The Arizona hockey team is heading into the final stretch off the season, but the most recent news took place off the ice. The team announced captain Anthony Cusanelli was named to Team USA for the upcoming World University Games. The games are set to take place in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, from March 2-12.
Cusanelli’s selection means he is the first University of Arizona hockey player ever to be named to Team USA. The games feature NCAA athletes as well as players from the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
The World University Games take place every two years, in both summer and winter, and are right behind the Olympics in international importance. Cusanelli said he feels wearing the Team USA colors will be an honor and spoke on what it means to be apart of the team’s legacy.
“The thought of wearing our nation’s jersey is almost overwhelming. I will do everything in my power to make Tucson and the University of Arizona proud. I am thankful for this incredible opportunity,” Cusanelli said.
Cusanelli adds another honor to his name and is showing why head coach Chad Berman elected to him to serve as the team’s captain for this season. The forward was the 2017-2018 ACHA Rookie of the Year, to go along with his earning Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year.
He was also named the Wildcats’ Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of last year. He is currently second on the team in scoring, behind forward Bayley Marshall. Cusanelli has certainly established himself as a household name in Tucson with his outstanding play on the ice for the Wildcats.
Berman spoke on what it means for Cusanelli and what it means for the Wildcat hockey legacy to have him on the USA team.
“It is the ultimate compliment to any hockey player to earn the opportunity to represent the United States for Team USA. Anthony’s skills are obvious, but it is the kind of person that he is that will also shine on the world stage. He will represent the University of Arizona in the best way possible. To say we are proud of him is not enough. Words cannot describe how excited we are at Arizona hockey,” Berman said.
Cusanelli has become an integral part of the team’s success this past season and is a big reason for why the ‘Cats find themselves at No. 6 nationally. He will miss the team’s final three regular-season games to attend the World University Games, but the team intends to have him back for the 2019 ACHA National Tournament. The tournament will take place March 21-26 in Texas.
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