COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two members of the Miami University hockey team have been named to the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster, USA Hockey announced Tuesday, as freshmen forwards Riley Barber and Sean Kuraly will both have a chance to represent Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships.
Barber and Kuraly are two of just 27 players throughout the country named to the initial roster. To be eligible for the World Junior Championships, players must be under the age of 20. The duo is two of just four players from the CCHA named to the U.S. preliminary roster, joining Notre Dame freshman forward Mario Lucia and Michigan freshman defenseman Jacob Trouba. The complete roster can be seen here.
The 27 players named to the U.S. roster will convene Dec. 16-18 in Tarrytown, N.Y. for training camp at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center. Another camp will then be held Dec. 19-23 in Helsinki, Finland, where the final 23-man roster will be announced on Dec. 23. Should Barber and/or Kuraly make the final Team USA roster, they would compete in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships, which will be held from Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.
Barber (Livonia, Mich.) has had a stellar start to his Miami career as he is second on the team and in the CCHA with 18 points while his 12 assists tie for the CCHA lead. The 18-year-old's six goals are also second on team. Barber, a 2012 draft pick of the Washington Capitals, leads the NCAA in points among rookies with his 1.29 points per game, which also ties for 15th nationally among all college players. Barber was named CCHA Rookie of the Month for both October and November and is a two-time CCHA Rookie of the Week. His +10 rating is second on the team, while he has five multi-point games in 14 contests for the RedHawks. He previously represented Team USA at the 2012 U-18 World Championship, helping the Stars and Stripes capture the gold medal.
Kuraly (Dublin, Ohio) has also played in all 14 games for Miami, recording two goals and an assist for three points. Both of his goals have come on the power play, Nov. 3 at Ferris State and Nov. 10 vs. Northern Michigan, with his assist also coming on the man advantage at Alaska Nov. 30. Kuraly is a prospect of the San Jose Sharks, as he was selected in the the fifth round of the 2011 NHL draft. The 19-year-old shined at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp back in August, leading Team USA with three goals and three assists in five exhibition games. Kuraly has represented the U.S at the 2011 World Junior A Challenge and the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, as well.
Of the 27 players on the preliminary roster, 15 currently play collegiate hockey. Barber and Kuraly are two of 15 forwards on the roster, which also includes former RedHawk Tyler Biggs, who played for Miami last season and totaled nine goals and 17 points in his lone season in Oxford. Biggs now plays for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.
Once in Finland, the team will hold one day of practice on Dec. 19 before facing Sweden in an exhibition game Dec. 20. Team USA will also play Finland on Dec. 22 before deciding on the final roster the next day. The U.S. has been placed in Group B for the World Junior Championship, which also includes Russia, Canada, Slovakia and Germany.