Terry primed for No. 1 vs. No. 2

Winger also on U.S. ju­nior team

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Terry Frei Terry Frei: tfrei@den­ver­post.com or @TFrei

Troy Terry is try­ing to avoid di­vided hockey at­ten­tions.

The Uni­ver­sity of Den­ver’s sopho­more winger will be on the ice for the Fri­day and Satur­day matchups be­tween No. 1ranked Min­nesota-Du­luth and the No. 2 Pi­o­neers at Mag­ness Arena. With eight goals and 14 points, he’s tied with Dyan Gam­brell as the Pi­o­neers’ thirdlead­ing scorer, be­hind se­nior de­fense­man Will Butcher, an Avalanche draft choice; and fresh­man cen­ter Hen­rik Borgstrom, who is ex­pected to miss the se­ries be­cause of an un­spec­i­fied ill­ness.

“For right now, my big­gest fo­cus has to be Min­nesota-Du­luth,” Terry said. “We know how good a team they are.”

Yet this week Terry also was named to the United States team’s pre­lim­i­nary ros­ter for the Dec. 26-Jan. 5 World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships in Mon­treal and Toronto. The team will have a train­ing camp in Buf­falo Dec. 16-20, and the ros­ter will be slightly pared, but Terry seems to have a good chance of rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try in the un­der-20 tour­na­ment. Only 16 for­wards were in­vited to the camp.

“You have guys com­ing from all dif­fer­ent ar­eas, all dif­fer­ent pro­grams, and most of the guys com­ing in are play­ing re­ally big roles on their teams now,” Terry said. “They might be thrown into roles with this team they’re not used to play­ing. I have to just do what I know and play a good two-way game. To go would be a big honor for me. It’s been a team and a tour­na­ment I’ve watched since I was lit­tle. To be able to rep­re­sent my own coun­try is pretty awe­some.”

Terry, a fifth-round pick of the Ana­heim Ducks in the 2015 NHL draft, at­tended the U.S. team’s evau­la­tion camp at Ply­mouth, Mich., in Au­gust.

“That was kind of the first taste of how im­por­tant it was to USA Hockey,” he said. “The em­pha­sis they put on it in the sum­mer, even a cou­ple of months be­fore the sea­son started, was pretty spe­cial to see.”

Terry has been in the na­tional teams pipe­line at least since he played for the U.S. un­der-18 team with the Na­tional Team De­vel­op­ment Pro­gram in Michigan in 2014-15, the sea­son be­fore he en­rolled at DU. What also seems re­mark­able now is that it’s not all that star­tling that Terry is from High­lands Ranch.

That’s a far cry from the preA­valanche era when a Colorado prod­uct in the Pioneer pro­gram was a rar­ity. Terry is a prod­uct of the pow­er­house Colorado Thun­der­birds pro­gram, and he was on the 16-and-un­der Tier I team coached by An­gelo Ricci that was the run­nerup in the 2014 na­tional tour­na­ment.

“It’s a feather in the cap for him,” DU coach Jim Mont­gomery said of Terry’s se­lec­tion to the WJC prel­lim­i­nary ros­ter. “The ded­i­ca­tion he showed this sum­mer in the weight room and what he’s done in be­com­ing a go-to guy for us, he’s earned that right. He’s got to make the team still, but we want him to make the team. Him rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try, play­ing in big mo­ments is only go­ing to help him help us, once we play in big mo­ments at the end of this year. These past four weeks is the most con­sis­tent hockey he’s played for us at both ends of the ice. He’s been re­ally dy­namic.”

If Terry makes the WJC ros­ter, he would miss one DU se­ries, against Prov­i­dence, Dec. 30-31, and then it de­pends on how far the Amer­i­cans ad­vance.

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