COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Seth Appert (Cottage Grove, Minn./NTDP), who is just finishing his first season as a head coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, will serve as head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team that will compete in the upcoming 2018 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship it was announced today by USA Hockey.
Joining Appert behind the bench will be assistant coaches Nick Fohr (Grand Forks, N.D./NTDP), Rand Pecknold (Bedford, N.H./Quinnipiac University), Mason Graddock (Stowe, Vt./NTDP) and Thomas Speer (Janesville, Wis./NTDP).
The tournament runs from April 19 to 29 in Chelyabinsk & Magnitogorsk, Russia. Team USA opens play in the event on Thursday, April 19 against Canada at the Metallurg Ice Rink in Magnitogorsk.
Appert served as an assistant coach for Team USA in last year’s event where the U.S. captured its tournament-record 10th gold medal.
He also was as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team that competed at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship in Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France last year.
The Cottage, Grove, Minnesota, native was previously the head coach of both the 2008 and 2011 U.S. Under-18 Select Teams that played in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia. He was also an assistant coach for the 2007 U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the same event.
Appert spent 18 years in college hockey prior to arriving at the NTDP, including 11 years as head coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2006-17), where in 2011 he led the Engineers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 16 years, and seven seasons at the University of Denver where he helped the Pioneers to two national championships.
Nick Fohr will work as an assistant coach of the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team for the fourth time, having previously worked the event in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Fohr is in his first season as an associate coach at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, where he currently works with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. He has been with the NTDP for eight seasons, previously serving as an assistant coach for five seasons. As a coach with Team USA, Fohr has helped lead two gold-medal teams (2015 & 2017) and one silver-medal squad (2013), at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship. Additionally, he served on the bench for one first-place finish (2014) and one second-place showing (2012) at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Rand Pecknold, who served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2017 IIHF Men’s World Championship, will coach in his second IIHF event. He just completed his 24th season as head coach of the Quinnipiac University men’s hockey team. Under Pecknold’s leadership, Quinnipiac has reached the NCAA Tournament in four of the previous six seasons, including appearances in the NCAA Frozen Four and national championship game in 2013 and 2016. After leading the Bobcats to a 32-4-7 record in 2016, he was named the Spencer Penrose National Coach of the Year. Pecknold, the third-winningest active coach in Division I, led Quinnipiac to the most victories of any Division I program from 2012 to 2017, with 132 wins. In that same time span Quinnipiac also led the NCAA in power play goals and penalty kill percentage.
Thomas Speer, who is USA Hockey’s national goaltending coach, will make his Team USA coaching debut. He also oversees the Warren Strelow National Goaltending Mentor Program. Prior to joining USA Hockey, Speer worked as director of amateur goaltending for the Dallas Stars.
Mason Graddock, who is in his second year as an intern coach for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, will make his IIHF coaching debut. Prior to joining the NTDP coaching staff, Graddock spent the 2015-16 season as an intern assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Graddock spent four seasons as an assistant men’s ice hockey coach at Middlebury (Vt.) College.
USA Hockey also announced the support staff for the 2018 U.S. Under-18 Men's National Team, including general manager Scott Monaghan (Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J./NTDP); hockey operations manager Matt Williams (Rochester, Mich./NTDP); athletic trainer Dennis MacDonald (Detroit, Mich./NTDP); equipment manager Brock Bradley (West Stockholm, N.Y./NTDP); team physician Dr. Steven Stecker (Randolph, N.J./New York Islanders); and communications manager Kris Nolt (Lancaster, Pa./NTDP).
NOTES: For complete tournament information, including how to purchase tickets, visit u18worlds2018.iihf.hockey. Team USA News, interviews, highlights and more can be found at TeamUSA.USAHockey.com ... The U.S. enters the tournament having captured a record 14 consecutive medals, including gold medals in seven of the last nine years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017) ... Team USA has won 10 gold medals all-time, the most of any country in IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship history. The event began in 1999. Team USA earned its first gold medal in 2002 ... Follow @USAHockey on Twitter for live scoring updates during the tournament. Scores will be designated with the #U18Worlds tag ... For additional coverage, visit the USA Hockey Facebook page and Instagram account.) ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.
|Thurs., April 19||Canada||Preliminary||7:30 p.m./10:30 a.m.||Metallurg Ice Rink
|Fri., April 20||Switzerland||Preliminary||3:30 p.m./6:30 a.m.||Metallurg Ice Rink
|Sun., April 22||Sweden||Preliminary||3:30 p.m./6:30 a.m.||Metallurg Ice Rink
|Tues., April 24||Belarus||Preliminary||3:30 p.m./6:30 a.m.||Metallurg Ice Rink
|Thurs., April 26||TBD||Quarterfinals||TBD||TBD|
|Sat., April 28||TBD||Semifinals||TBD||Traktor Ice Rink
|Sun., April 29||TBD||Gold/Bronze-Medal Games||TBD||Traktor Ice Rink