Higgins Leads List of 17 Collegians on U.S. Junior Team

Repeat selection Chris Higgins of Yale leads a list of 22 players picked for the U.S. National Junior Team, which will compete in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Nova Scotia, Canada, Dec. 26-Jan. 5. Of the 22 players, 17 play for U.S. colleges.

Last year, Higgins — then a freshman — led Team USA in scoring with four goals and two assists, as the U.S. had the tournament’s best record despite finishing without a medal.

The U.S. team includes six players who have previously competed in the World Junior Championship and nine who won a gold medal in May with the U.S. National Under-18 Team at the 2002 IIHF World Under-18 Championship in Slovakia. Tim Gleason, a forward from Livonia, Mich., who plays for Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League, will be participating in his third World Junior tournament.

Higgins, a first-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens, is one of 10 NHL drafted players on the team.

The team is led by Lou Vairo, who coached the 1984 men’s Olympic team. Former Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer, Mike Hastings and Ron Rolston are the assistants.

The roster, with hometown and college team in parentheses:

Dustin [nl]Brown, Ithaca, N.Y.
Patrick Eaves, Fairbault, Minn. (Boston College)
Gino Guyer, Coleraine, Minn. (Minnesota)
Dwight Helminen, Brighton, Mich. (Michigan)
Chris Higgins, Smithtown, N.Y. (Yale)
Ryan Kesler, Livonia, Mich. (Ohio State)
Greg Moore, Lisbon, [nl]Maine (Maine)
Eric Nystrom, Syosset, N.Y. (Michigan)
Patrick O’Sullivan, Sterling Heights, Mich.
Zach Parise, Fairbault, Minn. (North Dakota)
Ryan Shannon, Darien, Conn. (Boston College)
Brett Sterling, Pasadena, Calif. (Colorado College)
Barry Tallackson, St. Paul., Minn. (Minnesota)

Tim Gleason, Clawson, Mich.
Matt Greene, Grand Ledge, Mich. (North Dakota)
Matt Jones, Naperville, Ill. (North Dakota)
Mark Stuart, Rochester, Minn. (Colorado College)
Ryan Suter, Madison, Wis.
Ryan Whitney, Scituate, Mass. (Boston University)
James Wisniewski, Canton, Mich.

Jim Howard, Ogdensburg, N.Y. (Maine)
Bob Goepfert, Kings Park, N.Y. (Providence)