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Union's Gostisbehere makes Team USA preliminary roster for World Juniors (3rd update)

Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has made the 27-player Team USA preliminary roster for the World Junior Championships, it was announced Tuesday.

The World Junior Championships are Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia. Team USA's first game will be Dec. 27 against Germany.

The sophomore from Margate, Fla., has five goals and eight assists in 13 games. He is tied for second in the country in scoring among defensemen with an average of a point per game.

The 19-year-old Gostisbehere is one of nine defensemen on the roster. Jacob Trouba from the University of Michigan is the only returnee from last year’s squad. The other defensemen are Matt Grzelcyk (Boston University), Seth Jones (Portland Winterhawks of Western Hockey League), Jake McCabe (Wisconsin), Connor Murphy (Sarnia Sting of Ontario Hockey League), Mike Reilly (University of Minnesota), Patrick Sieloff (Windsor Spitfires of OHL) and Brady Skjei (Minnesota).

Gostisbehere likes his chances of making the final roster.

“But it’s not over yet,” Gostisbehere said. “I still have to prove myself when I get there, and that’s what I plan on doing. I can’t wait to get there.”

A third-round selection of the Philadelphia Flyers in June's NHL draft, Gostisbehere had two goals and two assists in four games during the U.S. National Development Camp in Lake Placid in August. During a 10-2 win over Sweden, Gostisbehere scored a pair of power-play goals and added an assist.

“I’m happy for him and his family,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “I know how much hard work it took growing up, especially coming from Florida. It’s been something he’s dreamt about, so it’s great to see that his reality has come true. I realize that it’s still tryouts, but it’s the next stage. That’s a compliment to him.”

Team USA will have a pair of training camps. The first will be Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown. The second will be Dec. 19-23 in Helsinki, Finland. The final 23-player roster will be announced Dec. 23.

Team USA coach Phil Housley and general manager Jim Johannson have been impressed with Gostisbehere.

“I really like his game,” Housley said during a conference call. “He has some great offensive flair. He makes a nice first pass. His defensive positioning is very, very solid. He’s a sophomore now. He has a little bit more experience, which is going to play an important role.”

Johannson said: “He’s a player that played well at camp. He’s off to a great start on a strong college team. The great experience he had last year collegiately getting to the Frozen Four has been building to this. He’s a player we expect to have success.”

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