Athletics & Recreation / Magazine Feature

Two Pioneers hockey players join U.S. National Junior Team

University of Denver sophomore forwards Rhett Rakhshani and Tyler Ruegsegger were named to the 2008 U.S. National Junior Team. The announcement came Dec. 4 during the first intermission of the Detroit Red Wings-Montreal Canadiens game.

Rakhshani and Ruegsegger are among 22 players who will compete for Team USA at the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Tournament Dec. 26–Jan. 5 in Pardubice and Liberec, Czech Republic. 

Rakhshani played for the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. from 2004–06. He tallied the game-tying goal in Team USA’s 3-1 win over Finland in the gold medal game of the IIHF World Under-18 Championships in Sweden. Rakhshani has netted 10 points on three goals and seven assists in 12 games for Denver this season. Last season, Rakhshani led DU in assists (26) and finished third in scoring with 36 points. 

Ruegsegger is second on DU in scoring this season with 13 points on seven goals and six assists. In 2006–07, Ruegsegger netted 34 points on 15 goals and 19 assists. The tandem helped the Pioneers to their sixth consecutive 20-win season in 2006–07.

Juniors Chris Butler and Geoff Paukovich were the last Pioneers to compete for Team USA at the IIHF World Junior Tournament. Butler and Paukovich helped Team USA to a fourth-place finish at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Visit to view the complete roster and schedule for Team USA at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Tournament.

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