Goaltender Isaiah Saville of Anchorage made the final cut for the U.S. national ice hockey team playing in the World Junior Championships that begin Thursday in the Czech Republic.
He’s the ninth Alaska boy in history to make the U.S. team for the world junior championships. The others are: Jeremy Swayman, 2018 (silver medal); Matt Carle, 2004 (gold medal); Joey Hope, 2002; Barrett Heisten, 1999 and 2000; Scott Gomez, 1998 and 1999; Ty Jones, 1998; B.J. Young, 1997 (silver medal); Brian Swanson, 1996.
One of three goalies on the 23-player roster, Saville carried West High to the state high school championship as a freshman before leaving Alaska to play junior hockey.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights selected Saville in the fifth round of last summer’s NHL draft. Currently he’s a freshman at Nebraska Omaha, where he is 6-5-2 with an .889 save percentage.
Saville and his U.S. teammates will be part of a 10-team field at the world junior tournament, which runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. The tournament showcases the world’s best players under 20.
The Americans have won medals at four straight tournaments, including a silver medal last season.