(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images North America)





Eriks Miluns, the head coach of the Latvian U20 national team, has named 31 candidates for the selection camps in Riga, Latvia, and Brooks, Canada.

The Latvians were promoted to play in the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship last year by winning in the Division I tournament. The Baltic nation will face Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Slovakia in Group A in Calgary.

27 players from European clubs will assemble for a camp in Riga from 14th to 16th December. 21 out of those players will travel to Canada where they will be joined by the four players from North American teams: Nikita Kolesnikovs (Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL), Teodors Blugers (Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, USA), Zemgus Girgensons (Dubuque Fighting Saints, USHL) and Kristians Pelss (Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL).

After the camp in Brooks the roster will be cut by two more players.

17 out of the 31 players come from Latvian clubs, most of them playing in Russian junior leagues with teams from the Dinamo Riga organisation. The other players are with teams in Sweden (3), Switzerland (3), Finland (2), the Czech Republic (1) and Russia (1).

Six returnees were on the team that won last year’s U20 World Championship Division I Group A in Bobruisk, Belarus.

Latvia’s U20 national team candidate list

Rihards Cimermanis, Juniors Riga (LAT/MHL-B)
Kristers Gudlevskis, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Elviss Merzlikins, HC Lugano (SUI U20)

Vladislavs Dudins, Olimpia Kirovo-Chepetsk (RUS/MHL)
Kristers Freibergs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Krists Kalnins, AIK Härnösand (SWE-3)
Nikita Kolesnikovs, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL)
Kriss Lipsbergs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Martins Mezulis, Rapperswil-Jona Lakers (SUI U20)
Kristaps Nimanis, Red Ducks Vaasa (FIN-3)
Arturs Salija, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Edgars Siksna, Liepajas Metalurgs (LAT/BLR)
Sandis Sostaks, Liepajas Metalurgs (LAT)
Pauls Zvirbulis, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)

Toms Andersons, SC Bern (SUI U20)
Arturs Birstins, HC Most (CZE U20)
Teodors Blugers, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School (USHS)
Maris Dilevka, Liepajas Metalurgs (LAT/BLR)
Zemgus Girgensons, Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)
Pauls Hodzko, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Vitalijs Hvorostinins, Vaasan Sport (FIN U20)
Nikolajs Jelisejevs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Nikita Jevpalovs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Edgars Klavins, AIK Stockholm (SWE U20)
Arturs Kuzmenkovs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Kristaps Legzdins, Syrianska/Armeniska Västerås (SWE-4)
Roberts Lipsbergs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Kristians Pelss, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Davis Straupe, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Kirils Tambijevs, HK Riga (LAT/MHL)
Juris Ziemins, Juniors Riga (LAT/MHL-B

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

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