Because we haven't been teased enough, USA Hockey is making us wait a little bit longer to find out if Wisconsin's Jake McCabe is on Team USA's final roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship.
McCabe was one of nine defensemen USA Hockey named to their preliminary roster back on December 4th. Team USA will only carry seven defensemen once the tournament starts in Ufa, Russia December 26th, meaning that they need to trim a pair of blue-liners. USA Hockey also needs to cut one forward before tournament competition begins.
USA Hockey was supposed to set their final roster late Saturday night, however, they announced they were making just two of the necessary three cuts at this time. The third cut will have to be done in the next two days, but is currently being delayed by a medical situation.
"We are very close to finalizing our group of defensemen, pending the resolution of a medical situation," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "We are set with our 13 forwards and three goaltenders. The decisions we made today were very difficult and are a testament to the talent available to us in the United States."
The two cuts made on Saturday were defenseman Brady Skjei (University of Minnesota), and forward Stefan Matteau (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL).
Speculation is that the medical situation revolves around Connor Murphy (Sarnia Sting). Murphy saw just 7:30 of action in USA's exhibition loss to Finland Saturday morning. Murphy didn't touch the ice in the third period.
Team USA must submit their final roster by Monday, so we'll likely know McCabe's fate over the next 24 hours. We'll have full coverage here at Bucky's 5th Quarter as soon as the final roster is released.
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