Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Five Michigan State Hockey Players Selected for WJC Selection Camps

Jack Moreland
MSU fifth-year forward Nicolas Müller (19) celebrates a goal against Lake Superior State with his teammates on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at Munn Ice Arena.

EAST LANSING – On Monday, Michigan State hockey announced that five players were invited to selection camps for a chance to represent their countries in the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championships.

Of the five Spartans, three have previously played in IIHF tournaments, including freshman goaltender Trey Augustine and junior forward Issac Howard for Team USA, and freshman defenseman Maxim Štrbák for his home nation of Slovakia.

“Trey, Isaac, and Maxim have already played in the World Junior tournament in previous years, and they know the pride that comes with pulling on your nation’s sweater,” MSU head coach Adam Nightingale said. “Playing for your country is an incredibly special opportunity, and one that should be celebrated.”

Augustine started six games for Team USA in the 2023 WJC tournament hosted in Canada, recording 122 saves, and a .891 save percentage as Team USA’s goaltender.

Though Howard has yet to make a World Junior appearance, he played in six games of the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where he recorded six goals and 11 points for the US, who won the silver medal.

Joining Augustine and Howard at the USA Hockey selection camp will be freshman defenseman Patrick Geary. Geary has three goals and three assists in six games for MSU. Camp for USA invitees will be held on Dec. 14-16 in Plymouth, Michigan, with the final roster expected to be announced on Dec. 17.

On Dec. 1, Maxim Štrbák was added to the preliminary roster for Team Slovakia. Štrbák captained Team Slovakia in the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, assisting on six goals in seven games, and also played in the 2023 WJC.

Another roster newcomer is freshman Tommi Männistö, who was invited in August to skate in the World Junior Showcase for Finland and has now been selected for Finland’s preliminary roster.

The tournament will begin on Dec. 26 and run through Jan. 5, 2024, with a series of exhibition games preceding. Sweden is the host of this year’s WJC, with games scheduled to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden split between two arenas. Finland is in Group A, whilst Team USA and Slovakia are in Group B.

Finland and Slovakia are set to play their first exhibition games against each other on Dec. 19, as the US will play Sweden. Round-robin tournament play will begin on Dec. 26.

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About the Contributor
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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