UNH Recruits Kelleher & Eiserman with Team USA at World U18 Championship
Tomorrow, April 18th, Team USA will begin its defense of the International Ice Hockey Federation World Under 18 Championship. This year, the tournament is being held in Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Team USA has won the gold medal four years in a row and 7 out of the last 11 years.
The World U18 will be of particular interest to UNH fans as two future Wildcats are on the Team USA roster - Tyler Kelleher and Shane Eiserman. Kelleher, a 5'6", 164 lbs. center for Team USA, has signed his National Letter of Intent to come to UNH next Fall. Eiserman, a 6'2", 196 lbs. left winger, is on target to enroll at UNH in the Fall of 2014.
In a preview of the tournament posted on "The United States of Hockey", Chris Peters - hockey writer, broadcaster and former Public Relations representative for the U.S. National Team Development Program - offered these summaries of their seasons:
"Tyler Kelleher — The NTDP’s leading scorer this year is going to be a key part of Team USA’s scoring attack in Sochi. At 5-6, 154, the size may seem like a concern, but once he gets going, it’s pretty clear 5-6, 154 are just numbers. No, he won’t push anyone around, but he’s going to be tough to catch and even tougher to hit. With good speed and creativity, Kelleher combines both to generate a lot offense and get to where he needs to be to score. His 26 goals and 52 points are both team highs for the U18s this year. He can be awfully exciting to watch with the puck on his stick. 59 GP, 26-26–52, 32 PIM."
"Shane Eiserman — Eiserman has good speed and skill to bring to the table to go along with a solid frame. At 6-2, 196, he’s tough to push around and has shown flashes of strong skills to create offense and get pucks to the net. At his best, Eiserman is tough to contain in the offensive zone and he can get to the middle of the ice well. Consistency is the key for Eiserman. His point totals weren’t overwhelming this year, but he should be able to create a little better within his own age group. He’ll be an intriguing guy to watch. 49 GP, 10-10–20, 37 PIM. Draft eligible in 2014."Team USA will face the U18 team from Russia on Thursday in the first game of the round-robin phase of the tournament. Team USA is in Group A along with Russia, Latvia, Finland, and the Czech Republic. Group B includes teams from Canada, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. Team USA will play one game against each team in its group. The four teams in each group with the most points at the end of the round-robin will advance to the playoff round.
Earlier this week, Team USA defeated Canada 4-1 in an exhibition game. Tyler Kelleher assisted on Team USA's first goal of the game.