When the U.S. National Team takes the ice against host Belarus for its first game of the International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship on Friday, a couple familiar faces will be battling to help Team USA win its first World Championship since 1960 – Rampage forwards Drew Shore and Vincent Trocheck.
While it will not be the first U.S. experience for either player, it will be the first appearance at the IIHF World Championships for both young stars and the first time the two have played together at the international level.
“It gives them another opportunity to play together,” says Rampage coach Tom Rowe. “They know what each other’s strengths are. They’re both bright kids and capable of being contributing players.”
Shore brings extensive experience within USA Hockey. A member of the U.S. National Team Development Program for two years, Shore won silver with Team USA at the 2008 U-17 Challenge and gold with the U.S. U-18 Team in 2009 where he put up two goals and seven assists in seven games throughout the tournament. He scored two goals in six games in 2011 to help the U.S. to a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.
A center for the Rampage, Shore will play wing for the U.S. in Belarus.
(Photos: Images on Ice)
“At this point, Drew’s a little more adept at playing wing and adjusting to that quicker,” says Rowe. “It’ll be good for him to play that position. Given the type of game he plays, he will get a lot of good minutes.”
Trocheck, coming off a breakout rookie season in which he recorded 42 points in 55 games for the Rampage, will don the Red, White and Blue for the third time in his young career. He played in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2010 and helped the U.S. capture gold at the 2013 World Junior Championships, tallying three goals and three assists in seven tournament games.
“That tournament helped me grow as a player,” Trocheck said. “It’s a different style and taught me what you have to do to commit to the team to win a gold medal. You have to sacrifice for your teammates, and that helped me a lot. It gave me a whole new outlook on the game.”
In addition to the bigger ice surface of the international game, Trocheck will also have to adapt to a more east-west and skilled game that many of the European teams play.
“He has the competitiveness to do it. It’s a totally different game and he’ll be playing against the world’s best, so that will be an adjustment for him,” says Rowe. “But it will bring him to another level as well.”
The U.S. plays its first game of the tournament on Friday at 12:45 (CT) against host nation Belarus, and each of Team USA’s games will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
U.S. IIHF World Championship Schedule (All Times CT)
5/9 vs. Belarus – 12:30 p.m.
5/10 vs. Switzerland – 12:30 p.m.
5/12 vs. Russia – 12:30 p.m.
5/15 vs. Latvia – 8:30 a.m.
5/16 vs. Kazakhstan – 8:30 a.m.
5/18 vs. Finland – 8:30 a.m.
5/20 vs. Germany – 4:30 a.m.
5/22 Quarterfinals (TBD)
5/24 Semifinals – 6:45/10:45
5/25 Bronze Medal Game – 8:30 a.m.
5/25 Gold Medal Game – 1:00 p.m.