake Siebenaler 6-1 (185) 175 (79) 22796 R Fort Wayne, Ind. Cleveland Barons 16U
8 Jack Walker 5-10 (178) 170 (77) 73096 L Edina, Minn. Edina (Minn.) High School

9 Michael Booth 5-10 (178) 170 (77) 32096 R Cary, Ill. Team Illinois 18U
10 Kyle Connor 6-0 (183) 165 (75) 12996 L Shelby Township, Mich. Belle Tire 16U
11 Ryan Donato 6-0 (183) 180 (82) 4996 L Scituate, Mass. Dexter School (Mass.)
12 Joey Dudek 5-11 (180) 175 (79) 12996 R Auburn, N.H. Pinkerton Academy (N.H.)
14 Shane Gersich 5-11 (180) 170 (77) 71096 L Chaska, Minn. Holy Family Catholic High School (Minn.)
15 Alex Jasiek 5-8 (173) 150 (68) 11796 L St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis Amateur Blues 16U
16 Seamus Malone 5-10 (180) 170 (77) 5696 L Naperville, Ill. Chicago Mission 16U
17 Cullen Munson 5-11 (180) 180 (82) 4496 L Edina, Minn. Edina (Minn.) High School
18 Dylan Pavelek 5-11 (180) 180 (82) 11696 R Marysville, Mich. Belle Tire 16U
19 Austin Poganski 6-1 (185) 195 (88) 21696 R St. Cloud, Minn. St. Cloud Cathedral (Minn.)
20 Taylor Vickerman 6-0 (183) 180 (82) 41296 L Kennewick, Wash. Cleveland Barons 16U

2012 U.S. Under-18 Select Team

No. Name Ht (cm) Wt (kg) Birthdate SC Hometown Most Recent Team

1 Thatcher Demko 6-3 (190) 185 (84) 12895 L San Diego, Calif. Omaha Lancers (USHL)
30 Devin Williams 5-11 (180) 160 (72) 103095 L Saginaw, Mich. Erie Otters (OHL)

2 Connor Clifton 6-0 (183) 167 (76) 42895 R Matawan, N.J. New Jersey Hitmen (EJHL)
3 Anthony DeAngelo 5-11 (180) 167 (76) 102495 R Sewell, N.J. Sarnia Sting (OHL)
4 Mike Downing 6-3 (191) 185 (84) 51995 L Canton, Mich. Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
5 RJ Gicewicz 6-0 (183) 162 (72) 111395 L Orchard Park, N.Y. Nichols School (N.Y.)
6 Teemu Kivihalme 6-0 (183) 160 (72) 61795 L Savage, Minn. Burnsville (Minn.) High School
7 Parker Reno 6-1 (185) 180 (82) 12095 R Edina, Minn. Edina (Minn.) High School
8 Tom Vannelli 6-2 (188) 175 (79) 12695 R Victoria, Minn. Minnetonka (Minn.) High School

9 Justin Bailey 6-3 (190) 170 (77) 7195 R Williamsville, N.Y. Indiana Ice (USHL)
10 Jason Cotton 6-3 (190) 175 (79) 2795 R Parker, Texas Colorado Thunderbirds 16U (CAHA)
11 Adam Erne 6-0 (183) 206 (93) 42095 L New Haven, Conn. Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
12 Gabe Guertler 5-9 (175) 170 (77) 5395 L Plantation, Fla. Fargo Force (USHL)
14 Karson Kuhlman 5-10 (178) 160 (73) 92695 R Cloquet, Minn. Cloquet (Minn.) High School
15 Vinni Lettieri 5-9 (175) 165 (75) 2695 R Minnetonka, Minn. Lincoln Stars (USHL)
16 Jimmy Lodge 6-1 (185) 154 (70) 3595 R Downingtown, Pa. Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
17 Sean Malone 5-11 (180) 170 (77) 43095 L West Seneca, N.Y. Nichols School (N.Y.)
18 Drew Melanson 5-11 (180) 150 (68) 11095 L Paramus, N.J. Delbarton School (N.J.)
19 Trevor Moore 5-8 (173) 165 (75) 33195 L Thousand Oaks, Calif. Tri-City Storm (USHL)
20 Andrew Oglevie 5-9 (175) 160 (73) 21695 R Fullerton, Calif. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL)
21 Corey Ronan 5-7 (171) 150 (68) 10695 R Franklin, Mass. St. Sebastians School (Mass.)
22 Matt Weis 5-11 (180) 180 (82) 52395 L Madison, N.J. Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

