DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 23: Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save on Brendan Morrison #8 of the Calgary Flames as Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings defends during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on November 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford Getty Images)
Jimmy Howard and Justin Abdelkader will join Team USA in the IIHF World Championships in Sweden next month.
A day after the U.S. Men's National Under-18 team clinched their fourth consecutive gold medal, the older squad received some good news for their chances at the World Championships next month:
Howard led the 2002 U18 team to a Gold in Slovakia, earning himself Goaltender of the Year honors. He turned down an opportunity to play for USA in 2010 due to a hamstring injury.
In addition to Howard and Abdelkader, there are several Michigan connections on the team, including Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills), Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor), Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor), Nathan Gerbe (Oxford) and Jim Slater (Lapeer).
The tournament starts May 4.