The Milwaukee Admirals locker room has been focused on the ice, certainly, but the team is also paying attention to the World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.
Team USA defeated Canada early Thursday morning to move to the gold medal game against defending champion Sweden. If the Americans win, it’ll be just the third time they take the gold. The others were in 2004 and 2010.
The current Admirals feature several players that appeared in past World Junior Championships. Head coach Dean Evason skated on a line for Canada in 1984 with Russ Courtnall and Dave Gagner.
Jon Blum 2008, 2009
Jeremy Smith 2008
Austin Watson 2012
Gabriel Bourque 2010
Ryan Ellis 2009, 2010, 2011
Dean Evason 1984
Patrick Cehlin 2011
Mattias Ekholm 2010
Joonas Jarvinen 2008, 2009
Jani Lajunen 2009, 2010
Juuso Puustinen 2008
The championship game of this year’s tournament will be played Saturday morning at 7 am Milwaukee time.
To show how the sport of hockey has grown in this state, 18 Wisconsin natives have made 25 appearances on Team USA’s roster at the World Juniors. Nine of those 18 have made appearances since 2000.
The complete list:
Peter Johnson (Madison) 1979
Craig Ludwig (Rhinelander) 1981
Dan Gerarden (Green Bay) 1982
Gary Suter (Madison) 1984
Marty Wiitala (Superior) 1984
Lane MacDonald (Milwaukee) 1986
Kevin Dean (Madison) 1988
Barry Richter (Madison) 1989, 1990
Mike Doers (Chippewa Falls) 1991
Brad Winchester (Madison) 2000
Dave Steckel (West Bend) 2001, 2002
Ryan Suter (Madison) 2003, 2004, 2005
Jake Dowell (Eau Claire) 2004, 2005
Phil Kessel (Madison) 2005, 2006
Jack Skille (Madison) 2006, 2007
Blake Kessel (Madison) 2009
Alex Galchenyuk (Milwaukee) 2013
Jake McCabe (Eau Claire) 2013
Of course, Dean and Ryan Suter are former Admirals. Galchenyuk’s father, Alexander, played two seasons for Milwaukee