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The United States Hockey League announced today that the Chicago Steel will compete in the 2015 Junior Club World Cup, representing USA Hockey and the USHL in the international tournament that takes place August 24-30, 2015 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The JCWC, which is sanctioned by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), is the most prestigious international club championship in hockey and features top junior hockey teams from around the world as seven different countries will send representatives for the 2015 tournament. The Chicago Steel are competing in “Group A” against teams from Latvia, Kazakhstan and Russia. “Group B” consists of teams from Finland, Sweden, Belarus and Russia.
“It is a great opportunity for the Steel to bring the city of Chicago a second world championship this summer and to set a record for the USHL as the only league to medal in four consecutive seasons,” said Bob Fallen, USHL President and Commissioner. “The USHL is excited to once again represent the United States and we know the Chicago will be prepared to compete at the highest level.”
It is the fourth consecutive year that a USHL team is participating in the event, following the Sioux City Musketeers in 2014, Dubuque Fighting Saints in 2013, and the Waterloo Black Hawks in 2012. Sioux City won a bronze medal, Dubuque won a bronze medal and Waterloo earned a silver medal during their appearances, making the United States the only country to medal three times over the four-year history of the tournament.
The Steel will participate in a training camp in Moscow that includes practices, sight-seeing, a scrimmage against CSKA (Red Army), and will then depart for Yekaterinburg. Other planned activities in Moscow include a tour of Red Square and Kremlin along with a Russian bocce competition in Gorky Park.
Following round-robin play in both Group A and Group B, the top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinal round and will have the opportunity to compete for a medal. The remaining six teams will compete in the consolation round. Chicago beings tournament play on Monday, August 24th against Snezhnye Barsy from Kazakhstan.
2015 JCWC Schedule – Chicago Steel
- Monday, August, 24th, 7:00 PM vs. Snezhnye Barsy (Kazakhstan)
- Tuesday, August 25th, 7:00 PM vs. HC Riga (Latvia)
- Thursday, August 27th, 7:00 PM vs. Auto (Russia)
- Friday, August 28th, TBA, Semifinal and Consolation Round
- Sunday, August 30th, TBA, Gold Medal and Bronze Medal Games
“Our organization is absolutely thrilled to represent the USHL and the United States in the Junior Club World Cup,” said John Egan, President and CEO of the Chicago Steel. “We look forward to representing our city, and our country on and off the ice. It will be an outstanding hockey experience, but also a unique life experience for our players, coaches, and staff.”
Under first-year head coach Dan Muse, the Chicago Steel look to bounce back this season after missing the Clark Cup playoffs. The Steel roster returns 11 players from last season including USHL Scholar Athlete Award winner Ryan Blankemeier. Boston Bruins 3rd round draft selection Daniel Vladar looks to join the Steel in net at the 2015 JCWC tournament prior to his first USHL season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2015-16. A record 37 players were chosen in the 2015 NHL Draft and more than 375 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.