QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS DETERMINED TODAY
It will take the final day of preliminary-round play to determine who will join Finland and the United States in quarterfinal play from Group B. Canada, Germany, Kazakhstan and Latvia all still have a mathematical chance, though Kazakhstan will be watching as they’ve played all seven preliminary-round games.
In Group A, Sweden’s 3-2 shootout loss to ROC last night finalized the group’s four quarterfinalists: ROC (1st), Switzerland (2nd), Slovakia (3rd), Czech Republic (4). The final seedings are yet to be determined.
Today’s game will feature a few current/future teammate connections between the U.S. and Italy.
One unique connection comes from Team USA’s goaltending coach Kevin Reiter, who spent two seasons in Sterzing, Italy, as an assistant and goaltending coach for the WSV Sterzing-SSI Vipiteno Broncos. While there, he was tabbed head coach for the club’s junior team, specializing in goaltender development. Three players from that junior team are now here with Italy, including Markus Gander, Ivan Deluca and Simon Pitschieler. In April 2012, Reiter served as goaltending consultant for the Italian Men’s National Ice Hockey Team during the IIHF Men’s World Championship in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden, whose roster included current Italian forward Raphael Andergassen.
Additionally, U.S. alternate captain Matt Roy skated with Italian forward Alex Petan at Michigan Tech. Petan was captain for the Huskies in Roy’s freshman season. That season (2014-15), the Huskies went 29-10-2, won the 50th Annual Great Lakes Invitational and reached the WCHA Tournament Championship game where they fell, 5-2, Minnesota State.