PRINCETON, N.J. – The ECHL is represented by 17 players on the rosters of teams in the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship Division I being played April 12-18 in Debrecen, Hungary and Eindhoven, Holland. Group A in the IIHF World Championship Division I features teams from China, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, Norway and Poland while Group B features teams from Estonia, France, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, and Romania. The top finisher from each group will earn promotion to the 2006 IIHF World Championship.
Six players who competed in the ECHL in 2004-05 are competing in the World Championships Division I, including Bakersfield’s Yutaka Fukufuji, who is competing for Japan. Fukufuji was 27-9-5 with a goals-against average of 2.48 and a save percentage of .919 in 44 games with Bakersfield. Representing Norway are Morten Ask of Las Vegas, Marius Holtet of Louisiana and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen of Dayton. Playing for Great Britain are Colin Shields, who played in 2004-05 with San Diego, Atlantic City and Greenville, scoring 32 points (9g-23a) in 62 games.
The 2005 IIHF World Championship will be played April 30-May 15 in Vienna and Innsbruck, Austria. Group A has Austria, Belarus, Russia, and Slovakia; Group B has Canada, Latvia, Slovenia, and the United States; Group C has Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and The Ukraine; and Group D has the Czech Republic, Germany, Kazakhstan and Switzerland.
Here is a list of ECHL players in the 2005 IIHF World Championship Division I being played April 12-18 in Debrecen, Hungary and Eindhoven, Holland.
Great Britain (4) – Paul Berrington (Columbus Chill, 1997-98), Jeff Hoad (Toledo, 1994-95 and Erie, 1994-96), Colin Shields (San Diego, Atlantic City and Greenville, 2004-05), and Joe Watkins (Bakersfield, 2003-04).
Hungary (1) – Levente Szuper (Peoria, 2003-04).
Japan (4) – Yutaka Fukufuji (Cincinnati, 2003-04 and Bakersfield, 2004-05), Kengo Ito (Charlotte, 2003-04), Aaron Keller (Peoria, 1996-97) and Takahito Suzuki (Charlotte, 2002-03).
Norway (3) – Morten Ask (Toledo and Las Vegas, 2003-04 and Las Vegas, 2004-05), Marius Holtet (Louisiana, 2004-05) and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Dayton, 2004-05).
France (1) – Laurent Meunier (Florida, 2002-03).
Italy (3) – John Parco (Hampton Roads, 1994-95 and 1999-2000), Justin Peca (Erie, 1994-95 and Mobile, 1995-96) and Andre Signoretti (Charlotte, 2000-01, 2001-02).
The Netherlands (1) – Mark Bultje (Erie and Huntsville, 1993-94 and Jacksonville, 1996-97).