US Under-17 Squad Will Face D-III Opponents for First Time

USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program has announced the schedule for its 2005-06 U.S. National Under-17 Team, and it will include two college hockey teams.

For the first time in the nine-year history of the NTDP, the U.S. National Under-17 Team will face two NCAA Division III opponents in games at SUNYAC members Plattsburgh on Jan. 21 and Potsdam on Jan. 22.

“The Division III weekend will be great experience for our players,” said Ron Rolston, in his second year as head coach of the Under-17 squad. “It is always a challenge to face players that are more physically mature.” Rolston’s college coaching resume includes assistant coaching assignments with Boston College (2002-04), Harvard (1999-2002), Clarkson (1996-99) and Lake Superior State (1990-95).

The NTDP Under-18 team regularly faces college teams in addition to its NAHL league schedule. This season, 18 Division I and four Division III games are on tap. Four of those games will be played on home ice, with Canisius and Robert Morris visiting for a game each in mid-October, and RIT visiting for a pair in late January.