The U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team rounds out preliminary play against Germany today at Easton Arena. Puck drop is set for 9:30 a.m. ET.
Today’s Opponent: Germany
Team USA is set to play its first game ever against Germany in the tournaments 30-year history, a team who is making its Hlinka Gretzky Cup debut during the 2021 tournament.
Since the tournament was changed to the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2006, Team USA holds an overall record of 23-22-9-6 (W-L-OTW-OTL). Also in that span, the U.S. has finished within the top-three five times, with four second-place finishes and one third-place finish.
Game Two Recap:
The U.S. got off to a hot start in its second preliminary game, scoring the first two goals of the game, courtesy of Gavin Hayes (Westland, Mich.) and Jonah Aegerter (Janesville, Wis.). Sweden was able to answer, but Cole Knuble (East Grand Rapids, Mich.) was able to net his first goal of the tournament with nearly 30 seconds left to play in the first. Mikey DeAngelo (Itasca, Ill.) dished out two assists in the opening period.
Sweden answered back, however, to tie the game up at three in the second before adding a pair of goals in the third to take the win.
For a complete game recap, click here.
Behind The Bench
J.D. Forrest (Auburn, N.Y.), head coach of the 2021 U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team, isn’t a stranger when it comes to coaching in the tournament. Assistant coach for the 2017 select team, Forrest played professional hockey for nine years prior to his recent eight years of coaching experience, including two years as a head coach.
Forrest is also familiar with representing Team USA, as the defenseman spent the 1997-98 and 1998-99 season with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, tallying seven goals, 37 assists and 44 points. Representing the U.S. in tournament play, he participated in both the IIHF Under-18 World Championship and World Junior Championship.
A standout defenseman with Boston College, Forrest helped lead the Eagles to an NCAA Championship while being named to Hockey East’s All-Rookie Team in the 2000-01 season. He finished his college career with 97 points, totaling 24 goals and 73 assists in 144 games.
Forrest was a sixth round selection by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2000 NHL Draft, having spent time in the AHL and ECHL four seasons after his college career, while playing professionally for two years in Finland in between.
After his professional career was over, Forrest immediately turned to coaching. After serving as an assistant coach for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in the 2014-15 season, Forrest graduated to his first head coaching job the following season for Austria’s Under-20 Junior Hockey Team for one season. Since then, Forrest has spent his time with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, serving as an assistant coach up until he earned the role of head coach in the 2020-21 season.
Where Are They Now?
Thirty Americans who have played for Team USA in a Hlinka Gretzky Cup are currently on an NHL roster, in addition to 15 players in the AHL and one in the ECHL. Among those NHL players are Kevin Hayes (Philadelphia Flyers), Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), Max Pacioretty (Vegas Golden Knights), Kyle Okposo (Buffalo Sabres), Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames), Alex Nedeljkovic (Detroit Red Wings) and Nick Leddy (Detroit Red Wings). Thirty-five players are currently playing in the NCAA while 14 Americans are rostered on a team overseas.