Dec. 5, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Miami University freshman forward Austin Czarnik was one of just 29 players named to the U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster for the upcoming World Junior Championship, USA Hockey announced Monday. He will take part in the U.S. National Junior Team's camp from Dec. 17-23 in Camrose, Alberta while the 22-player final roster will be announced Dec. 22.
During the camp, the team will practice the first three days before facing Russia Dec. 20, Switzerland Dec. 21 and Slovakia Dec. 23. Should Czarnik make the final roster, he would then represent the United States at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta from Dec. 26, 2011 to Jan. 5, 2012.
Czarnik (Washington, Mich.) is one of 17 forwards on the roster, 12 of which currently play college hockey. He is one of 18 players on the overall preliminary roster to be suiting up for an NCAA team, but one of just four in the CCHA along with Michigan defenseman Jon Merrill, Notre Dame forward T.J. Tynan and Irish defenseman Stephen Johns. Czarnik is one of just four players on the roster that has yet to be drafted by an NHL team.
Czarnik has had a great rookie season at Miami, leading the team with 15 points on the year. His six goals tie for second on the team while his nine assists are tied for the team lead. His +7 rating is also tied for the team lead while he has played on both Miami's top power play and penalty kill units. Nationally, his 0.88 points per game ranks 10th among all NCAA freshmen while he is tied for seventh among all CCHA players with his 15 points, which is tied for tops among CCHA rookies.
Czarnik was named CCHA Rookie of the Month for November after tallying 10 points on three goals and seven assists. He has also twice been named CCHA Rookie of the Week this year and has five multi-point games on the year, including a career-best three points Nov. 12 vs. Michigan.
To be eligible for the National Junior Team, players must be under the age of 20. The complete roster is available here.