Air Force director of hockey Steve Miller will return as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation world junior championships in Buffalo Dec. 26, 2017 - Jan. 5, 2018, and will include the first ever outdoor game in tournament play when the United States takes on Canada at New Era Field on Dec. 29.
The entire coaching staff, including head coach Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State, returns after winning the 2017 gold medal. Miller has been a part of three NCAA national championship staffs, including once with Providence College (2015) and twice with Denver (2004, 2005).
In other news, Air Force hockey will host independent Arizona State Oct. 13-14, the Pac-12 school announced on Friday. The Sun Devils and Falcons split their nonconference series last season in Glendale.
The Sun Devils also travel to the area to face Colorado College in mid-December. CC announced its schedule earlier this month while Air Force typically does so during the summer.
Also, former Colorado College defenseman Gustav Olofsson is practicing with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild during the current Western Conference quarterfinal series versus the St. Louis Blues. Olofsson is on the Black Aces, the term used for practice-only players not officially on the Wild’s playoff roster, like former Tigers blue-liner Nate Prosser is.
Minnesota trails in the best-of-seven series by a 3-1 margin entering Saturday’s Game 5. The Blues have been sparked by former CC winger Jaden Schwartz with two game-winning goals and assist on another game-winner in the first three games.