USA Hockey names first 15 players to worlds squad

Updated: May 1, 2006, 9:11 PM ET
SportsTicker

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Hockey on Thursday named the first 15 players to its men's national team that will compete in the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Riga, Latvia, on May 5-21.

The final roster, which will be composed of 20 skaters and three goaltenders, will be announced in early May.

Team USA's roster includes seven players that have previously participated in the IIFH World Championship. The group includes defenseman Joe Corvo of the Los Angeles Kings and Hal Gill of the Boston Bruins and forwards Dustin Brown of the Kings, Marty Reasoner of the Bruins, Ryan Malone and Andy Hilbert of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Richard Park of the Vancouver Canucks.

In addition, seven players named are under the age of 25, including goaltenders Craig Anderson of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jason Bacashihua of the St. Louis Blues, defenseman Andrew Alberts of the Bruins and forwards Brown, Ryan Kesler of the Canucks, Jim Slater of the Atlanta Thrashers and Drew Stafford of the University of North Dakota.

Rounding out the first group of players named is defenseman Brooks Orpik of the Penguins and Mark Cullen of the Blackhawks.

"I like the team we have put together so far," Team USA general manager Paul Holmgren said. "We've got a number of players with World Championship experience as well as several younger guys that are likely going to be part of our program for many years to come."

Team USA will play an exhibition game against Slovenia on May 2 before beginning competition in the IIHF World Championship on May 5 against Norway.