Four Notre Dame players have been invited to the U.S. Junior Camp (WSBT Photo)

Four Notre Dame players have been invited to the U.S. Junior Camp (WSBT Photo) (June 18, 2012)

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - Four members of the 2012-13 Notre Dame hockey team are among a group of 46 players that have been invited to attend the 2012 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp that will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., from August 4 through August 11.  All participating players are candidates for the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 5, 2013, in Ufa, Russia.

Attending the camp from Notre Dame are sophomore defenseman Robbie Russo (Westmont, Ill.) along with three incoming freshmen forwards - Thomas DiPauli (Woodbridge, Ill.), Steven Fogarty (Edina, Minn.) and Mario Lucia (Plymouth, Minn.).  Russo was an invitee to last year’s Evaluation Camp while DiPauli, Fogarty and Lucia are first-time invitees.

Russo is a 5-11, 186-pound defenseman who had a strong rookie season for the Irish in 2011-12. He was selected to the CCHA all-rookie team and was Notre Dame’s rookie of the year, as he played in all 40 games, finishing second on the team in scoring among defensemen with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points.  His 15 points were the most among CCHA rookie defenseman..  Russo’s puck-handling skills helped him become the quarterback of Notre Dame’s power play as all four of his goals came with the man advantage.  Russo is a product of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program and is no stranger to international play as he helped the national program to gold medals in the Four Nations, the Five Nations and the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championships during the 2010-11 season.  He was selected as one of the USA’s top three players by the tournament’s coaches in the World Under-18 championships as he had eight points (one goal, seven assists) in six games.  Last June, the New York Islanders selected him in the fourth round, 95th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

DiPauli is a 5-11, 188-pound forward who spent last season with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.  The talented playmaker is one of nine members of the USA Under-18 team that won the gold medal last April in Brno, Czech Republic.  In 55 games with the national program, DiPauli had 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points with 22 minutes in penalties. Of his 11 goals, one came on the power play and two were short-handed with one game winner.  He served as an alternate captain on the gold medal team, scoring one goal in seven games for Team USA.  DiPauli is the highest ranked player with ties to the Notre Dame hockey program going into next weekend’s NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, Pa., as he is ranked 81st among North American skaters.

Fogarty is a 6-2, 194-pound right-handed center who played last season in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) for the record-setting Penticton Vees.  The talented forward helped lead Penticton to a 54-4-2 record, the BCHL regular season and playoff titles and then the RBC Cup as the top junior program in Canada.  Fogarty finished seventh on the Vees in regular-season scoring, getting 33 goals and 49 assists for 82 points in 60 games.  Six of his goals came on the power play, four came short-handed and 10 were game-winning goals.  A native of Edina, Minn., Fogarty added four goals and four assists for eight points with a pair of game winners in the playoffs.  He was drafted in the third round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 72nd overall by the New York Rangers.  He is a product of Edina High School, the same school that produced current Irish left wing Anders Lee and former Irish captain Ryan Thang ‘10.  Lee and Fogarty were teammates at Edina in 2008-09. 

Lucia is a 6-2, 185-pound left wing, who spent the 2011-12 season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League where he was a teammate of Steven Fogarty.  The son of University of Minnesota head hockey coach and former Notre Dame defenseman, Don Lucia ‘81, Mario is a gifted scorer, who finished second on the Vees in scoring with 42 goals and 52 assists for 94 points.  He scored 14 power-play goals and added a pair of short-handed tallies with two game winners.  In 15 playoff games, Lucia added six goals and 10 assists for 16 points as Penticton went 54-4-2 in the regular season and was 12-2-1 in the post season on the way to regular season and playoff titles as well as the RBC Cup, as the top junior team in Canada.  Lucia has spent time with USA Hockey’s National Team Developmental Program, playing six games with the team in 2010-11, scoring three goals while helping the Under-18 Team to the gold medal at the Four Nations Cup in Sweden.  In early November of 2010, helped the U.S. Junior National Select team win the bronze medal at the World Junior A Challenge.  At the Challenge, he led the tournament in goals (4) and was second on Team USA and tied for third in the tourney with five points (4g, 1a) in five games. From Plymouth, Minn., Lucia played his high school hockey at Wayzata High School where his team advanced to the 2011 Minnesota 6AA Championship.  He was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 60th overall by the Minnesota Wild.

Since 1976, Notre Dame has had 15 players play in the World Junior Championships with Stephen Johns (Wampum, Pa.) and T.J. Tynan (Orland Park, Ill.) representing the Irish during the 2012 World Junior Tournament in Calgary, Alta.