Richards, Higgins to Play in World Championships

April 24, 2009

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Forward Christopher Higgins (Smithtown, N.Y./Montreal Canadiens/Yale University) and goaltender Alec Richards (Robbinsdale, Minn./Yale University) have been added to the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team roster it was announced today by USA Hockey.

The U.S. Men's National Team will compete at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Berne and Zurich-Kloten, Switzerland, April 24-May 10.

Higgins skated in 57 regular-season games with the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens in 2008-09 and collected 23 points (12-11). He added two goals in four playoff contests.

Having just completed his fourth season at Yale University of ECAC Hockey, Richards backstopped the Bulldogs to an appearance at the 2009 NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Championship tournament. Richards, who just signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks, finished the 2008-09 campaign ranked eighth among Division I goalies with a 2.06 goals-against average and 13th in save percentage at .923.

Both players will be making their first IIHF Men's World Championship appearance. Higgins previously represented the U.S. at the 2002 and 2003 IIHF World Junior Championships, totaling seven goals and five assists in 14 games.

Team USA will begin play in the 2009 IIHF Men's World Championship tomorrow at 10:15 a.m. EDT against Latvia. The United States will play two additional preliminary-round games against Austria (April 27) and Sweden (April 29) before the qualification round begins.

Universal Sports will provide both live streaming and television coverage of the 2009 IIHF Men's World Championship beginning with the quarterfinal round.

NOTES: The 2009 U.S. Men's National Team is under the direction of Brian Burke, general manager; David Poile, associate general manager; and Jim Johannson, assistant executive director for hockey operations at USA Hockey. The U.S. Men's National Advisory Group, which includes Burke, Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Johannson, Dean Lombardi (L.A. Kings), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh) and Don Waddell (Atlanta), is charged with leading the selection of players for the U.S. Men's National Team. Tony Rossi, vice president of USA Hockey and its international council chair, oversees all aspects of international competition for USA Hockey ... Ron Wilson, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is the head coach of the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team and the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. Scott Gordon, head coach of the New York Islanders, and Joe Sacco, head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, are the assistant coaches for the 2009 U.S. Men's National Team.

Release from USA Hockey