Aug. 18, 2003
Piestany, Slovakia – The 2003 United States Under-18 Select Team claimed its first-ever championship at the Under-18 Junior World Cup on Saturday, August 16th as the U.S. rallied past Russia with a 3-2 win in the gold medal game. Team USA completed the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record.
Notre Dame was represented at the tournament by assistant coach Andy Slaggert who served as an assistant coach on head coach Troy Jutting (Minnesota- Mankato) staff along with Paul Caufield of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
A 1989 Notre Dame graduate, Slaggert was making his first appearance as a coach with one of the United State’s National teams. He has worked with the USA Hockey in the past serving as both an assistant and a head coach with teams from Michigan in the U.S. Select festivals held each summer. In 2002, he served as head coach at the U.S. Select 15 Festival in St. Cloud, Minn. In 2000, he coached the Michigan Select 15 Junior Olympic Festival team. In 1998, he was head coach of the Michigan Select 16 team that captured the bronze medal in Ann Arbor, Mich. In 1997, he served as an assistant coach for Team Michigan at the U.S. Select 15 Festival.
At the Under – 18 Junior World Cup, the United States opened the tournament on August 11 with a 5-2 win over Sweden. The squad followed that with a 3-2 win over Russia on Tuesday and then completed Group B play by downing the host team, Slovakia, 5-1. In the semifinals, Team USA edged seven-time defending champion Canada, 4-3, in overtime before defeating the Russians for the second time on Saturday.
The gold medal was the second for this age group in international competition. The 2002 U.S. Under-17 Select team, which included seven members of the U.S. Under-18 team, won the championship at the Five Nations Tournament last summer in Slovakia.
Slaggert will return to Notre Dame to start his 11th season as an assistant coach with the Irish this fall. He and his wife, Tara, reside in South Bend with their two sons, Graham (4) and Landon (1).