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Brendan Mark ’23, blocking Slovakia's offense during Sunday night's international, is captaining Team USA.

Green Knights Face Off for Their Countries at 2023 Winter World University Games

Green Knight hockey players are playing for their respective countries this week at the 2023 Winter World University Games. On Team USA are forward Michael McChesney ’23 and defenseman Brendan Mark ’23, while forward Adam Stacho ’24 is playing for Team Slovakia. 

USA and Slovakia start the hunt in the same pool, so the men faced off against each other Sunday night in the 12-team tournament. 

This hat-trick appearance for SNC at the annual event is particularly special since it’s the first time a Green Knight has ever competed for Team USA. Mark was named team captain.

“To represent your country is a great honor and it is a no-brainer for them to participate,” says Coach Tim Coghlin (Green Knight Men’s Hockey). “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to play in an international competition.”

The tournament runs Jan. 11-22 and will be played in upstate New York arenas in Lake Placid, Potsdam and Canton. The group play preliminaries are currently taking place at Clarkson University’s Cheel Rink, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the medal round at Herb Brooks Arena on Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 21-22) in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The gold medal game will be broadcast live on ESPN.

The games to watch in group play
The United States defeated Korea 8-0 on Saturday (Jan. 14) before dropping a 5-2 decision to Slovakia on Sunday (Jan. 15). Slovakia posted a 14-0 win over Great Britain on Friday (Jan. 13), with Stacho scoring one goal and three assists for four points in the victory.

The United States and Slovakia were tied 1-1 after two periods before the Slovakians broke open the game with four third-period goals.

Slovakia finishes up group play at 1 p.m. today (Jan. 18). The United States, 2-1 in group play, plays Kazakhstan at 8:30 a.m. tonight (Jan. 18) and Hungary at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow (Jan. 19).

The Green Knights at the games
McChesney, a Dickinson, N.D., native, leads the Green Knights in scoring with nine goals and nine assists for 18 points in 12 games this season. In 67 career games, he has scored 24 goals and 27 assists for 51 points.

Mark, a Grand Rapids, Minn., native, has scored one goal and two assists for three points in 12 games this season. In 66 career games, he has scored nine goals and 18 assists for 27 points.

Stacho, a Trnava, Slovakia, native, has scored three goals and four assists for seven points in nine games this season. In 39 career games, he has scored 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points.

Hobart College coach Mark Taylor is the head coach of Team USA, while St. Norbert alumnus Mike Szkodzinski ’00 is one of the assistant coaches and will be working with goaltenders.

Return to U.S. ice
Team USA’s 23-player roster is comprised entirely of NCAA Division III players, the first time they have represented the United States at the World University Games. The games are conducted under the auspices of the International University Sports Federation and are being played in the United States for the first time since being held in Lake Placid in 1972.

Team USA and Team Slovakia are both in Pool B, which also includes Great Britain, Korea, Kazakhstan and Hungary. Pool A comprises Canada, Japan, Sweden, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Latvia.


NEWS UPDATE Jan. 22, 2022
St. Norbert College's Brendan Mark ’23 and Michael McChesney ’23 came away with silver medals after the United States hockey team prevailed through early rounds to meet Canada in the finals of the World University Games. Team Canada took gold after defeating Team USA a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Canada in the gold medal game played Sunday, Jan. 22, at Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Pacid, N.Y.

Jan. 18, 2023