Maddox Fleming and Isaac Howard got the call at almost the same time.
They couldn't wait to get back to their dorm room to celebrate.
"We've known each other for a long time," Fleming said. "We got the call during the day and when we got back to our room (Wednesday) night we were so excited, we were going crazy."
Fleming, a former Rochester Mayo boys hockey standout who now plays at Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, learned that he and Howard -- a native of Hudson, Wis. -- will get to wear a Team USA jersey for the first time in January.
They are two of 17 players who were named to the United States boys hockey roster for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. The Games are scheduled for Jan. 9-22, in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"It’s just unreal, to have USA on your jersey, and to represent the whole country, it’s insane," Fleming said. "It gives me goosebumps to think about it. I'm pretty excited; just to be picked is pretty cool."
Fleming is in his sophomore season at Shattuck, after scoring 33 goals and 84 points in two seasons at Mayo. He led Section 1AA in scoring as an eighth-grader with 15 goals and 39 points. He followed that with a 18-goal, 45-point season as a freshman, when he missed most of the second half of the season with a back injury.
Fleming transferred to Shattuck this year and is the lone 2022-graduating player on the Sabres' top team, the Prep Team.
"Right away, you get put on that team as a sophomore... it's kind of different here. That doesn’t’ happen too often," he said. "I really had to earn that spot and show why I deserved to be on the team and be an important player on team. Every day in practice I had to work really hard.
"I’m on the ice four hours a day -- you get as much ice as you want here -- and I knew I had to prove I wanted to work harder than anyone else."
Fleiming is fourth on the Sabres in scoring, with seven goals and 24 assists, for 31 points, in 22 games for 17-4-1 Shattuck. The Sabres play at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., this Friday through Sunday, before a week-long Thanksgiving break.
"Actually, at the start of the year it wasn’t comfortable at all," Fleming said. "I didn’t play well in our first two games, it was a huge adjustment. Everything was new, practicing every day, living away from home.
"But I couldn’t have wished it to be any different. It helped me so much, I realized it’s going to be different, that I had to work harder, earn my place, that I'm not given anything. It's been cool to earn the respect of the staff and the guys."
GOSSELIN NAMED ASSISTANT COACH
Rochester will have two connections on the U.S. team at the Youth Olympic Games.
Rochester native Guy Gosselin -- a former U.S. Olympian who now works as a USA Hockey ADM Regional Manager and lives in Grafton, Wis. -- will serve as an assistant coach for the team, alongside head coach Scott Paluch and assistant Kevin Reiter.
Gosselin, a 1982 John Marshall graduate, was the head coach of the United States' 2018 gold medal-winning Paralympic Winter Games sled hockey team. He was also part of the Paralympic team which won the 2012 world championship and also helped coach the 2014 gold medal-winning team.
He played four seasons at Minnesota Duluth, as well as professionally for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets (1988-1989), the AHL’s Moncton Hawks (1988-90), Sweden’s Skelleftea AIK (1990-93) and the IHL’s Kansas City Blades (1993-94).
Gosselin skated on three U.S. men’s national teams and played alongside Rochester native and youth hockey teammate Jim Johansson at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games.