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Thomas DiPauli Selected To Preliminary USA Roster

December 5, 2013
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



Notre Dame, Ind. - DUSA Hockey today announced its 26-player preliminary roster for the 2014 U.S. Junior National Team that will participate in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014, in Malmo, Sweden.

Among the players selected is Notre Dame sophomore left wing Thomas DiPauli(Woodridge, Ill.) who will join the squad at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena for training camp Dec. 15-18. From there, the U.S. Team will continue preparations in Angelholm, Sweden, before its 23-man roster is announced.  The U.S. Team will play three games before the start of the World Junior Championships, including Dec. 17 versus Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn., before games on Dec. 20 in Angelholm against Finland and on Dec. 22 versus Sweden.

"We're excited about the group of players we've invited to camp," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team and assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey.

"There will be some tough decisions in getting to the final roster, but that's certainly a good problem to have."

The preliminary roster includes three players that helped the U.S. capture the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship a year ago in forwards Riley Barber (Pittsburgh, Pa./Miami Univ.) and Ryan Hartman (West Dundee, Ill.) and goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine/Providence College).

For DiPauli, being selected to the 26-man roster was probably in question since he has missed the last 10 of the last 11 games for Notre Dame due to an injury he suffered back on Oct. 25 at Minnesota Duluth.  He tried to comeback earlier, but reinjured himself.

"I may have come back a little too soon the last time, but I feel great now," said DiPauli following practice on Wednesday afternoon.

"There is no hesitation.  I am back in the corners battling.  I'm ready to play.  It was frustrating to be out so long, but I learned from it.  I wasn't 100-percent when I tried to come back.  Now I know, at this level, you have to let it heal."

In six games this season, DiPauli has scored one goal and has no assists and is +2 for the year.  As a freshman, the 5-11, 189-pound forward who can play either center or left wing, played in all 41 games with five goals and seven assists for 12 points and was +8 on the year.

Selected in the fourth round, 100th overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, DiPauli drives opponents crazy with his relentless style.  One of Notre Dame's top penalty killers, he knows what his role will be should he make the final roster later this month.

"It will be fun to go to camp.  I've talked to (Stephen) Johns and (T.J.) Tynan and Mario (Lucia). The guys who have played in the World Juniors the last couple of years," said DiPauli.

"I know that I wasn't selected to be a goal scorer, it was more for being a defensive forward, killing penalties, things like that.  It's going to be a great experience.  I'm happy that things worked out this way."

DiPauli will have the chance to become the 17th Notre Dame player selected to play in the World Junior Championships. Last season, left wing Mario Lucia(So., Plymouth, Minn.) was a member of the gold-medal winning team in Ufa, Russia.  Teams from the United States have medaled in three of the past four tournaments.

DiPauli and his Notre Dame teammates close out the first half of the season this coming weekend, Dec. 6-7, when they play an important Hockey East series against the University of Massachusetts.  Friday's game has a 7:35 p.m. start while Saturday's contest will drop the puck at 6:35 p.m.  Saturday is Notre Dame's annual Teddy Bear Toss as fans can bring Teddy Bears to throw on the ice during the first intermission with all the Bears collected donated to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center for the Christmas holidays.


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