Athletes With Local Ties Named to 2018 Olympic Hockey Rosters


Athletes With Local Ties Named to 2018 Olympic Hockey Rosters

Veteran winger Brian Gionta will serve as captain of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Winter Olympics, which will be the first without NHL players since 1994.

Both will compete for the Americans at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, from February 9-25.

That left players from European pro teams, players out of contract or whose deals are only for the American Hockey League, and collegians.

Cloud State's Will Borgen and Harvard's Ryan Donato are the NCAA players who should give the USA a shot of youth.

For the American players who won't be in the Olympics, the last few months have seen them work through their emotions about the League's decision.

There could have been 10 from UW in the Olympics, but forward Annie Pankowski, who has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining, was cut from the US team in December. Malone had been playing with the Iowa Wild, but a team spokesman said Saturday he is no longer with the organization.

And for a player like Eichel, who turned 21 in October, there's always the possibility the National Hockey League returns to the Olympics for the Beijing Games in 2022. Gionta echoed that Monday.

"When we found out we're going to be able to go to the Olympics, it's tough".

The Olympic men's hockey tournament runs Feb. 14-25, so Granato is expected to miss the Badgers' final four regular-season games: at home against Minnesota on Feb. 9-10 and at Ohio State on Feb. 23-24.

The South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises, codenamed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, are likely to be delayed as the DPRK proposed talks with South Korea about its participation in the Winter Olympics. Though players wanted to continue, league officials decided the potential rewards of playing in Pyeongchang did not justify the disruption caused by a 17-day break in the league schedule. "I've been fortunate to represent USA Hockey at other events". Its network of scouts evaluated about 100 players throughout the fall. A new generation of exceptional offensive players - like reigning rookie of the year Auston Matthews and Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel - was set to represent its nation for the first time on the Olympic stage.

Team USA began pre-Olympic play on October 22, going 5-1 out of the gate before losing four straight games -two decided in overtime - to perennial rival Canada, the four-time defending Olympic champion.



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