Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coaches, staff announced for World Junior A Challenge

Contact: Carly Peters (
Thursday, October 16, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today announced that Mark Carlson (Ely, Iowa), head coach and general manager of the United States Hockey League's Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, has been named Team USA's head coach for the 2008 World Junior A Challenge, set for November 2-9 in Camrose, Alta. Carlson will be assisted by Todd Knott (Sioux City, Iowa), head coach and general manager of the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers, and Bliss Littler (Omaha, Neb.), head coach and general manager of the USHL's Omaha Lancers.

All games of the 2008 World Junior A Challenge will take place at the Edgeworth Centre. Team USA begins competition on November 4, when it faces Germany at 6 p.m. EST. Teams participating in the challenge include Belarus, Canada-East, Canada-West, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Carlson, has been the head coach and general manager of the RoughRiders since 1999 and has led the team to eight straight winning seasons and Clark Cup playoff berths. In the 2004-05 season, he led the RoughRiders to their first Clark Cup title in team history and was named USHL Coach of the Year. Prior to his time in Cedar Rapids, he served as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, his alma matter, and Northeastern University, where he earned a master's degree.

Knott, in his first season with the Musketeers, previously worked as the associate head coach for the USHL's Des Moines Buccaneers for three seasons, including during the team's Clark Cup title in 2005-06. Prior to his time in Des Moines, Knot spent two seasons with the Fargo-Moorhead Jets of the North American Hockey League after playing hockey at Bemidji State University.

Littler, in his first season with the Lancers, previously worked for the USHL's Tri-City Storm, where he was named USHL General Manager of the Year in 2003-04. His coaching career began in the USHL in the 2001-02 season with the expansion Topeka ScareCrows. Before the USHL, Littler appeared in four national tournaments as the head coach for the Billings Bulls of the North American Hockey League. A player and graduate of the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, Littler has coached at USA Hockey Player Development Camps, the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp and for the U.S. Junior Select Team in the Viking Cup.

Marc Boxer (Colorado Springs, Colo.), manager of youth and junior ice hockey for USA Hockey, will be the team leader for Team USA, while Darrin Flinchem (Indianapolis, Ind.), in his fifth season as equipment manager for the USHL's Indiana Ice, will be the equipment manager for Team USA. Dr. David M. Peck (Birmingham, Mich.) will serve as team doctor and Todd Kline (Waterloo, Iowa), in his 13th season as team trainer for the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, will serve as team trainer ... Carlson and Knott are both USA Hockey Level 4 certified coaches, while Littler is a Level 5 certified coach ... The roster for Team USA will be announced next week ... More information about the World Junior A Challenge can be found here.

Team USA 2008 World Junior A Challenge ScheduleNovember 2-9 - Camrose, Alta. - Edgeworth Centre
Time (EST)
Tue., Nov. 4
United States-Germany
6:00 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 5
Canada East-United States
10:00 p.m.
Thu., Nov. 6
Quarterfinal Game
6:00 p.m.

Quarterfinal Game
10:00 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 8
Fifth-Place Game
2:00 p.m.

Semifinal Game
6:00 p.m.

Semifinal Game
10:00 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 9
Third-Place Game

First-Place Game

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