Freshman forward Jake Dowell was added to the U.S. team for the World Junior Championship Monday. The competition takes place Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Finland and features the top players in the world under the age of 20.
Dowell joins Badger freshmen defensemen Ryan Suter and Jeff Likens on the 22-player Team USA roster. Dowell, from Eau Claire, Wis., leads the Badgers and all WCHA rookies with nine points in conference games. In 16 total games this season, Dowell has three goals and seven assists.
Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves will serve as the head coach for the U.S. team while former Badger assistant and current National Team Development Program coach John Hynes will serve as one of the assistants.
Badgers climb polls
Wisconsin's men's hockey team continued its assent in the rankings Monday, moving up four spots to No. 7 in both the USCHO.com poll and the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll. The Badgers (9-3-4 overall) have gone 12 consecutive games (8-0-4) without a loss after earning a tie and a win over Denver over the weekend.
North Dakota continues to hold the top spot in each poll. In addition to Wisconsin and the Fighting Sioux, three other WCHA teams are ranked in both polls: Colorado College (4 USCHO/4 USA Today/AHM), St. Cloud State (6/6) and Denver (10/10).
Wisconsin softball player drafted
Meghann Reiss has been selected in the National Pro Fastpitch league draft by the Colorado Altitude. A first baseman and catcher for the Badgers, Reiss was selected in the sixth round of the college senior draft with the 44th pick overall.
Northwestern second baseman Carri Leto was the only other Big Ten athlete selected in the draft, which took place Dec. 6
Reiss is entering her third season as a Wisconsin captain and holds a career .265 batting average.
"I was really excited to get the opportunity," Reiss said. "This is a great opportunity to promote our sport on a national level and to represent the University."
Colorado owns the draft rights to Reiss, but she is unable to sign a contract with the Altitude until her college eligibility runs out.
In addition to Reiss, current UW assistant coach Brandee McArthur has signed a contract to play for the Akron Racers of the NPFL. McArthur, a pitcher, has previously played professionally for the Ohio Pride of the Women's Professional Softball League. She led that league in strikeouts in 2000 and was an all-star selection in 1999 after graduating from the University of Pacific.
Badger poll rundown
Men's basketball - No. 19 ESPN/USA Today coaches poll/No. 23 Associated Press
Women's hockey - No. 5 USCHO.com/No. 5 USA Today/AHM