UND's Pinto makes preliminary US roster
Pat Sweeney | Dec 9, 2019 AT 4:57 pm
Freshman Shane Pinto was named to the U.S. National Junior Team's 28-man preliminary roster for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship, announced today on NHL Network's NHL Now. Pinto becomes the second UND player to get selected for a WJC preliminary roster after sophomore Jacob Bernard-Docker was named to Team Canada's squad last week.
The team is coached by UND alum and current Minnesota Duluth head coach Scott Sandelin. He's assisted by St. Cloud State's Brett Larson among a staff of all NCAA coaches: David Lassonde (Dartmouth), Steve Miller (Ohio State) and Jerry Keefe (Northeastern).
Pinto, the top pick of the second round in last season's NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, has impressed in his first collegiate season. The Franklin Square, N.Y., native leads North Dakota in goals with eight and has 14 points (8-6--16) at the break. He's helped UND to a current 13-game unbeaten streak that has seen the Fighting Hawks vault all the way to No. 2 in both national polls with its sparkling 14-1-2 record.
The U.S. has medaled in four consecutive World Junior Championships (2019-silver, 2018-bronze, 2017-gold, 2016-bronze) for the first time in its history. Pinto will look to become the 24th UND player to compete on the U.S. team since 2000. The final 23-man roster is anticipated to be announced on Dec. 24.
*Bernard-Docker and Pinto are aiming to become the first UND players to play in the WJC since 2017 (Tyson Jost - Canada)
*UND has had 51 players all-time represent their respective countries at the World Juniors (37 U.S., 12 Canada, 2 Slovakia).
*North Dakota players have brought home 21 medals at the World Juniors.
*That total includes 12 golds, most-recently Rocco Grimaldi's winning 2013 U.S. team.