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Wildcats' McNeil headed to Ohio State

December 30, 2008

The Wichita Falls Wildcats have announced that second-year forward Jeff McNeil has committed to Ohio State University (CCHA) for next season.

“I’m extremely proud of Jeff's decision to commit to Ohio State,” said Wildcats head coach John Bowkus.  “He’s a great team player and one of our leaders.  He’s worked tremendously hard for this opportunity.”

An NAHL Top Prospects Tournament selection, McNeil, from Mulliken, Mich., has three goals for eight points after 25 games this season to go along with 68 penalty minutes.

In 2007-08, the 20-year-old scored eight goals for 17 points in 47 regular-season games.  He also racked up 117 minutes in penalties.

“Ohio State has done their homework and have committed to a first-class player on and off the ice,” Bowkus added.  “I wish him all the best."

Mahoning Valley Phantoms forward Brandon Saad, an NAHL Top Prospects Tournament selection, scored twice for Team USA as the Americans romped over Team Finland 12-1 on Day 1of the World Under-17 Challenge in Vancouver.

Saad - one of only two players outside of the U.S. National Team Development Program selected to play for Team USA at the tournament - also added an assist on a Nick Shore goal to capture the tournament’s scoring lead at the end of the first day with three points.

Mahoning Valley head coach Bob Mainhardt says that Saad’s inclusion on the national team is the latest in a long line of international accomplishments by the Phantoms.

“We’ve shown a great track record of getting our players as much exposure, nationally and internationally, as possible,” said Mainhardt. “This is our team’s fourth straight year of having a player represent us on Team USA at an international event, an accomplishment that no other team in the country can claim.

“Brandon is one of the very talented guys on our team and we are very proud of his play at the World Under-17 Challenge.”

After taking Tuesday off, Saad and Team USA return to action on Wednesday night when they tangle with Team Canada-Quebec at 10 p.m. EST.

 The Americans have won the silver medal at the last two World Under-17 Challenges, and have high hopes of capturing their first gold medal at the event since 2002.

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