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Ovechkin looks to match career point streak as Capitals visit Carolina tonight

Ovechkin looks to match career point streak as Capitals visit Carolina tonight

The Capitals visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night at PNC Arena (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington). Alex Ovechkin can tie his career-best point streak (13 games). Washington (18-9-3, 39 points) has won three straight games. It is the first meeting this year with the Hurricanes (13-13-4, 30 points), who are in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division.                          

Here are four things to watch:

Ovechkin’s Best

Alex Ovechkin has a point in 12 straight games and is one away from matching his career high (Dec. 30, 2006-Feb. 1, 2007). Ovechkin has 19 points (13 goals, six assists) during in this streak and 18 of those have come at 5-on-5 or with the opposition's net empty (three goals). 

Going Streaking

The Capitals have a three-game winning streak and have won 11 of 14 overall. That has allowed them to extend their lead in the Metropolitan Division to three points over Columbus and seven over the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh. Even better for Washington is it has won seven of its past nine games on the road. 

Holtby starts

Interesting decision by Todd Reirden, but he goes with Braden Holtby tonight on the road in the first game of a back-to-back. Division rivalry comes into play here. Holtby gets the Hurricanes while Pheonix Copley likely plays against the Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena on Saturday night. Holtby has a .934 save percentage since Nov. 7. He is one shutout shy of tying Olie Kolzig (35) for most of franchise history.   

Injuries mounting

The Capitals will be without defenseman Christian Djoos, who had surgery on his left thigh and will be out “a substantial amount of time,” according to Reirden. Djoos was hurt in the Detroit game on Tuesday. That gives an opportunity to rookie Jonas Siegenthaler, who will play with Madison Bowey tonight on the third pair. Brooks Orpik is not yet back from knee surgery and it could still be some time for him. Expect a recall from AHL Hershey for Saturday's game. The Caps are down to six defensemen. 


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Djoos out indefinitely giving Seigenthaler a chance to cement himself in the NHL

Djoos out indefinitely giving Seigenthaler a chance to cement himself in the NHL

Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos is out indefinitely after undergoing a successful surgical procedure on his left thigh Thursday, the team has announced. Djoos sustained the injury in Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Djoos did not practice on Wednesday and the team initially labeled him as day-to-day.

Head coach Todd Reirden said after Wednesday’s practice that he would get an update on Djoos’ status later that day from the trainers and was hopeful he could play in Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

“He got some treatment instead of going on the ice and hopefully when I get the update from the trainer, he’s headed in the right direction and can be back there on Friday.”

Reirden also said the team would wait to make any recall until they knew Djoos’ status.

The injury, evidently, was worse than feared prompting an in-season surgical procedure. Djoos has four assists in 28 games this season.

Despite Djoos’ injury, however, when asked if there would be a corresponding recall from Hershey, a team’s spokesman told NBC Sports Washington via text, “Not as of right now.”

With Djoos on the shelf and Orpik still on LTIR, this gives Jonas Siegenthaler a chance to cement himself as an NHL defenseman. Siegenthaler looked poised to make the NHL roster after a strong training camp, but Tom Wilson’s suspension forced a number of roster moves that ultimately saw the waiver exempt Seigenthaler reassigned to the AHL. He was recalled later in the season and has impressed with his play.

In five games, Siegenthaler has yet to record an NHL point, but offense is not his game. He is a physical defenseman with a similar playing style to the veteran Orpik, but much more mobile. He has not looked out of place at all since coming to the NHL despite regularly playing on a third pair with either Djoos or Madison Bowey, both of whom are only in their second NHL season.

If Siegenthaler keeps up his current rate of play, it will be very difficult to send him back to Hershey even after Djoos and Orpik return from injury.