Gophers recruits selected for USHL All-Star game

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced today the roster for the 2004 USHL Prospects/All-Star Game, to be held at the Ice Box Arena on Feb. 3 in Lincoln, Neb. The Prospects/All-Stars Game roster is selected by the USHL in conjunction with the NHL's Central Scouting Service. Read more to find out what future Gophers will be playing in the big game.

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced today the roster for the 2004 USHL Prospects/All-Star Game, to be held at the Ice Box Arena on Feb. 3 in Lincoln, Neb. The game is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, Cardinal Sports Management, Volvo, The Hockey Company, USA Junior Hockey Magazine and Let's Play Hockey.

The Prospects/All-Stars Game roster is selected by the USHL in conjunction with the NHL's Central Scouting Service. On average, 30 percent of the 40-man roster is selected specifically by NHL Central Scouting. The roster is then split into two teams: Team USHL and Team World. Team USHL won last year's event, 6-1, with the University of Minnesota's Ryan Potulny claiming Most Valuable Player honors.

Representing the Cedar Rapids Roughriders and playing for Team World in the game is University of Minnesota recruit Derek Peltier, a Plymouth, Minn., native who will join the team for the 2004-05 season. Also playing in the game are Gophers recruits Mike Howe, of St. Cloud, Minn., and of the River City Lancers; as well as Gophers recruit Tom Pohl of Red Wing, Minn., and the Tri-City Storm.

"As always we are excited for our Prospects/All-Star event, but this one is special," said USHL President Gino Gasparini. "It's the 25th Anniversary of our league and these players will be a part of a unique commemorative celebration along with our guest of honor, the NHL's winningest coach, Scotty Bowman. It should be a great time and a great experience."

Headlining the 2004 roster is America's top Tier I goal scorer, Tri-City's 19-year-old Rastislav Spirko (Vrutky, Slovakia). Spirko follows in the footsteps of Gopher Thomas Vanek and Peter Sejna, fellow European stars whose development in the USHL included appearances in the league's Prospects/All-Star Game.

The top point getter in America's Tier I League, Danville's Bryan Marshall (Livonia, Mich.) will line up against Spirko as a Team USHL center. Marshall is one of three Danville Wings all-stars. The Tri-City Storm contributed the most players to the Prospects/All-Star roster with seven total.

Other notables named to the roster include Green Bay forward Nate Dey (Maplewood, Minn.), Des Moines forward Tom May (Eagan, Minn.), Green Bay forward Victor Oreskovich (Oakville, Ontario), Lincoln forward Evan Rankin (Portage, Mich.), River City forward Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo.) and Sioux City forward Blair Yaworski (Calgary, Alberta). Each of them was designated as an NHL Central Scouting Service ‘A' List Prospect in November.

The Lincoln Stars, hosts of the event, have quickly become one of the top junior hockey programs in the nation. Since the team's inception in 1996-97, the Stars have claimed two Clark Cups, symbolic of supremacy in American junior hockey, and launched nearly 70 players to the Division I college ranks.


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