GENEVA, ILLINOIS — Chicago Steel defensemen Wyatt Aamodt and Matt Kiersted have been named to the U.S. Junior Select Team for the 2016 World Junior A Challenge next month in Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada. The weeklong tournament takes place Dec. 11-17 at R.J. Lalonde Arena. All 21 players on the U.S. roster currently compete in the United States Hockey League (USHL).
“We are thrilled that Matt and Wyatt will be representing our team, league, and country at this year’s Junior A Challenge,” said Steel Head Coach Dan Muse. “Both of these players have made strong contributions to our team this year and we are excited that they will get this opportunity."
Aamodt (pronounced “AH-miht”), who turns 19 today, committed last week to Minnesota State University, Mankato (WCHA). The 5-foot-11, 206-pound blueliner is currently second amongst USHL defensemen with 11 assists tallied this season. Aamodt captained Hermantown to a Minnesota High School State 1A Championship earlier this year and was named Duluth News Tribune 2016 All-Area Player of the Year. He won the Reed Larson Award as Minnesota’s top senior defenseman, was a finalist for Minnesota Mr. Hockey and was selected to the Associated Press All-State First Team.
Kiersted (pronounced “KEER-stehd”), 18, first appeared for the Steel in the 2014-2015 season, and was named an alternate captain for Chicago in September. The Elk River, Minn., native participated in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects game this past January. Kiersted, a 5-foot-11, 184-pound defenseman, has recorded two goals and seven assists through 16 games played this season, and is committed to the University of North Dakota.
The U.S. will compete in Group B along with Canada East and the Czech Republic. Group A consists of Canada West, Russia and Switzerland.
Following a pre-tournament game against Canada West on Dec. 9 in Cold Lake, Alta., the U.S. opens the tournament on Dec. 12 against the Czech Republic. The round-robin preliminary round completes the following day with a matchup between Team USA and Canada East, with playoff rounds taking place Wednesday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 17. All World Junior A Challenge games will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com.
Chicago’s three-game road trip wraps up Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Cedar Rapids. The Steel then return home to Fox Valley Ice Arena for two games Thanksgiving weekend — Friday, Nov. 25 vs. Lincoln, and Saturday, Nov. 26 vs. Dubuque. The Nov. 25 game is a Steel Family Pack game — purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas (or waters) and four chuck-a-pucks starting at just $48. Saturday’s game features a full-team post-game autograph session. For tickets or more information, call 855-51-STEEL, stop by the Box Office or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.