May 12: Day 14

The U.S. Men's National Team enjoyed an off day today here in Denmark. Around noon, a number of players and their guests took a bus to Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark. Located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula in which Denmark occupies, Aarhus began as a fortified Viking settlement founded in the 8th century and today is the peninsula's largest center for trade, services and industry. Known for its musical history, players and families were able to enjoy live music on the coast while visiting nearby cafes, restaurants and shops.

After the addition of defenseman Charlie McAvoy (Long Beach, N.Y.) on Friday, yesterday, USA Hockey finalized its roster for the 2018 U.S. Men's National Team with the addition of forward Nick Bonino (Hartford, Conn.).
     A three-time IIHF medalist, including two gold medals (2017 WJC, 2015 MU18) and one bronze medal (2016 WJC), McAvoy is playing on a U.S. Men's National Team for the second consecutive year and representing Team USA for the fifth time in IIHF world championship play.  McAvoy just finished his first full NHL season with the Boston Bruins where he registered 32 points (7-25) in 63 games before  adding five points (1-4) in 12 playoff games. 
     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. A two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bonino 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.

With its 13-1 victory over Korea yesterday, the U.S. Men's National Team improved to 3-2-0-0 (W-OTW-OTL-L) for five-straight wins to open tournament play. The last time Team USA won its first five games in a Men's World Championship was 1933, when the U.S. went 5-0-0 (W-L-T) as it won its first and only gold medal at the event.

Today was forward Sonny Milano's (Massapequa, N.Y.) 22nd birthday. A product of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program where he skated from 2012-14, Milano spent some of his youth hockey days with the Long Island Gulls in New York. A first round draft pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Milano split time this past season with the Columbus Blue Jackets and its AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters. Skating on his first Men's National Team, Milano helped the U.S. claim a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship before adding a bronze medal with the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Tomorrow, the U.S. Men's National Team will return to action when it takes on Norway in its sixth preliminary round game of the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship. Puck drop is set for 4:15 p.m. local time (10:15 a.m. ET) and will be televised live in the United States exclusively on NHL Network. 

GM Bill Zito Update

Four players and three staff members on this year's roster have ties to U.S. select teams that have competed in the Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and Under-17 Five Nations Cup. Among the players are 2010 U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team teammates Johnny Gaudreau (Salem, N.J.) and Connor Murphy (Dublin, Ohio) as well as 2004 U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team player Alec Martinez (Rochester Hills, Mich.). Murphy also skated for the 2010 U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Team. Additionally, U.S. head coach Jeff Blashill (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.) was an assistant coach for the 2006 U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team while U.S. assistant coach Seth Appert (Cottage Grove, Minn.) served on three U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Teams, including twice as a head coach (2008, 2011) and once as an assistant coach (2007). Team USA's director of hockey operations, Kevin McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, Colo.) has oversight of the U.S. Under-17 and Under-18 Select Teams.
     Fueling the rosters for the U.S. Under-18 Men's Select Team and U.S. Under-17 Men's Select Teams is USA Hockey National Player Development Camps, which provide the United States’ top young players with age-appropriate on- and off-ice training and coaching from elite-level instructors, as well as the opportunity to compete against their peers from throughout the country.