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USA Hockey | April 17, 2019

Scott Sandelin named head coach of 2020 U.S. National Junior Team

Minnesota Duluth wins back-to-back hockey titles

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Scott Sandelin (Hibbing, Minn./Minnesota Duluth), who last Saturday (April 13) led the University of Minnesota Duluth men's ice hockey team to its second consecutive NCAA national championship, has been named head coach of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team, it was announced today by USA Hockey on NHL Network’s “NHL Now.”

The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020, in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic. The United States will compete in Group B alongside host Czech Republic, Canada, Germany and Russia. Team USA and Group B will play preliminary round games in Ostrava, while Group A, which includes Finland, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Slovakia and Switzerland, will play its preliminary round games in Trinec.

“We're extremely pleased to have Scott leading our national junior team this coming year,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “He is a proven winner who takes great pride in representing our country and we look forward to building another team capable of winning a gold medal.”

CHAMPS: How Minnesota Duluth became back-to-back national champions

Sandelin has been a part of three previous U.S. National Junior Team coaching staffs, including as head coach in 2005 and as an assistant coach in both 2012 and for last year's silver medal-winning team.

“This is one of the greatest hockey tournaments on the calendar each year and it's an honor to represent our country as head coach,” said Sandelin. “Last year, we fell just short of our goal, so to have the opportunity to come back and get another chance at helping our country win a gold medal is exciting. The expectation for the United States in this tournament is to contend for gold and I'm excited to begin the process towards continuing the success those before us have established.”

The 2018-19 season, Sandelin's program-record 19th campaign behind the Bulldog bench, ended in celebratory fashion last Saturday as Minnesota Duluth became the first school since Denver in 2004 and 2005 and ninth school ever to successfully defend its NCAA national title. Since joining the Bulldogs in 2000-01, Sandelin has led the program to all three of the program's national championships (2011, 2018, 2019), making him just the ninth head coach in college hockey history to accomplish the feat. This year's title came on the heels of the program's National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Frozen Faceoff victory on March 23, the third conference tournament title under Sandelin (2009 WCHA, 2017 NCHC, 2019 NCHC). A four-time Spencer Penrose Award finalist and the 2004 recipient, Sandelin holds a 21-6 (W-L) record and .778 win percentage in NCAA Tournament play, the best of any active men's college hockey bench boss.


Prior to joining Minnesota Duluth, Sandelin spent six seasons (1994-2000) with his alma mater, the University of North Dakota, where he helped guide the team to a pair of NCAA titles (1997, 2000), three WCHA regular-season championships (1996-99) and two WCHA playoff crowns (1997, 2000).

Born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, Sandelin's four-year playing career with North Dakota was capped by a senior season in which the defenseman captained the team and amassed a career-high 38 points in 40 games to earn honors as team MVP, All-WCHA First Team, All-American Second Team and be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round, 40th overall, of the 1982 NHL Draft, Sandelin played seven years of professional hockey, including NHL stints with the Canadiens (1986-88), Philadelphia Flyers (1990-91) and Minnesota North Stars (1991-92).

Internationally, Sandelin skated for the United States on three occasions. After making his international debut at the 1984 IIHF World Junior Championship, Sandelin skated in the 1986 IIHF Men's World Championship before representing the United States at the 1990 Goodwill Games.

Take a look back at the sights and sounds from a historic Frozen Four

NOTES: NHL Network is the exclusive U.S. home of the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship … Assistant coaches for the United States will be named in the coming weeks ... The United States enters the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship having medaled in four straight World Junior Championships for the first time in U.S. history after earning gold in 2017, silver in 2019 and bronze in 2018 and 2016 … To date, the U.S. National Junior Team has claimed 12 medals, including four gold medals (2017, 2013, 2010, 2004), two silver medals (2019, 1997) and six bronze medals (2018, 2016, 2011, 2007, 1992, 1986) … For a full list of previous U.S. coaching staffs, as well as Team USA's all-time tournament roster and captains, click here ... For more information on the U.S. National Junior Team, click here … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams.

U.S. National Junior Team
Head Coaches & Results

IIHF World Junior Championship

Year Head Coach Record Finish
2019 Mike Hastings 5-0-1-1* 2nd
2018 Bob Motzko 4-1-0-2* 3rd
2017 Bob Motzko 5-2-0-0* 1st
2016 Ron Wilson 5-0-0-2* 3rd
2015 Mark Osiecki 2-1-0-2* 5th
2014 Don Lucia 3-0-0-2* 5th
2013 Phil Housley 5-0-0-2* 1st
2012 Dean Blais 4-0-3-0* 7th
2011 Keith Allain 4-1-0-1* 3rd
2010 Dean Blais 5-1-1-0* 1st
2009 Ron Rolston 3-1-0-2* 5th
2008 John Hynes 4-0-0-2* 4th
2007 Ron Rolston 3-1-2-1* 3rd
2006 Walt Kyle 3-3-2001 4th
2005 Scott Sandelin 3-4-2000 4th
2004 Mike Eaves 6-0-0 1st
2003 Lou Vairo 4-3-2000 4th
2002 Keith Allain 4-1-2002 5th
2001 Keith Allain 5-2-2000 5th
2000 Jeff Jackson 2-3-2002 4th
1999 Jeff Jackson 3-3-2000 8th
1998 Jeff Jackson 4-3-2000 5th
1997 Jeff Jackson 4-1-2001 2nd
1996 Jack Parker 3-3-2000 5th
1995 Jeff Jackson 3-4-2000 5th
1994 Dean Blais 1-5-2001 6th
1993 Walt Kyle 4-3-2000 4th
1992 Walt Kyle 5-2-2000 3rd
1991 Kevin Constantine 4-2-2001 4th
1990 Steve Cedorchuk 1-6-2000 7th
1989 Steve Cedorchuk 3-3-2001 5th
1988 Terry Christensen 1-6-2000 6th
1987 Dave Peterson 4-3-2000 4th
1986 Dave Peterson 4-3-2000 3rd
1985 Doug Woog 2-5-2000 6th
1984 John Perpich 2-5-2000 6th
1983 Bill Hasler 3-4-2000 5th
1982 Lou Vairo 2-5-2000 6th
1981 Lou Vairo 2-3-2000 6th
1980 Lou Vairo 1-3-2001 7th
1979 Lou Vairo 2-3-2000 6th
1978 Len Lilyholm 4-2-2000 5th
1977 Marshall Johnston 1-5-2001 7th


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