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USA Hockey names first 15 players to worlds squad

5/1/2006 - NHL

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.