The University of Wisconsin has a long history with the World Junior Championship. From 2003-2011, the Badgers have been represented every season in the annual tournament held over New Years. Overall, 48 Badgers have competed in the tournament, some multiple times.
That tradition looks to be carried on this season by Wisconsin blue-liner Jake McCabe. The sophomore defenseman was named to Team USA's preliminary roster on Tuesday morning.
A gold medal winner for Team USA at the U18 World Championships in 2011, McCabe is off to a great sophomore season for UW. The left handed defenseman is fourth on the club in scoring with two goals and four assists in 12 games, and has played a solid two-way game, night-in, night-out.
McCabe is one of nine defenesemen who were named to the preliminary roster. The team must be down to seven on the roster by the start of the tournament. Final decisions will be made Dec. 23rd.
The Eau Claire, Wis. native will attend training camp Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. where USA Hockey will try and whittle their roster down from 27 to 23.
This year's tournament is being held in Ufa, Russia, and will run Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013.
If McCabe is on the final roster, he'll miss Wisconsin's series at Alaska-Anchorage Jan. 4-5.
One glaring omission from the roster announced on Tuesday was Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles. The Irvine, Calif. native was surely hurt by his ten game suspension to start the season. Kerdiles was able to play in just two games for UW before the preliminary roster was announced.
Kerdiles' hopes aren't necessarily dead for the WJC. Remember that this is a preliminary roster. The Badger winger could theoretically be added to the roster until camp starts Dec. 16.
On a conference call after the announcement, Team USA GM Jim Johannson said that due to Kerdiles' unique situation, they will continue to evaluate him. Wisconsin hosts Michigan Tech in a WCHA series this weekend.
Other Wisconsin ties to the team include former Wisconsin player and assistant coach Mark Osiecki who has been named an assistant coach for the team. Johannson, who is serving as Team USA GM for the fourth straight year is also a former Badger.
Other WCHA players to be named to Team USA's preliminary roster include Mike Reilly (Minnesota), Brady Skjei (Minnesota), Rocco Grimaldi (North Dakota), and Blake Pietila (Michigan Tech).
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