USA Hockey Announces Rosters for the Olympics
Without the ability to pick from a generation of young American stars, USA Hockey is leaning on a longtime N.H.L. winger as captain and hopes a diverse roster can capture an Olympic medal.
At the Winter Classic in New York on Monday, Brian Gionta was named the Olympic men’s hockey captain as USA Hockey unveiled its roster for the Pyeongchang Olympics, the first games without N.H.L. players since 1994. There’s no Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel or Jonathan Quick, so the American men’s team is made up of Gionta, four college players, three from the American Hockey League and 15 playing in professional leagues across Europe.
Denver’s Troy Terry, Boston University’s Jordan Greenway, St. Cloud State’s Will Borgen and Harvard’s Ryan Donato are the N.C.A.A. players. Terry and Greenway helped the U.S. win the world junior championship last year.
“I get the opportunity to go over there and show everyone what I can do,” Greenway said. “I would have never been saying to myself I will probably be playing in the Olympics in my junior year of college.”
This isn’t a ragtag bunch of college kids like the 1980 “Miracle On Ice,” the last time the U.S. men’s hockey team won the Olympic gold medal. The goal was to build a team of varying talents that could compete with the two-time defending champion Canada and favored Russia, so much of the roster is seasoned.
With 1,006 games played over 15 seasons, Gionta, 38, has by far the most N.H.L. experience of the 23 players named. He put up 588 points for the Devils, the Montreal Canadiens and the Buffalo Sabres. He played for the U.S. at the 2006 Olympics and has been practicing with the A.H.L.’s Rochester Americans to stay in shape for Pyeongchang.
“It’s one thing I don’t have, I haven’t been able to achieve, is an Olympic medal,” Gionta said. “I would love to end my career with something like that.”
A total of 15 players on the roster have appeared in the N.H.L., including the A.H.L. star Chris Bourque and European-based forwards Mark Arcobello and Jim Slater and defensemen James Wisniewski and Bobby Sanguinetti.
“I think it’s a great mix of young talent and veteran players with a lot of international experience,” said Sanguinetti, who was a first-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2006. “Excited to get together in a month.”
Tony Granato, who played at the 1988 Olympics and now coaches at Wisconsin, will be behind the bench in South Korea. The Americans face Slovenia in its Olympic opener on Feb. 14. The U.S. lost the bronze medal game to Finland in 2014 and got the silver in Vancouver in 2010.
Ryan Zapolski, who plays for Finnish-based Jokerit in the Kontinental Hockey League, is the only goaltender on the roster so far, with two more to be added later this month.
The United States women’s hockey team will be led by captain Meghan Duggan, one of six two-time silver medalists, on a roster that features four other silver medalists from 2014.
Forward Alex Carpenter and defenseman Megan Bozek are 2014 silver medalists who did not make the cut from the national team, which has been training since September in Florida.
Goalies: Nicole Hensley (Lindenwood University); Alex Rigsby (Minnesota Whitecaps); Maddie Rooney (University of Minnesota-Duluth)
Defenders: Cayla Barnes (Boston College); Kacey Bellamy (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L.); Kali Flanagan (Boston College); Megan Keller (Boston College); Sidney Morin (MODO Hockey, Sweden); Emily Pfalzer (Buffalo Beauts, N.W.H.L.); Lee Stecklein (University of Minnesota)
Forwards: Hannah Brandt (Minnesota Whitecaps); Dani Cameranesi (University of Minnesota); Kendall Coyne (Minnesota Whitecaps); Brianna Decker (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L.); Meghan Duggan (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L); Amanda Kessel (New York Riveters, N.W.H.L.); Hilary Knight (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L.); Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (Minnesota Whitecaps); Monique Lamoureux-Morando (Minnesota Whitecaps); Gigi Marvin (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L.); Kelly Pannek (University of Minnesota); Amanda Pelkey (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L.); Haley Skarupa (Boston Pride, N.W.H.L.)