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From Mens Division General Manager George Tarantino:

Heading into this Men’s National Team cycle, our goal is quite simple: to win the Gold Medal at the 2017 ISBHF World Championships. This is what our responsibility as an organization en tales:

1. Give American players a fair chance at making the team: We scouted countless tournaments all throughout the USA and took plenty of input from anyone who had suggested a player. We gave individual players that contacted us a fair look, regardless of their tournament participation.

2. Properly select the team:  Judging a player based on how we feel he will perform at this level is key, and that includes off the rink and in the locker room. Every roster spot is thoroughly thought out.

3. Prepare the team:  When our team lands in the Czech Republic in June of next year, our goal is to be a TEAM, not a group of individuals. We will be having 3 camps to work on gameplan, continuity, and team chemistry. There are few cliches I hear that I actually believe in, but John Wooden’s “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.” rings so true in team sports. That and talent is how championships are formed.

With the completion of our scouting regimen, we have begun to construct our 2017 roster. Based on the success of the 2015 team, along with the fact that there are several prime aged players who are an exact fit for what Team USA wants and needs, we are naming the following players to the 2017 Mens USA Ball Hockey Team:

FORWARDS

First Name Last Name Tournament Team
Jim Daughtery Pittsburgh Gods
Steve Gregory Pittsburgh Gods
Jess Hackett Buffalo Fusion
Bobby Housser Leominster Rams
Jonny Ruiz NJ Supreme
Denny Schlegel Buffalo Fusion
Billy Sullivan GPDC Arsenal
Korey Wilson Leominster Americans

DEFENSEMEN

First Name Last Name Tournament Team
Matt Caron Leominster Americans
Andrew Hildreth Oberwil Rebells
Chris Liebers Pittsburgh Gods
Rick Zimmick Pittsburgh Gods

GOALTENDER

Jon Rethage, Pittsburgh Gods

The remaining roster spots are up for grabs. We hope to get a much clearer view at our invitational camp in St. Catherines the weekend of October 7th-9th. We have set up friendly matches against 2 of Canada’s best teams and 2 teams competing in the 2017 World Ball Hockey Championships. Our standards for making this list were very high, and all players invited have displayed a skill set we feel could help us in the 2017 tournament. All invited players will be given specific instruction and then plenty of playing time against similar level teams and players that we will see in the World Championships. The weekend is not mandatory but it is highly advisable that players attend if they can. We will be splitting hairs in our selection process; considering the task ahead, it will be necessary.

The field in the 2017 World Championships is deeper than I personally have ever seen. The traditional powerhouses, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Canada are all loaded teams capable of beating any team and matching any roster in the tournament. Greece, Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, and Finland, have improved recently, and any one of these teams could win the tournament. To top off the list is the re-emergence of the 2009 silver medalist India, who might be the fastest team in the tournament. Due to our success in 2015, our opponents will be much more prepared to face us.

Following is the list of the players we have invited to compete for the remaining roster spots:

FORWARDS

First Name Last Name Tournament Team
Travis Bliss  Leominster Americans
Cody Brenner GPDC Arsenal
Tyler Caba  Phoenixville Graffix
Nick Caponi  Leominster Jets
Ryan Crossey GPDC Arsenal
Roy Duttine  Pittsburgh Gods
Matt Esposito  Buffalo Fusion
Mitchell Faust  Pittsburgh Gods
Sean Fergusen  Greater Boston Saints
Andrew Guduco  Greater Boston Saints
Jeff Hamelin  Leominster Americans
Chris Haynes  Buffalo Fusion
Jon Healy  Long Island
Matt Keisel  GPDC Arsenal
Ricky Mastropietro Greater Boston Saints
Connor Mcstravik  Caspers
Josh Merchant  Greater Boston Saints
Warren Morgano  GPDC Arsenal
John Petito  Buffalo Fusion
Jorden Senecal  Leominster Americans
Evan Sousa  Greater Boston Saints
Andrew Trapani  NJ Supreme
Joe Trapani  NJ Supreme
Cody Warila Greater Boston Saints
Tyler Warila Greater Boston Saints
Eric Zimmerman NJ Supreme

DEFENSEMEN

First Name Last Name Tournament Team
Mike Bayne Pittsburgh Gods
Nick Carter Leominster Americans
Mike DeFazio Leominster Americans
Ricky Finnegan Buffalo Fusion
Nick Johnson Greater Boston Saints
Cam Jones Greater Boston Saints
Mark Kiesel GPDC Arsenal
Jerry Lynch Greater Boston Saints
Mikey Monfreto Long Island
Mike Nielson GPDC Arsenal / Niagra War Pigs
Andrew Pruitt Buffalo Fusion
Scott Veneziale Jersey Fresh

 

GOALTENDERS

First Name Last Name Tournament Team
Tyler Crawford Leominster Americans
Bryce Erb Phoenixville Graffix
Jason Rocha Leominster Rams
Joe Sheehan GPDC Arsenal

Any questions or comments related to the Mens Team USA Ball Hockey roster should be directed to GM George Tarantino – gtarantino@ashihockey.org.

Congratulations to those selected and best of luck to all those competing for the right to represent our country in Pardubice, Czech Republic!