The first time Seamus Malone was selected to represent his country on an international level came from a tryout. Malone was chosen to play for Team USA at the summer U-17 Five Nations tournament in Chomutov, Kadan and Klasterec, Czech Republic after his performance at the national Select 16 festival in Rochester, N.Y.
This time, Malone was hand-picked for his spot on the USA roster.
Typically during international tournaments at the U-17 level during the season, USA Hockey sends a team full of players from the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Looking for some outside help for the U-17 Five Nations Tournament this week in Jarvenpaa, Finland, USA Hockey asked Malone to come along.
A 2015 Wisconsin recruit, Malone has had a fantastic rookie season in the United States Hockey League as just a high school sophomore. Through 37 games with the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Malone has registered six goals and 20 assists with a +13 plus/minus.
"It's definitely an honor to be picked to play, and it should be a pretty good week." Malone told TH ONLINE this week. I'm going to miss the boys back in Dubuque, but I know they'll get the job done this weekend."
Deciding to make an early commitment in just the spring of his freshman year of high school, Malone chose the Badgers over Ohio State, Colorado College, Western Michigan, and Yale.
Malone was Wisconsin's first verbal commit for the class of 2015, and likely could have chosen any school in the country if he let the process play out. However, Malone knew that Madison was the place he wanted to play his college hockey.
"It goes without saying that Wisconsin is a top-notch school. But for me, the hockey staff was my primary motivation," Malone told Bucky's 5th Quarter in late March. "I truly believe they can take my hockey skills to the next level and mold me into a premier player."
"Plus the facilities are state-of-the art."
Fellow Wisconsin recruit, and current teammate in Dubuque, Keegan Ford was also asked to join the USA roster in Finland. However, a recent rash of injuries to a number of Dubuque defensemen have left the Fighting Saints short-handed on the back-end. After initially approving the transfer of Ford, Saints head coach Jim Montgomery had to decline.
While it's unfortunate Ford doesn't get to go, USA Hockey's request of his services for the tournament show how far his profile has grown.
Team USA is already in action this week, as they dropped their opening contest to Russia this morning, 4-3, in a shoot-out. The next time USA hits the ice will be Friday morning vs. Sweden, which will take place at 5 a.m CT.
The American's also have games scheduled with the Czech Republic and Finland over the weekend before they return home to the United Sates next week.
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