Kinesiology Sophomore Kevin Porter has compiled quite the hockey-playing resume this past year. Through 19 games of the Michigan season, Porter has already notched 10 goals, just one short of his total from last year.
Porter was selected to team USA at the World Junior Championships for the second consecutive year, and was pleasantly surprised when he was voted captain of the national team by his teammates.
In recent years, the United States has worked its way to international prominence with Porter and other Wolverines’ leading the way. Michigan junior Matt Hunwick and former Michigan goaltender Al Montoya led the American team to its first-ever gold medal.
The United States finished fourth in the tournament after losing a semifinal game against Russia and the third place game against the Czech Republic.
– James V. Dowd
To be named Captain for the World Junior USA Team was an amazing honor.
It started when Coach Walt Kyle called me into his office after practice only a few days before the tournament began to go over a few things. We talked about things such as line combinations, systems and who the leaders of the team were going to be. I was told that I would be expected to be a leader on the team and that I would most likely be either the captain or assistant captain.
Once the team arrived on Victoria Island (British Columbia), we had a five-day training camp. We just had regular practice on the ice. Some days we had two practices, but off the ice, we had a lot of downtime and played a lot of cards, hung out and watched movies.
On the day before we headed to Vancouver, the team voted for captains. When we arrived in Vancouver, I was called in to meet with Coach Kyle. This was when I found out I had been voted captain and that the assistants would be (Miami University sophomore) Nate Davis and (Minnesota freshman) Phil Kessel.
Even though I was told I might be the captain I was still very surprised when it came true. I couldn’t have been more happy at the time. Even though I wanted to call all of my family and friends to let them know, I was told not to tell anyone until it was announced to the team.
The responsibilities I took on were pretty simple for the most part, such as leading our team stretch, making sure everyone was up in the morning and at the team meals.
My on-ice responsibilities were to exchange pins and flags with the other teams’ captains and meet with the referees when needed.
Even though the tournament didn’t go as well as we had hoped, I was still extremely proud to represent my country and play with – and against – some of the best players in the world.