USA Hockey taps Minnesota’s Lucia to coach 2014 World Junior team

Minnesota head coach Don Lucia will coach the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team in an announcement made Saturday at the WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Don as the head coach of our National Junior Team,” said national team GM Jim Johannson in a statement. “He has developed some of the best American-born players over the last 25 years and has excelled at each stop in his career. He’s a proven winner and without question one of our nation’s premier coaches.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent our country as the head coach of the National Junior Team,” added Lucia. “Last summer, I had a chance to work with many of the players who will be on the radar for the 2014 squad [at the national junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.] and I look forward to getting back to Lake Placid this August for our camp as we begin preparations for the World Junior Championship in December.”

Boston College assistant coach Greg Brown, Denver assistant coach David Lassonde and St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko will be Lucia’s assistant coaches with Team USA.

The 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship runs from Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden. The U.S. is seeking its fourth medal in five years, having won gold under Phil Housley in 2013 and under Nebraska-Omaha coach Dean Blais in 2010 and the bronze medal in 2011.