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Nick Bjugstad & Kyle Rau Named To United States World Junior Team

USA Hockey announced their 22 man roster for the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships this morning and both University of Minnesota hockey players in camp made the cut. 

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Gopher teammates (and linemates) Kyle Rau and Nick Bjugstad will take part in the December 26th-January 5th tournament, which features the best hockey players under 20 in the world. They join fellow Minnesotans forwards Josh Archibald (University of Nebraska-Omaha/Brainerd) and defenseman Derek Forbort (University of North Dakota/Duluth). In addition, Minnesota Wild prospects Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle are also on the team.

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Rau has been a pleasant surprise for Minnesota this season. The freshman from Eden Prairie leads the nation in both goals (12) and points (22) after not being invited to the summer camp USA Hockey had in August. 

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Bjugstad, one of seven returning players from Team USA's 2011 bronze medal team, has been one of the top players in college hockey this season. The sophomore leads Minnesota with 27 points and is second in the nation with 16 goals. After scoring two goals and two assists last year, including an overtime winner against Finland, Bjugstad will be counted on as one of the Americans' top options.

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The full roster can be found here. Both Minnesota players will miss the Mariucci Classic December 30th-31st.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.