Trio of Badgers named to U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster

by | Dec 6, 2018 | RRSN News | 0 comments

Trio of Badgers named to U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster

Dhooghe, Emberson, Miller hope to represent Team USA at 2019 World Juniors

 

MADISON, Wis. – Three Wisconsin skaters were named to the preliminary roster for this year’s U.S. Junior National Team that is set to compete in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.

The tournament, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, will take place in two host cities, Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Sophomore forward Sean Dhooghe (Aurora, Illinois) and freshmen defensemen Ty Emberson (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) and K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minnesota) earned spots on the 29-man preliminary roster, announced Wednesday by USA Hockey.

All three skaters have roots in USA Hockey, having played for the U.S. National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Michigan, prior to joining the Badgers. Dhooghe skated for the program from 2015 to 2017, while Emberson and Miller were teammates on both the U-17 and U-18 national squads from 2016 to 2018.

Before paring the roster down to 23 men, the U.S. will hold training camps in Everett, Washington (Dec. 14-18) and Kamloops, British Columbia (Dec. 19-23) ahead of the championship.

While in Kamloops, Team USA will face Russia in a pre-tournament game at Sandman Centre on Dec. 20.

The team will then make the journey to Langley, British Columbia, where it will take on the Czech Republic in its final pre-tournament game at George Preston Recreation Centre on Dec. 22.

If the trio makes the final roster, they will become the 55th, 56th and 57th Wisconsin players to appear in the tournament.

“There really aren’t any words,” Miller said Wednesday. “Getting to put on the USA Jersey every day is pretty special. I’m very excited.”

A first-round draft pick by the New York Rangers in the 2018 NHL Draft, Miller has been explosive for Wisconsin in his first collegiate season. In addition to sturdy performances within the defensive zone, the Minnetonka, Minnesota, native has also proven his offensive prowess from the blue line, pacing the Badgers in scoring with three goals and 15 points.

Emberson, a third-round selection by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2018 Draft, has been another integral component of the Badgers’ defensive corps this season, registering a goal, four points and 27 blocks in 16 games for UW.

Following a successful freshman season last year, Dhooghe has started the 2018-19 campaign off even stronger, with his seven goals already eclipsing his goal total (six) from his rookie season in 21 fewer games.

“I’m honored to be there and thankful for the opportunity,” Dhooghe said. “Getting to go with some of your teammates is an incredibly special moment.”

While all three skaters have appeared on the international stage for the U.S, pre-camp nerves have already begun to set in.

“It’s pretty scary,” Miller said. “There’s a lot of pressure on you. You don’t want to do too much, but make the simple plays. You obviously want to win.”

“You are going against the best guys from other countries,” Dhooghe said. “Every team is going to have high draft picks.”

The U.S. has won four gold medals since the tournament’s first official sanctioning in 1977. The Americans won their first title in 2004 when then-UW head coach Mike Eaves led Badgers Jake Dowell, Jeff Likens and Ryan Suter, along with the rest of Team USA, to a thrilling 4-3 victory over Team Canada in the championship game.

The other three American gold medals all came with Badgers as captains. Derek Stepan and Jake McCabe each led their respective squads to the titles in 2010 and 2013, while Luke Kunin captained the latest U.S. team to gold in 2017.

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