While most college students are perfectly content spending their holiday breaks back home with family getting a long overdue home cooked meal, two members of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish hockey team spent their holiday breaks representing their countries on the ice.
While Andrew Peeke represented Team USA at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo, Jake Evans donned the Team Canada sweater at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland.
Sophomore defenseman Andrew Peeke was named to the Team USA roster trying to repeat as champions at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, this time on home soil in Buffalo, New York.
Representing the United States for the first time at the WJC, Peeke played in all seven games for the Americans, averaging 12:53 TOI. Peeke scored 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) and was a +1 for the tournament.
In one of the highlights of the tournament (or lowlights, depending on who you ask) Team USA took on Canada at New Era Field, home of the Buffalo Bills. The snow flurries that fell for most of the game provided a unique and picturesque backdrop, if less than ideal ice conditions, for this historic matchup and rematch of last year’s gold medal game. The game went to a shootout before the Americans won 4-3.
Ultimately Peeke and Team USA fell short of their goal, winning the bronze medal behind Team Canada (gold) and Team Sweden (silver). A bronze medal is still an incredible accomplishment for a player as young as Peeke, and the experience of the tournament should continue to serve him as a member of the Irish hockey team and a prospect for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
While we have a break in the action in Ann Arbor, congrats to sophomore defenseman Andrew Peeke, who earned a bronze medal today w/ Team USA at the World Junior Championship!— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) January 5, 2018
☘️ | pic.twitter.com/IwnyiABPVQ
The Spengler Cup, considered the oldest invitational hockey tournament in the world, consists of club and national teams from around the world.
Evans, the senior forward and Irish captain, played in all 4 games for the Canadians, but was held without a point in the tournament. Despite going scoreless, Evans left Switzerland with a gold medal, as Team Canada beat Team Switzerland in the Championship Match 3-0.
Despite the limited playing time and absence from the score sheet the experience in Switzerland should benefit Evans and the Irish as he leads them in their quest for another Frozen Four appearance and a National Championship.