2014 World Junior Championship: 8 Hockey East Players Make Final Roster for Team USA

John Gibson (left) led the United States to Gold last year. It is Providence's Jon Gillies (right) turn to shine in 2014. - Bruce Bennett

Malmo, Sweden -- USA Hockey finalized its roster for the 2014 World Junior Championship on Wednesday, and eight players from Hockey East will represent the red, white and blue in the prestigious tournament.

The number is double the total of any other conference in college hockey. Boston College leads the way with three selections, including freshmen defensemen Ian McCoshen and Steve Santini as well as rookie goaltender Thatcher Demko.

Notre Dame will have two representatives on the roster with the inclusion of Tommy DiPauli and Vince Hinostroza. Boston University will also have two players on the team. Danny O'Regan and Matt Grzelcyk are both returning players for Don Lucia's squad. BU recruit Jack Eichel also made the team as the youngest member.

Providence goaltender Jon Gillies could be the most important member of the team in determining how far the USA goes in defending the Gold Medal. The Calgary Flames draft pick is poised and confident to lead the Americans to glory.

Eight players represent over a third of the roster for the Americans. The NCHC and Big Ten each have four players represented while the WCHA has one. Two American Hockey League players made the cut as did two from the Ontario Hockey League. One player from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and Eichel from the US National Team Development Program also made the final roster.

The United States will open up its defense of the World Junior Championship Gold Medal on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Viewers in the United States can watch the game on the NHL Network or can stream the game online at NHL.com.

The USA is joined in Group A by Canada, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.

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