College of Denver freshman Carter Mazur and Denver-native Ty Smilanic earned spots on the Group USA U-20 group, with hopes of incomes a repeat championship.
EDMONTON, AB — All eyes shall be on one of the best junior hockey gamers on the earth this week on the IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, Alberta — and Colorado shall be well-represented. Of the 25-man roster for Group USA, two members of the group have had longstanding residence within the Centennial State.
“You develop up watching the match and it is superior to lastly see your title on the again of the jersey with the USA on the entrance. It is one thing that is at all times particular and one thing which you can’t at all times take as a right,” College of Denver freshman Carter Mazur mentioned.
Elizabeth, Colorado, native Ty Smilanic mentioned all of his onerous work was devoted to 2 particular individuals: Nancy and Pete.
“The very best feeling truthfully wasn’t essentially listening to [that he had made the roster], however having the ability to inform my dad and mom, as a result of listening to how proud they’re of you, that is undoubtedly the most effective emotions,” he mentioned. “To have the ability to inform my dad and mom that I completed one thing with their assist, one thing like this, that was undoubtedly one of the best feeling.”
Smilanic is the first-ever Group USA U-20 consultant from Quinnipiac College and the best NHL draft select of the college, a 3rd spherical 74th general to the Florida Panthers, however there’s nonetheless just one place he actually calls house.
“To characterize Colorado, hockey is certainly on the uprise, however there’s nonetheless not as many gamers which are essentially doing issues like this,” the previous Colorado Thunderbirds participant mentioned. “So to have the chance to characterize so many alternative issues and to characterize my household, it is slightly nerve-wracking, nevertheless it’s additionally an superior feeling.”
Whereas Colorado is not on his driver’s license, Mazur is proud to characterize the Pios and the wealthy historical past of gamers who’ve additionally donned the Stars and Stripes.
“It is truthfully big, since you have a look at individuals who have been via this system and who’ve performed on this match and it is simply particular gamers, so simply to be concerned in that form of dialog, it is simply additionally particular, as effectively,” Mazur mentioned. “After which, simply coming from Denver, I really feel prefer it’s a spot that prepares you to be prepared for the large levels like this.”
As information swept this week in regards to the NHL prohibiting its personal gamers from collaborating within the 2022 Beijing Olympics, speak unfold across the USA junior camp. This could possibly be their yr.
“Individuals are form of speaking about it,” Mazur mentioned. “It’s one thing that you do not know who they’re going to take and the whole lot like that, so that you simply should be ready.”
Smilanic isn’t permitting himself to dream too far forward, however he can not help however take into consideration one other native product who shined on the worldwide stage in 2018 in Pyeongchang.
“I bear in mind Troy Terry, additionally a Colorado child, went to the Olympics and the way a lot that helped his hockey profession,” he mentioned. “So it is undoubtedly considerably in your thoughts.”
However for now, there’s just one factor on their minds: back-to-back gold medals for Group USA on the World Junior Championships.
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