Dec. 7, 2015
By Dan Colleran
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – USA Hockey announced today (Dec. 7) that Notre Dame sophomore forward Anders Bjork is among the 29 players who have been named to the 2016 U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster.
Team USA will use a training camp to finalize the roster for the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, which will take place from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5 in Helsinki, Finland.
Phase one of Team USA’s camp will take place Dec. 14-18 in Boston, Mass. and then phase two will be held from Dec. 19-23 in Vierumaki, Finland. Team USA will play two exhibition games in preparation for the tournament: on Dec. 18 at the University of Massachusetts and on Dec. 22 vs. Finland in Vierumaki.
USA Hockey is expected to announce the final 23-man roster by Dec. 24.
Bjork, who is one of 16 forwards on the preliminary roster, is coming off a three-point weekend as he helped Notre Dame sweep UMass by notching an assist in Friday night’s 3-1 win (Dec. 4). He then scored two third-period goals to seal Saturday night’s 5-1 victory (Dec. 5). He finished with a team-best +5 rating for the weekend.
On the season, Bjork has skated in all 16 games for the Irish and ranks second on the team with 15 points (5-10-15). His 10 assists rank second on the team. He also sees extensive time on both the Irish power play and penalty kill units.
This past summer, Bjork took part in USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York (August 1-8). That camp was pared down throughout the week, but Bjork stayed for the duration of camp.
In 41 games last season as a freshman, Bjork scored seven goals and added 15 assists for 22 points. He is a product of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (2012-14).
Team USA’s support staff for the upcoming World Junior Championship will have a decidedly Notre Dame flavor to it as Irish coordinator of hockey operations, Nick Siergiej, will join the squad as the team’s video coordinator. Additionally, Notre Dame equipment specialist Dave Gilbert will serve in that same role for Team USA.
Dating back to 1997, 18 Notre Dame players have taken part in the IIHF World Junior Championships. Most recently, Thomas DiPauli and Vince Hinostroza were members of the 2014 U.S. Junior National Team that finished fifth in Malmo, Sweden.
Bjork and the Irish close out the first semester on Thursday night (Dec. 10) with a 7:05 p.m. game versus Hockey East rival and third-ranked Boston College at Kelley Rink in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
— ND —
Dan Colleran, associate athletics communications director at the University of Notre Dame, has been a part of Fighting Irish Media since August 2015 and coordinates all media and publicity efforts surrounding the Notre Dame hockey and men’s golf programs. A native Walpole, Massachusetts, Colleran spent the previous three years working with the men’s hockey and soccer programs at Providence College. Prior to Providence, Colleran spent two years as an Assistant Executive Director of Communications & Championships at the Ivy League. He is a 2006 graduate of Providence College, where he also earned an MBA in 2008.