The United States prevailed once again at the World Junior A Challenge, winning its sixth title in seven years after defeating Denmark, 3-2, in overtime on Saturday.
"We had an incredible team effort against Denmark, which was capped with (River Falls, Wis., native) Tommy Novak's overtime winner," said Jay Varady, head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team. "It was an unbelievable feeling, and this is another great accomplishment for USA Hockey."
Wisconsin recruiting target Brock Boeser, who decommitted from the Badgers in November, finished the tournament with a team-leading four goals in four games. Boeser also had an assist in the gold medal clinching victory over Denmark.
Seamus Malone, who signed a National Letter of Intent with Wisconsin in the early signing period, finished the tournament with one goal. Malone wore an "A" on his sweater, as he was named an alternate captain for Team USA during the tournament.
Potential recruits Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost also participated in the tournament for Canada West, which went 1-3 during the event. Fabbro and Jost, who skate for the Penticton Vees in the BCHL, finished 1-2 in scoring for Canada West. Fabbro, a defenseman, finished with a goal and two assists in four games, while Jost, a center, had two goals and an assist.
Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Shuchuk made the trip to Kindersley, Saskatchewan, to take in the tournament and give the Badgers another face-to-face presence with Boeser, Jost and Fabbro. Shuchuk also followed Jost and Fabbro to the World U17 Challenge in Ontario in early November.
At this point it seems like the Badgers are a long-shot to land Boeser. He's narrowed his options for next season to Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. He's already taken official visits to Grand Forks and Madison, and will likely visit the Gophers sometime in late January or early February. At this point it feels like he's just waiting for the visit to make it official that he's going to flip his commitment to Minnesota.
Jost and Fabbro are a little harder to gauge. Both are elite blue-chip prospects with heavy WHL pressure. I had heard both were looking to make a decision relatively soon, although that was well over a month ago. It's believed if Fabbro goes the NCAA route, the Badgers are in very good standing. While Jost and Fabbro are not a package deal, they are roommates and good friends in Penticton, so it wouldn't come as a surprise to see both end up together in the future, wherever that may be.
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