For the second time in two years a member of Miami University's ice hockey team will represent the United States at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. Sophomore goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (Chesterfield, Mich.) was selected by USA Hockey as one of 22 players who will represent their country from Dec. 26 - Jan 5 in Leksand and Mora, Sweden. Last year, Miami student Nathan Davis served as an assistant captain for Team USA at the tournament.
"It is a great honor to represent my country and I am guessing that the rest of the guys feel the same way," said Zatkoff. "Making the team was definitely something that has been in the back of my mind all season so there is a lot of excitement and relief at the same time."
Zatkoff boasts a 9-3-0 record this season with a 2.26 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. He has won six of his last seven starts.
The 2007 IIHF World Championship features top athletes under the age of 20 on international teams representing the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Belarus, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. The United States plays two exhibition games before opening the tournament versus Germany on Dec. 26. Team USA is in a pool with Germany, Canada, Slovakia and Sweden.
"We are very proud of Jeff and this is obviously a great honor for him," said Miami head coach Enrico Blasi. "With as hard as he has worked over the past two years to make himself the goalie he is today, this is definitely something he deserves and it should help him develop as a player."
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Zatkoff is one of two goaltenders on the roster for Team USA. Additionally, he is one of four players on the roster from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.