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UNLV Hockey player makes Team USA roster for Winter World University Games

One of UNLV's skating Rebels is heading to the Winter World University Games to represent USA on the ice. (KSNV)

UNLV Hockey’s Jared Turcotte was one of 22 college hockey players from all over the United States to make Team USA’s roster for the Winter World University games that happen next month in Russia.

After three years in a Canadian junior hockey league, the California native came to Las Vegas last August to play for the UNLV Skatin’ Rebels of the American Collegiate Hockey Association or ACHA.

“It was kind of an easy choice,” said Turcotte. “It’s closer to home; the organization is kind of taking off right now.”

The Skatin’ Rebels are currently ranked tenth in the country in the ACHA’s top division, Division One.

Their roster is made up of players from nine different U.S. states and three different countries, said team general manager Zee Khan.

“Kids that may not find a home on an NCAA Division One roster, now they’re looking at the top end of the ACHA because there’s high level hockey still to be played,” said Khan.

Seven NCAA players and 15 ACHA players will represent the U.S. at the Winter World University games which are held every two years.

Turcotte is one of just three freshman to make the team.

“I think it speaks volumes to where our program is headed,” said Khan.

He said recruiting players like Turcotte only became easier with the NHL’s arrival less than two years ago.

The Skatin' Rebels get to practice at the very same place the Vegas Golden Knights do: City National Arena.

“They’ve developed a following, a passion for the sport, and it only helps our program as well,” said Khan.

The tenth ranked Skatin’ Rebels host sixth ranked Arizona on Friday and Saturday at City National Arena.

They also play their final three home games at City National next week.

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