Tortorella debuts behind U.S. bench

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette will serve as head coach of the United States men's national team at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship.

He will be joined by associate coach John Tortorella, who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to their first Stanley Cup last June.

Tortorella will be fulfilling his first coaching assignment for USA Hockey, while Laviolette will be making his third appearance as a head coach. Laviolette lead Team USA to the bronze medal at last year's world championship and, because of the finish, secured a spot for the United States in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turino, Italy. He also guided the U.S. men's national select team to the championship of the 2003 Deutschland Cup in Hannover, Germany. Team USA went 3-0-0 and gained its first title in the tournament in just its second year of participation. Laviolette was also an assistant coach for Team USA's entry into the World Cup of Hockey 2004.

"We're greatly pleased that Peter and John have accepted the appointment to their respective positions and embraced the opportunity to guide this team in the world championship," team general manager Don Waddell said. "Both individuals are successful coaches who represent the integrity, character and leadership we have come to expect from behind our bench. They demand the most from their players and that will be evident in our style of play."