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    February 15, 2023 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Liberty University ACHA Division I men’s hockey graduate defenseman Colin Baird and freshman defenseman Lazarus Kaebel will join junior forwards Jacob Kalandyk and Jason Foltz and senior forward Matt Bartel on the ACHA United States’ 23-man roster at the inaugural 2023 World Cup of University Hockey. The event is set for April 14-19 at the Felcsíki Ice Skating Rink in Cârța, Romania.

    “We are super thrilled,” Liberty Head Coach Kirk Handy said. “We’ve got seven players off our team going, which speaks volumes to the type of talent we have on our team, and I am excited for the guys. They have worked hard, and they deserve the opportunity. It’s the first time they’ve done that tournament but a similar setup to the World University Games. Our hope is they’ll take this opportunity and use the platform that God’s given them to make a difference.”

    Liberty leads all schools with five representatives on the U.S. team, while Adrian College — led by Head Coach Gary Astalos, who will also be at the helm of the U.S. Team — has four representatives. Arizona, Central Oklahoma, Indiana Tech, and Minot State (N.D.) each had two players selected and UNLV, Michigan-Dearborn, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Robert Morris (Pa.), and Roosevelt (Ill.) each have one representative.

    “We were in dialogue right from the beginning of the selection process and hats of to our guys,” Handy said. “They wanted to have guys who have played together and that was a big part of it. Gary (Astalos) does a good job at Adrian and he selected a great team.”

    Senior goalie Hunter Virostek and forward Brett Gammer will represent Canada at the World Cup.

    Meanwhile, Flames senior goalie Hunter Virostek and senior forward Brett Gammer will represent the ACHA Canada team, which features four players from No. 1-ranked Minot State and three from No. 4 Ohio, which Liberty hosts this weekend at the LaHaye Ice Center.

    Both the U.S. roster and the Canadian roster includes three goaltenders, seven defensemen, and 13 forwards. The U.S. team includes three graduate students, six seniors, six juniors, four sophomores, and four freshmen, including Kaebel, the fourth-leading scorer among ACHA DI defenseman averaging 0.96 points per game with 7 goals, 15 assists, and 22 total points in 23 games.

    ACHA Team United States will compete in Group A alongside Hungary, Sweden, and Slovakia, all from the European University Hockey Association (EUHA), with Group B featuring teams from Canada, Romania, Czech Republic, and Poland.

    All games from the 2023 World Cup of University Hockey will be streamed live.

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer

    The five Flames selected to the ACHA U.S. Team include (from left) Laz Kaebel, Matt Bartel, Colin Baird, Jacob Kalandyk, and Josh Foltz. (Photos by Kendall Tidwell)