The U.S. Men's National Team faces Korea tonight in its fifth preliminary round game of the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship here in Herning, Denmark. Puck drop is set for 8:15 p.m. local time (2:15 p.m. ET) at the Jyske Bank Boxen and will be televised live in the U.S. exclusively on NHL Network.
BONINO ADDED, COMPLETES U.S. ROSTER
Today, USA Hockey announced that forward Nick Bonino (Hartford, Conn./Nashville Predators) has been added to the roster of the U.S. Men's National Team.
Bonino will be playing on a U.S. Men's National Team for the second time. Three years ago, he tallied two goals and two assists for four points as the U.S. Men's National Team claimed a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic.
Bonino, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, just completed his first full season with the NHL's Nashville Predators. All total, Bonino has played 478 regular-season NHL games with 87 goals and 125 assists for 212 points as well as 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 points in 88 playoff games. Bonino played three seasons of college hockey at Boston University (2007-10) before embarking on his professional career. For the complete release, click here.
FAMILY, FRIENDS AND GUESTS ARRIVE
Today saw Team USA families, friends and guests arrive in Herning, Denmark. Among the arrivals are parents, siblings, wives, spouses and significant others. The first wave of arrivals were at the hotel just as Team USA returned from its morning skate, bringing a big commotion to the hotel lobby.
BEHIND THE NUMBER '13'
A common question media have been asking forwards Cam Atkinson (Riverside, Conn.) and Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J.) was the process behind jersey number 13. Both wear the jersey for their respective clubs, as Columbus Blue Jacket fans have become accustomed to Atkinson's #13 just as much as Calgary Flames fans have done with Gaudreau's #13.
The story goes that Gaudreau requested #13 shortly after receiving his invitation to join Team USA, which happened when Atkinson and the Blue Jackets were still competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. By the time Atkinson's NHL season had ended and the invitation had been made, #13 was gone, leaving him to select #89.
"That's basically how it went down," said Atkinson during one of the media availabilities. "We joked about it when I found out the number was taken, but there wasn't really anything behind it."
"I guess the funny thing is that you could say he's part of the reason I wear the number myself," Gaudreau said during today's morning skate media availability. "He wore it at Boston College when I was being recruited there, and I was able to wear it after him. People think it's unlucky, but I think that's why I like it."
Coincidentally, the number 13 is also the jersey of choice for Team USA newcomer Nick Bonino (Hartford, Conn.).
ROSTER SPOTLIGHT: GRANATO'S DEVELOPMENT TIES TO CURRENT U.S. PLAYERS
U.S. assistant coach Don Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.) has previously coached four members of Team USA to the gold medal-game of an IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship, helping three to a gold medal and one to a silver medal finish. After guiding Will Butcher and the 2013 U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team to a silver medal at the IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship, Granato led Charlie McAvoy, Tage Thompson and Colin White to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship where White tallied the overtime gold medal-winning goal for the U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team. The 2015 U.S. roster included five eventual top-15 2016 NHL Draft picks, including Auston Matthews(1st), Matthew Tkachuk (6th), Clayton Keller (7th), Charlie McAvoy (14th) and captain Luke Kunin (15th).