Dec. 26, 2013
Malmo, Sweden – Notre Dame hockey players Thomas DiPauli (So., Woodridge, Ill.) and Vince Hinostroza (Fr., Bartlett, Ill.) got quite the Christmas gift on Wednesday when USA coach Don Lucia informed them that they had made the final roster for the United States team that will participate in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships that will begin on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 11:30 a.m (ET) against the Czech Republic. The tournament will run through Jan. 5, 2014.
DiPauli and Hinostroza made the final cut after being one of 29 players invited to the USA Training Camp in Minneapolis, Minn., from Dec. 15-18 with an exhibition game versus Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn., on Dec. 17. From there, the duo traveled to Angelholm, Sweden for games against Sweden (Dec. 20) and Finland (Dec. 22), before the final cuts were made on Dec. 23 and Dec. 25.
The Irish teammates become the 17th and 18th Notre Dame players to play in the IIHF World Junior Championships and this marks the third consecutive year that the Irish have had at least one player on the team. Mario Lucia (So., Plymouth, Minn.) was a member of the gold-medal winning USA team last year in Ufa, Russia and seniors Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) played on the 2011-12 team that played in Calgary, Alta.
Team USA was 2-1-0 in its exhibition schedule, downing Minnesota State on Dec. 17, 3-2 in overtime. The U.S. squad then lost a 4-2 contest to Sweden and defeated Finland, 3-2. In the win over Finland, DiPauli and Hinostroza combined to set up the game-winning goal off the stick of defenseman Brady Skjei at 5:16 of the third period. DiPauli was even for the two games played in Sweden and Hinostroza was +1.
Heading into the month of December, it didn’t look like either player would be able to make the team as they were out of the Notre Dame lineup due to injuries. DiPauli missed 10 games after being injured on Oct. 25 at Minnesota Duluth and Hinostroza was injured on Nov. 9 versus Minnesota and missed six games. DiPauli was able to come back and play in the Shillelagh Tournament and show that he was healthy enough to get an invite to the USA Camp on Dec. 4. Hinostroza came back to play in the final series of the first half against Massachusetts and was invited to the camp on Dec. 10.
For the season, the 5-11, 185-pound DiPauli has played in eight games for Notre Dame and has one goal on the year. He has an even plus-minus rating and should see action for the U.S. team at left wing on the penalty-killing unit and on one of the squad’s checking lines.
The 5-9, 170-pound Hinostroza went into the Christmas break ranked second on the team in scoring with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 12 games. He is tied for second on the team with a +5 plus-minus and could see action at center or right wing for the U.S. team to take advantage of his versatility and outstanding speed.
The USA will play in group A along with Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany with Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Finland and Norway making up group B. After playing the Czech Republic in the opener on Dec. 26, the USA will face Slovakia on Dec. 28 (7:30 a.m. ET), Germany on Dec. 29 (9:00 a.m. ET) and Canada on Dec. 31 (11:30 a.m. ET) in the round robin portion of the tournament. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Jan. 2, the semifinals on Jan. 4 and the finals on Jan. 5.
The NHL Network will carry all of team USA’s games in the United States with live streaming available at NHL.com.
Notre Dame next be in action at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 when the Irish face Boston College at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass., as part of Citi Frozen Fenway.