Six KIJHL alumni will experience hockey’s international stage when the 2023 World Cup of University Hockey takes place April 14-19, 2023, in Cârța, Romania.
As part of the Team Canada coaching staff will be former Osoyoos Heat player Jeremy Law, who coaches the Missouri State University (MSU) Ice Bears. Law, a Penticton, B.C. native, is in his sixth year as the head coach of MSU and has made the playoffs each year, including their first trip to the ACHA Men’s Division I National Championships in 2018.
In goal for Team Canada are Noah Decottignies and Zach Wickson. Decottignies (Beaver Valley Nitehawks/Columbia Valley Rockies) plays for Adrian College, where he has won 22 of his 26 starts with a 1.43 goals against average and a .941 save percentage with five shutouts. Wickson (Sicamous Eagles) plays for the University of Las Vegas-Nevada and has won six of his nine starts.
On defence, Greg Susinski (Fernie Ghostriders) leads the University of Jamestown blueline with 24 points in 27 games. At forward, Drew Carter (Grand Forks/Osoyoos/Nelson/Princeton) has 33 points in 30 games for Minot State University. Josh Olson (Revelstoke/Sicamous/Princeton) is second on MSU with 27 points in 30 games.
“It’s a huge honour to be selected, representing your country is something you dream about as a kid,” said Susinski in a Jimmies social media post. “It’s going to be extremely cool to experience a new culture and will be something I will remember forever.”
An ACHA press release on the team says Susinski is part of a blueline that averages 6-1, 195-pounds and will look to wear its opponents down physically. Decottignies is top-five statistically in wins (20), games played (24), goals against average (1.51), and save percentage (93.9%), and will lead the trio of goaltenders whom all hail from Calgary
This is the second time in history that different collegiate hockey associations will compete in an organized international collegiate ice hockey World Championship. The associations are the European University Hockey Association (EUHA) from Europe; and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) from the United States, representing eight countries (USA, Canada, Romania, Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Sweden, Hungary).
The championship is about enhancing developing university hockey leagues, organizing sporting events, and sharing the structure and important aspects of student-athlete lives for those who want to successfully build their dual career.