Minnesota State's Zach Stepan survived the final cut and made the final 23-player roster for the U.S. Junior National Team, which is playing in the IIHF World Junior Championships this week in Malmo, Sweden.
Stepan, a freshman forward, is the first MSU player to play for Team USA in the championships and the second Maverick to participate in the tournament. Last year, Teddy Blueger, now a sophomore forward, played for Latvia.
Stepan was in the lineup on Thursday for Team USA’s 5-1,tournament-opening victory over the Czech Republic. He was plus-1 and credited with one shot on goal. However, he departed the game in the third period with what was reported to be a lower-body injury. The report said his status is day to day.
Team USA will play Slovakia at 6:30 a.m. Friday. All U.S. games are available on the NHL Network and NHL.com.
The rest of the U.S. schedule is as follows (all times CST):
Sunday vs. Germany, 8 a.m.
Tuesday vs. Canada, 10:30 a.m.
If Team USA advances, the quarterfinals are Thursday, Jan. 2, with the semifinals on Saturday, Jan. 4, and the finals Sunday, Jan. 5.