By Seth DeWitt
As the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) starts on Friday, four Phantoms will be participating in the tournament for their respective countries. Representatives from the team include goaltender Cal Heeter for the USA, forward Marcel Noebels for Germany and defensemen Erik Gustafsson for Sweden and Oliver Lauridsen for Denmark.
Cal Heeter, a 24 year old rookie from St. Louis, recently finished his first season with the Phantoms. He tied for first on the team in wins (12) with fellow goaltender Scott Munroe and recorded a .908 save percentage. He also spent part of the season with the Trenton Titans, the Phantoms ECHL affiliate, posting a 3-3-0 record. Heeter signed as a free agent with the Flyers last spring following his four-year career at Ohio State University. He will be joining Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) as goaltenders for Team USA.
Marcel Noebels, a 21 year-old fourth round selection in the 2011 draft for the Flyers, spent his rookie season with the Adirondack Phantoms and the Trenton Titans. In 41 games with Adirondack, Noebels tallied 13 goals and 23 points after tallying 11 goals and 19 assists during the first half of the 2012-2013 season. Marcel Goc of the Florida Panthers and Christian Ehrhoff of the Buffalo Sabres will be amongst those playing alongside Noebels on Team Germany.
Erik Gustafsson, 24, finished his fourth year in the Flyers organization after being signed as an undrafted free agent from Northern Michigan University. Gustafsson tallied five goals and 22 points in 39 games this season with Adirondack. After being recalled by the Flyers on April 3, Gustafsson appeared in 13 games where he recorded six points, had 23 SOG, blocked 11 shots and was a plus 7. He finished the season with three goals and eight points in 27 games with the Flyers. Jonas Enroth, Jacob Markstrom, HenrikTallinder, Loui Eriksson and Gabriel Landeskog from the NHL will compete with Gustafsson for Team Sweden in the tournament.
Oliver Lauridsen, the seventh draft pick in the 2009 draft for the Flyers, will be reunited with his brother, Markus on Team Denmark. Lauridsen scored two goals in the final three games of the season for the Flyers, including his first career NHL goal against the Boston Bruins in a 5-2 victory on April 23 at the Wells Fargo Center. In three seasons with Adirondack, Lauridsen has registered four goals and 13 points in 124 games.
The IIHF Tournament runs from May 3-19 in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. All Team USA games can be seen on the NBC Sports Network.
Team USA’s first game will air on Saturday, May 4 at 5:00 AM (EST) against Austria.
Stay tuned to our social media networks (www.facebook.com/ADKHockey) and (www.twitter.com/Phantomshockey) for updates throughout the IIHF Tournament.