Aug. 2, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- Sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe (Eau Claire, Wis.) fiddled with his neck tie while he readied for the head shot he would eventually take in a cramped, makeshift studio at the Kohl Center on Wednesday. He also joked that he hoped he wasn't sent home in the first round of cuts during his trip to Lake Placid, N.Y., for USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp. The camp begins this weekend.
McCabe, along with incoming Wisconsin forward Nic Kerdiles (Irvine, Calif.), hopes to make a good impression and eventually earn selection to the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. That event takes place Dec. 26, 2012 through Jan. 5, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.
The upcoming camp runs Aug. 4-11 inside the same building that former Badgers Mark Johnson and Bob Suter used to perform a "Miracle" back in 1980.
Practices, scrimmages and games against similar groups from Sweden and Finland will help team officials, like former Badger Jim Johannson, and camp coaches, such as UW alumni Mark Osiecki and Tony Granato, get closer to a roster for the prestigious tournament.
McCabe and Kerdiles share some common traits. Both are products of the U.S. National Team Development Program that is based out of Ann Arbor, Mich. Both were selected in the second round of this year's NHL draft. Both would also be thrilled to put on their country's jersey again for an international competition.
The duo will make up part of a group of 46 players invited to take part in the camp and will look to get invited to the pre-tournament camp set for Dec. 19-23 in Helsinki, Finland. The final team will be named from the pre-tournament camp.