Friday, April 08, 2005

Spirit and Whalers represented at Under-18's

The Saginaw Spirit and Plymouth Whalers will be well represented at the 2005 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship. Spirit defenseman Patrick McNeill and forward Tom Pyatt have both earned spots on Team Canada. Plymouth forwards Dan Collins (United States) and James Neal (Canada) were also named to their respective teams.

“This is a great honor for Patrick and Tom and recognition for their hard work and talent,” Saginaw head coach and general manager Bob Mancini said. “The Spirit wish them and their teammates well.”

McNeill says he’s looking forward to the chance to bring home some hardware.

“We won gold last summer,” McNeill said. “So it’s a great chance to repeat. Personally, I look forward to getting back on the ice. It’s a great chance to play with very talented players and test yourself against the best players of your age in the world.”

“We’re very happy for Dan and James,” said Plymouth head coach and GM Mike Vellucci. “Both are deserving of this honor. They’ve worked very hard over their two seasons here and are considered among the top players in their age group. It’s a thrill for anyone to represent their country in international competition. I’m sure playing in this tournament will be a boost in their development as players and citizens.”

UPDATE: McNeill fell awkwardly during practice today and dislocated his shoulder and will be unable to participate.

The tournament takes place in in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic, from April 14-24.

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