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      MTU's Pietila has chance for National Junior Team

      Courtesy: MTU

      USA Hockey has named Michigan Tech forward Blake Pietila (Milford, Mich.) to its preliminary roster for the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team that will play at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.Pietila is one of 27 players who will attend training camp Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. An additional camp will follow in Helsinki, Finland, with the final 23-man roster announcement scheduled for Dec. 23."It's an honor for Blake to be selected as one of only a few to represent the United States," said Michigan Tech head coach Mel Pearson. "Michigan Tech and our hockey program are very supportive of Blake's endeavors to make the team."Pietila is off to a strong start in his second season with the Huskies. The sophomore left wing has scored a team-leading eight goals this season with 10 total points in 12 games.A U.S. National Development Team Program product, Pietila took part in USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp last August in Lake Placid, N.Y. He is looking to become the first Huskies' player to participate in the IIHF World Junior Championship since Pat Mikesch and Liam Garvey represented the U.S. in 1993.Pietila will remain with the Huskies through their series with North Dakota Dec. 14-15 before joining the U.S. National Junior Team.