St. Michael’s men’s coaches DiGiulian, Fratkin picked to coach Lithuanian National Team at U-18 Worlds

St. Michael’s men’s head coach Damian DiGiulian and assistant coach Casey Fratkin have been selected to coach the Lithuanian National Team in Division II Group A of the IIHF Under-18 World Championship next month in Romania.

DiGiulian will serve as an assistant coach to head coach James Tibbetts, who guided the French National Team at the 1998 Winter Olympics, while Fratkin is the team’s video coordinator.

The six-team tournament will occur at the Patinoarul Olimpic in Brasov, Romania, from April 4-10. The winner of the round-robin competition will be promoted to Division I Group B for next year’s IIHF Under-18 World Championship, while the sixth-place finisher is relegated to Division II Group B.

Lithuania slid from Division I Group B after taking last at the 2015 championship, but it won Division II Group A in 2014.

Lithuania begins play by opposing Great Britain on April 4 and Romania, the host nation, the next day, before Croatia and the Netherlands follow on April 7 and 8, respectively. Poland is its final opponent, with the teams dropping the puck on April 10.

DiGiulian, whose grandmother was Lithuanian, gained prior experience coaching on an international stage while assisting the gold-medal-winning USA Hockey Under-17 Select team during a 2000 tournament in the Czech Republic.

During his four-year tenure guiding St. Michael’s, DiGiulian has led the Purple Knights to a pair of Northeast-10 conference championship runner-up finishes, both within the last three years.

Fratkin recently completed his second season with the squad as the program’s top assistant coach, with his various administrative duties including organizing the program’s video operation.