Thursday, July 23, 2009

Michigan trio named to Team USA

The Ontario Hockey League announced yesterday that forward Austin Watson of the Windsor Spitfires and defenceman Brandon Archibald of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are two of 21 American players selected by USA Hockey to represent Team USA. The Under-18 squad will compete at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament taking place August 11-15 in Piestany, Slovakia.

The players were selected following a development camp that was held July 7-13 in Rochester, N.Y.

In his rookie season with the Spitfires, Watson, a native of Ann Arbor, was part of the team’s MasterCard Memorial Cup and OHL championship performances. The 6-foot-3, 183-pound right-winger scored 10 goals and 29 points with a plus-15 plus/minus rating in 63 regular-season games with Windsor this past season. He also recorded four assists in 25 playoff games for the Spitfires.

Archibald, who is set to enter his second season with the Hounds, is coming off a rookie OHL campaign that saw the Port Huron native dress for 61 of the teams' regular-season games where he had eight assists on the year. He later capped off the season by being named Hounds co-rookie of the year.

Team USA is set to compete in Group B along with Russia, Finland and Slovakia.


Marquette Rangers defenseman Kevin Gravel was one of 21 players who participated at USA Hockey's Select 17 Player Development Camp to have been selected for the 2009 U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial from August 11-15 in Piestany, Slovakia.

Gravel, a 17-year-old from Kingsford, totaled three goals and 14 points in 58 regular-season games for the Rangers in 2008-09.

No stranger to international competition, Gravel, a St. Cloud State University recruit, played on the U.S. National Under-17 Team that competed in February’s Vlad Dzurilla Under-18 Tournament in Piestany, Slovakia.

Earlier this week, Gravel was recognized by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau on a North American players-to-watch list leading into the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Watson photo courtesy Windsor Spitfires


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