to Lead U.S. Junior Team
Assistant elevated after Blais steps down
Duluth's Scott Sandelin was the 2004 Spencer Penrose Award winner
as the national coach of the year.
USA Hockey today
elevated Minnesota Duluth's Scott Sandelin to the position of head
coach of the 2005 U.S. National Junior Team, which will compete
at the 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Blais, the former
North Dakota head coach, stepped down from the position after accepting
a job as associate coach with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. Sandelin
had been slated to serve as an assistant coach on the team, along
with Boston University assistant coach David Quinn. Mike Hastings,
head coach and general manager of the USHL's River City Lancers,
was named assistant coach in Sandelin's place.
may also be a candidate to replace Blais at North Dakota as well.
it is unfortunate that Dean will not be able to serve as head coach
of the U.S. National Junior Team due to his new responsibilities
with the Columbus Blue Jackets, we are excited for him and his decision
to move to the National Hockey League," said USA Hockey Executive
Director Doug Palazzari. "Scott's impressive career as both
an assistant and head coach in college hockey has propelled him
to the top of his profession, making him an easy choice to take
over for Dean."
"I am very
honored to be asked by USA Hockey to coach the U.S. National Junior
Team and to represent our country," said Sandelin. "Following
last year's gold medal is a big task but I'm excited to work with
David and Mike on our coaching staff and, together with a talented
roster, we will shoot to hopefully duplicate those results."
completed his fourth year behind the bench for Minnesota Duluth.
In 2003-04 Sandelin led the Bulldogs to the Frozen Four, a school-best
28-13-4 record, and a second-place finish in the WCHA. Sandelin
was honored by the American Hockey Coaches Association with the
2003-04 Spencer Penrose Award as the national coach of the year.
Prior to joining
Minnesota Duluth, Sandelin served as Blais' assistant at North Dakota
for three seasons, from 1997-2000. During his tenure in Grand Forks,
Sandelin helped the Fighting Sioux claim two NCAA titles, three
WCHA regular-season championships and two WCHA playoff crowns.
on his coaching career, Sandelin played four years at North Dakota
and seven years of pro hockey. In 1985-86, his senior season, he
was a Hobey Baker finalist, captained the team, was an All-WCHA
first-team pick and a second-team All-American. He was named North
Dakota's MVP as well.
career included stints in the National Hockey League with the Montreal
Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota North Stars. He was
the second-round pick of the Canadiens in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft.
Sandelin also skated for Team USA at the 1984 IIHF World Junior
Championship, the 1986 IIHF World Championship and the 1990 Goodwill
completed his 10th year as head coach and general manager of the
Lancers. During that time he has won more games in the USHL than
any other coach, including the 2003-04 season, in which he guided
the Lancers to a 37-17-5 record, and a third-place finish in the
conference. In his tenure the Lancers have won the 2001-02 Anderson
Cup, Clark Cup titles in the 1997-98 and 2000-01 seasons, and a
USA Hockey Junior A National Championship in 2001.
as an assistant coach for the 2003 United States National Junior
Team, which competed in the 2003 IIHF World Junior Championship
in Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia, and finished fourth. Hastings
also guided the 2000 USA Hockey Junior Select Team to the United
States' first-ever gold medal at the Viking Cup in Camrose, Alberta,
and also led the team to a silver medal in 1996.
Minn., native played two seasons in the United States Hockey League
with the Austin Mavericks (1984-85) and the Rochester Mustangs (1985-86)
before moving on to St. Cloud State.
his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater. He
then accepted the job as assistant coach of the Lancers, and returned
to St. Cloud State as the assistant coach during the 1993-94 season.
At the conclusion
of the 2001-02 and 1996-97 seasons, Hastings was named both USHL
Coach of the Year and USHL General Manager of the Year. His .725
winning percentage is the highest in league history.
the coaching staff will conduct the U.S. National Junior Evaluation
Camp from Aug. 8-15 in Grand Forks. Seven members of the 2004 U.S.
National Junior Team are eligible to return next season. Team USA
posted a 6-0-0 record and earned the first gold medal for the United
States in the 28-year history of the event at the 2004 IIHF World
Junior Championship in Helsinki and Hameenlinna, Finland.