WICHITA FALLS, Texas – The Wichita Falls Wildcats will be without one of their most reliable defensemen for the near future, as Kristaps Bazevics has been named to the Latvian U20 national team. Bazevics is one of two players from the North American Hockey League selected to participate.
Latvia will compete in Division I, Group A of the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championships, which takes place from Dec. 15 through Dec. 21. This year’s tournament is being held in Sanok, Poland, with Latvia opening its slate of games against the host nation on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.
“We’re very excited that Kristaps has the opportunity to play with the Latvian junior national team,” said Wildcats head coach Paul Baxter. “We hope he has a great experience while representing his country.”
Bazevics, who is in his second season with the Wildcats, has appeared in 24 games for Wichita Falls this season. He has posted a goal and three assists in those contests, to go along with 57 penalty minutes.
The Riga, Latvia-native is the second Wildcats player chosen to represent his country in 2013, after Evan Cowley was selected to the United States U18 team for the Five Nations Tournament in February.
The Wildcats are on the road this weekend, when they travel to Hidalgo, Texas to take on the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with video streaming available on FASTHockey.com, and an audio-only broadcast available via Ustream.com.