While the USPHL was edging toward the holiday break, two players from the Elite division travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to appear on their countries’ national teams in the IIHF World Junior Championships.
Pavlo Naida took leave from the Portland Jr. Pirates to join Team Ukraine as they competed in Division I Group B in Dunaujavros, Hungary. Pavlo played in the team’s five games and had an assist in the match against Hungary, a 4-3 shootout win. The team finished second in the group with a 2-1-0-2 record. In 24 games with the Pirates, Pavlo has nine points (six goals, three assists).
Paul Cerda of the Richmond Generals traveled back to his native Spain to compete for the hosts of the Division II Group B tournament in Jaca. During the tournament, he netted a goal in Spain’s 5-1 win over Belgium and an assist in an 8-2 win over Iceland. Spain finished with a 4-0-0-2 record, finishing second behind Croatia in an outcome that was decided in the final game. Paul has split time between the Generals’ Elite and Empire squads, posting a 1-3-4 scoring line in 16 Elite games and a 1-4-5 scoring line in 8 games in the Empire Division.
Congratulations to Pavlo and Paul on their excellent representation of the USPHL with their national teams.