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Trio of UND recruits win gold at World Junior A Challenge

Andrew Strathmann, Jake Livanavage and Mac Swanson played on the U.S. team. Their assistant coach was former UND captain Matt Smaby.

UND recruits Andrew Strathmann, Jake Livanvage and Mac Swanson were a part of Team USA's gold medal-winning squad at the 2022 World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ont.
Submitted photo.

CORNWALL, Ont. — Three UND recruits are bringing a prize home for Christmas break.

Defenseman Andrew Strathmann, defenseman Jake Livanavage and forward Mac Swanson helped the U.S. beat Canada East 5-2 on Sunday to win the World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ont.

It marked USA's first gold medal in the event since 2018.

The U.S. team was comprised of all-stars from the United States Hockey League. Team USA's head coach was Eric Rud from the Sioux Falls Stampede. Its assistant coach was former UND captain Matt Smaby, now the head coach of the Waterloo Black Hawks.

Strathmann and Livanavage are expected to join UND's blue line next year.


Livanavage, who plays for the Chicago Steel, had three assists in six games for Team USA.

Strathmann, who plays for the Youngstown Phantoms, had a goal for the Americans.

Both Livanavage and Strathmann have signed their National Letters of Intent. They're both eligible for the NHL Draft this summer.

Swanson, the youngest player on Team USA's roster, also had an excellent tournament. The Fargo Force forward scored one goal and had five points in six games.

Of the top-four teams in the tournament — USA, Canada East, Sweden and Canada West — there was only one player younger than Swanson. Swedish defender Alfons Freij is 33 days younger.

Swanson is only a junior in high school and is projected to come to UND in the fall of 2024. He's not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2024.

The World Junior A Challenge — a tournament featuring under-20 players — has been frequented by future UND players.

The event has been held 15 times. A UND recruit has won MVP three times — Tyson Jost in 2015, Nick Schmaltz in 2013 and Mike Cichy in 2008.


The MVP of this year's event was Notre Dame forward commit Cole Knuble of the Fargo Force.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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