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Scott Sandelin Named Head Coach of 2020 U.S. National Junior Team

By USA Hockey, 04/16/19, 2:45PM MDT


2019 NCAA National Champion to lead U.S. in IIHF World Junior Championship for second time as head coach

Scott Sandelin

Scott Sandelin (Hibbing, Minn./Minnesota Duluth), who last Saturday (April 13) led the University of Minnesota Duluth men's ice hockey team to its second consecutive NCAA national championship, has been named head coach of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team, it was announced today by USA Hockey on NHL Network’s “NHL Now.”

The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020, in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. The United States will compete in Group B alongside host Czech Republic, Canada, Germany and Russia. Team USA and Group B will play preliminary round games in Ostrava, while Group A, which includes Finland, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Slovakia and Switzerland, will play its preliminary round games in Trinec.

“We're extremely pleased to have Scott leading our national junior team this coming year,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “He is a proven winner who takes great pride in representing our country and we look forward to building another team capable of winning a gold medal.”

Sandelin has been a part of three previous U.S. National Junior Team coaching staffs, including as head coach in 2005 and as an assistant coach in both 2012 and for last year's silver medal-winning team.

“This is one of the greatest hockey tournaments on the calendar each year and it's an honor to represent our country as head coach,” said Sandelin. “Last year, we fell just short of our goal, so to have the opportunity to come back and get another chance at helping our country win a gold medal is exciting. The expectation for the United States in this tournament is to contend for gold and I'm excited to begin the process towards continuing the success those before us have established.”

The 2018-19 season, Sandelin's program-record 19th campaign behind the Bulldog bench, ended in celebratory fashion last Saturday as Minnesota Duluth became the first school since Denver in 2004 and 2005 and ninth school ever to successfully defend its NCAA national title. Since joining the Bulldogs in 2000-01, Sandelin has led the program to all three of the program's national championships (2011, 2018, 2019), making him just the ninth head coach in college hockey history to accomplish the feat. This year's title came on the heels of the program's National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Frozen Faceoff victory on March 23, the third conference tournament title under Sandelin (2009 WCHA, 2017 NCHC, 2019 NCHC). A four-time Spencer Penrose Award finalist and the 2004 recipient, Sandelin holds a 21-6 (W-L) record and .778 win percentage in NCAA Tournament play, the best of any active men's college hockey bench boss.

Prior to joining Minnesota Duluth, Sandelin spent six seasons (1994-2000) with his alma mater, the University of North Dakota, where he helped guide the team to a pair of NCAA titles (1997, 2000), three WCHA regular-season championships (1996-99) and two WCHA playoff crowns (1997, 2000).

Born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, Sandelin's four-year playing career with North Dakota was capped by a senior season in which the defenseman captained the team and amassed a career-high 38 points in 40 games to earn honors as team MVP, All-WCHA First Team, All-American Second Team and be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 40th overall, of the 1982 NHL Draft, Sandelin played seven years of professional hockey, including NHL stints with the Canadiens (1986-88), Philadelphia Flyers (1990-91) and Minnesota North Stars (1991-92).

Internationally, Sandelin skated for the United States on three occasions. After making his international debut at the 1984 IIHF World Junior Championship, Sandelin skated in the 1986 IIHF Men's World Championship before representing the United States at the 1990 Goodwill Games.

All-Time U.S. Head Coaches

2019 Mike Hastings 5-0-1-1* Silver
2018 Bob Motzko 4-1-0-2* Bronze
2017 Bob Motzko 5-2-0-0* Gold
2016 Ron Wilson 5-0-0-2* Bronze
2015 Mark Osiecki 2-1-0-2* 5th
2014 Don Lucia 3-0-0-2* 5th
2013 Phil Housley 5-0-0-2* Gold
2012 Dean Blais 4-0-3-0* 7th
2011 Keith Allain 4-1-0-1* Bronze
2010 Dean Blais 5-1-1-0* Gold
2009 Ron Rolston 3-1-0-2* 5th  
2008 John Hynes 4-0-0-2* 4th   
2007 Ron Rolston 3-1-2-1* Bronze  
2006 Walt Kyle 3-3-1   4th   
2005 Scott Sandelin 3-4-0   4th   
2004 Mike Eaves 6-0-0   Gold
2003 Lou Vairo 4-3-0   4th   
2002 Keith Allain 4-1-2   5th   
2001 Keith Allain 5-2-0   5th   
2000 Jeff Jackson 2-3-2   4th  
1999 Jeff Jackson 3-3-0   8th
1998 Jeff Jackson 4-3-0   5th  
1997 Jeff Jackson 4-1-1   Silver  
1996 Jack Parker 3-3-0   5th   
1995 Jeff Jackson 3-4-0   5th   
1994 Dean Blais 1-5-1   6th   
1993 Walt Kyle 4-3-0   4th   
1992 Walt Kyle 5-2-0   Bronze  
1991 Kevin Constantine 4-2-1   4th   
1990 Steve Cedorchuk 1-6-0   7th   
1989 Steve Cedorchuk 3-3-1   5th   
1988 Terry Christensen 1-6-0   6th   
1987 Dave Peterson 4-3-0   4th   
1986 Dave Peterson 4-3-0 Bronze  
1985 Doug Woog 2-5-0   6th   
1984 John Perpich 2-5-0    6th   
1983 Bill Hasler 3-4-0    5th   
1982 Lou Vairo 2-5-0   6th  
1981 Lou Vairo 2-3-0   6th  
1980 Lou Vairo 1-3-1   7th  
1979 Lou Vairo 2-3-0   6th  
1978 Len Lilyholm 4-2-0   5th  
1977 Marshall Johnston 1-5-1   7th  

NOTES: Scott Sandelin was revealed as head coach for the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team today on NHL Network’s “NHL Now ... ” NHL Network is the exclusive U.S. home of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship … Assistant coaches for the United States will be named in the coming weeks ... The United States enters the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship having medaled in four straight World Junior Championships for the first time in U.S. history after earning gold in 2017, silver in 2019 and bronze in 2018 and 2016 … To date, the U.S. National Junior Team has claimed 12 medals, including four gold medals (2017, 2013, 2010, 2004), two silver medals (2019, 1997) and six bronze medals (2018, 2016, 2011, 2007, 1992, 1986) … For more information on the U.S. National Junior Team, click here … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.

2020 U.S. Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time (Local/ET)
Thurs., Dec. 26 Canada Ostravar Arena 7 p.m./2 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 27 Germany Ostravar Arena 7 p.m./2 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 29 Russia Ostravar Arena 7 p.m./2 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 30 Czech Republic Ostravar Arena 7 p.m./2 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 2 Quarterfinals TBD TBD
Sat., Jan. 4 Semifinals Ostravar Arena TBD
Sun., Jan. 5 Bronze-Medal Game Ostravar Arena 3 p.m./10 a.m.
Gold-Medal Game Ostravar Arena 7 p.m./2 p.m.

2020 Groups

Group A Group B
Finland United States
Kazakhstan Canada
Slovakia Czech Republic
Sweden Germany
Switzerland Russia

World Junior Summer Showcase

2020 World Juniors

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