Over the weekend St. Cloud Norsemen defenseman Chase Cheslock got to participate in a game of hockey he won’t soon forget as he represented his country and played for the United States National Team Development Program Under 18s.
The USNTDP U18s squad had a road contest against Bethel University on Saturday and reached out to Cheslock to see if he’d be interested in joining them. “They texted and called me Wednesday and asked if I wanted to practice Thursday when they got to St. Thomas and I said ‘Yeah I will come practice,” Cheslock explains. “Then they had a few guys scratched and they called me Saturday morning asking if I wanted to play Saturday night, so that’s when I found out.”
Bethel University plays their home games at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN, where Chase and the Norsemen competed in the NAHL Showcase last month, and Cheslock had high praise for the team. “They’re very well coached and they have a lot of structure; the players are unreal at thinking the game. They have high hockey IQs,” compliments Cheslock. “The pace was probably around the same of an NAHL game but their ability to slow it down and make the right play all the time was something that I’ve never seen before and it was great.”
Cheslock, who wore #14 in the contest, and the USNTDP ended up falling to Bethel by a 4-2 final, but that didn’t spoil the evening for the Rogers, MN native. “It was a dream come true. You just dream about putting on those three letters U-S-A and when I finally did it felt amazing,” Cheslock admits. “It was an out of body experience; it was awesome.”
Chase is back in St. Cloud on Monday practicing with his Norsemen teammates, but he seemed to indicate the possibility of a reunion with the USNTDP at some point isn’t out of the question. “I thanked them after the game and they said they liked my defensive stick, it’s something that really stuck out to them,” confides Cheslock. “I told them I’d be following them and they said they’d be following me as well so I guess we’ll find out where that goes.”
Cheslock and the Norsemen are back at it this Saturday as they travel to Mason City to take on the North Iowa Bulls. That game can be seen online at www.hockeytv.com.
The next St. Cloud home contest is Saturday, October 29th, with tickets available online at tickets.stcloudnorsemen.com.