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Bucs Represent at Hlinka Gretzky Cup

By Marin Tartaglia, 07/29/22, 9:45AM CDT


For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Marin Tartaglia


Friday, July 29th, 2022

DES MOINES, IA – Des Moines Buccaneers Head Coach, Matt Curley, former Buc forward (1989-91), Marc Boxer, Andrew Kuzma and Joe Gramer will be among those representing the United States at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer, Alberta beginning Sunday, July 31st, through Saturday, August 6th. 

The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is an annual invitation only under-18 tournament that has been held since 1991. The tournament was originally held in Japan as the Phoenix Cup before moving to Mexico City, British Columbia, the Cech Republic, and Slovakia. When returning to Canada in 2018, it was renamed the Hlinka Gretzky Cup to honor the late Ivan Hlinka and Wayne Gretzky. Group A of the tournament will consist of Sweden, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Canada. The United States are in Group B joined by Finland, Czechia, and Germany. The United States pre-tournament game will be played today, July 29th, at 12:00PM CST against Slovakia before the tournament officially begins on Sunday, July 31st. 

All Team USA tournament games will be broadcast on the NHL Network. Team USA will see Germany in the team’s first preliminary round of the tournament at 4:00PM CST this Sunday, July 31st. Monday, August 1st, the United States will take on Finland at 4:00PM CST. Team USA will face off against Czechia in Game #10, the final United States preliminary round game of the tournament, at 12:00PM CST on Wednesday, August 3rd. Semifinal game #1 will be held on Friday, August 5th at 6:00PM CST followed by Semifinal Game #2 at 9:30PM CST. Saturday, August 6th will bring the Third Place Game at 1:00PM CST with the Championship Game beginning at 5:00PM CST.

Andrew Kuzma, 17, of Naperville, IL completed his rookie season in the USHL in April of this past 2021-2022 season. Kuzma put up six points in 58 games with three goals and three assists. Prior to the USHL, Kuzma played one season with the Chicago Mission 14U AAA followed by one season on the Chicago Mission 15U AAA. At the USA Hockey BioSteel Boys Select 17 Player Development Camp, Andrew had four goals and three assists totaling seven points in seven games. 

Joe Gramer, 17, of Moorhead, MN was called up from the Buccaneers affiliate list to play in seven games this past 2021-2022 season. The Moorhead High School defenseman had 24 points in 31 games last season before coming to Des Moines. Gramer attended the 2021 BioSteel USA Hockey Boys Select 16 Camp last July. At the USA Hockey BioSteel Boys Select 17 Player Development Camp this year, Gramer had two goals and one assist totaling three points in seven games. Joe is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Bucs Head Coach, Matt Curley, will be on the bench as an Assistant Coach for Team USA. Before coming to Des Moines, Curley was the Head Coach at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. In his first season, he led the Seawolves to the WCHA playoffs with 10 Freshman playing an integral role on his team. Prior to arriving in Anchorage, Curley spent three seasons as a Head Coach of the world-renowned EC Red Bulls Juniors team in Salzburg, Austria. In his final campaign, he led the Red Bulls to the postseason in the Alps Hockey League with an overall record of 23-17. Curley spent the 2012-13 season as the Associate Head Coach with the Indiana Ice of the USHL. He started his coaching career with the United States National Team Development Program in 2010 after playing professionally for two seasons.  Curley has now been affiliated with USA Hockey for over a decade assisting both their National and International teams.

Former Buccaneer, Marc Boxer, will be representing the United States as Team USA General Manager. Boxer was with the Bucs from 1989-91 tallying 81 points in 62 games. He then went on to play in the NCAA at Miami University (Ohio) from 1991-95. Through 133 games in four seasons, Boxer had 91 points. The next four seasons were spent between the ECHL, CHL, Germany3 and WCHL. Since 1999, Marc coached in the NCAA for two seasons, has represented USA U19 as Team Manager and General Manager at the World Junior A Challenge eight times and coached at USA Hockey BioSteel Boys Select 17 Played Development Camps in 2020 and 2022. 

Speaking on the opportunity to coach and having players in the tournament, Matt Curley said, “any chance you have an opportunity to represent your country is an honor and being a part of the 2022 Hlinka staff is no different. It is humbling experience and am extremely grateful for the chance to take part. I am looking forward to the tournament and representing the Buccaneers on the international level. I am extremely proud of both Joe and Andrew on their opportunity to represent their families, their country and the Buccaneers at this summer’s Hlinka Tournament. They have earned the opportunity to take part in this great event by demonstrating their abilities on the ice and preforming at a high level. Both are outstanding young men of character and integrity and look to interracial pieces to this team’s success. I know Andrew and Joe will represent both their country and our program with pride!”


For more information about the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, visit


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The Des Moines Buccaneers are a member of the United States Hockey League, the only Tier 1 Junior Hockey League in the United States. The Buccaneers have played in the USHL since its inception in 1980, winning four Clark Cups and four Anderson Cups. 

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