Training camp for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team got underway Sunday night at the University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena. A number of players traveling from the East Coast were delayed due to weather, which pushed the start of practice back.
Head Coach Don Lucia put Team USA through high-speed drills for just over an hour, acclimating the coaches and players with each other once again. Of the 29 players (17 forwards, nine defensemen, three goalies) in camp, 25 were in Lake Placid in August at the National Junior Evaluation Camp. Finding chemistry among the forward lines and defensive pairings is a primary focus in the early stages of camp.
Monday (Dec. 16) will be a critical day with a pair of practices. The coaching staff will implement some of Team USA's systems. They will be looking for players who can play an aggressive, up-tempo brand of hockey, one that is disruptive and hard to play against.