U.S. World Championship team has college flavor

Of the first 19 players announced Wednesday and Friday by USA Hockey that will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Men’s Championship, April 29-May 15, in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia, 18 played college hockey.

Highlighting the roster are seven players with U.S. Men’s National Team experience, including goaltenders Ty Conklin (New Hampshire) and Al Montoya (Michigan), forwards Chris Kreider (Boston College), Ryan Shannon (Boston College) and Yan Stastny (Notre Dame) and defensemen Mike Komisarek (Michigan) and Mark Stuart (Colorado College).

Kreider, one of two current collegians (Wisconsin forward Craig Smith is the other), is also the only returnee from the U.S. squad that competed at the 2010 World Championship in Cologne and Mannheim, Germany.

Five other players have World Junior experience, including defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk (Boston University) and Jake Gardiner (Wisconsin) and forwards Mike Brown (Michigan), Jack Skille (Wisconsin) and Blake Wheeler (Minnesota).

Additionally, six players will be making their Team USA debuts with the 2011 U.S. Men’s National Team, including defensemen Mark Fayne (Providence) and Clay Wilson (Michigan Tech) and forwards Andy Miele (Miami), Chris Porter (North Dakota), Tim Stapleton (Minnesota-Duluth) and Nick Palmieri.