Two Hockey Players Invited to USA Hockey Summer Challenge
June 22, 1998
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Two members of the 1998-99 Boston College hockey team were among 55 players invited to participate in the 1998 USA Hockey Summer Challenge that will be held at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. from August 7-15.
The BC team members are sophomore forward Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute) and freshman defenseman Brooks Orpik (East Amherst, N.Y./Thayer (Mass.) Academy).
The 55 players will be divided into two U.S. teams (East and West), which will face national Under-20 teams from Finland, Switzerland and Sweden during the week-long, round-robin tournament. The summer challenge also serves as an evaluation camp for the 1999 U.S. National Junior Team.
Gionta, who led the nation's freshmen in scoring in his first year at Boston College (30 goals, 32 assists), is one of nine players invited to the challenge who played on the 1998 U.S. National Junior Team. The 5-foot-7-inch, 160-pound forward earned 1997-98 Titan All-America second team honors. He also captured HOCKEY EAST and New England Rookie of the Year honors.
Orpik, one of the nation's most highly-recruited players before signing with Boston College in November 1997, enjoyed an award-winning career at Thayer (Mass.) Academy. An All-New England defenseman, the East Amherst, N.Y. was a member of the US Select 16 Team that playing in Finland (1996) and the US National Under-17 Team.
The 1999 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on December 26, 1998 in Winnipeg, Canada.