Gionta, Bourque to lead Olympic Team USA in men's ice hockey

Gionta, Bourque to lead Olympic Team USA in men's ice hockey

Following the second period of Monday's NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres, U.S.A. Hockey announced the complete rosters for its men's, women's, and paralympic teams for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Only four come from the college ranks, ensuring the team does not mark a full return to the pre-NHL era when the last American team to win gold at the Lake Placid Games in 1980 in the "Miracle on Ice" were predominantly collegiate players.

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

It will be the first Olympics without National Hockey League players since 1994.

He is the only player in the squad to have previous Olympic experience, having played for the U.S.at the 2006 Games in Turin and is well aware the team has precious little time together to try and challenge for a medal in Pyeongchang. The U.S. lost the bronze-medal game to Finland in 2014 and got the silver at Vancouver in 2010. "There's a lot of great leadership on the team with Gionta being our captain." . The team's general manager is former Badgers forward Jim Johannson, Granato's Olympic teammate in 1988. United States of America took home Gold at that tournament in Nagano, Japan in a gold-medal game thriller over the Canadians.

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Tony Granato, who played at the 1988 Olympics and now coaches at Wisconsin, will be behind the bench in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the US seeks its first Olympic gold medal since the 1980 "Miracle On Ice" team.

Ryan Zapolski, who plays for Finnish-based Jokerit in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, is the only goaltender on the roster so far, with two more to be added later in January. Minnesota Duluth goaltender Maddie Rooney (Andover) and former UMD defenseman Sidney Morin (Minnetonka) also made the team.

The U.S. women's 23-player roster is led by six two-time Olympians, including captain Meghan Duggan of Danvers, Mass. Defenseman Cayla Barnes of Eastvale in Riverside County, a late addition to the team out of Boston College, is the youngest player at 18. Four others have played for Canada and one for Austria.

The NHL announced a year ago that it would not suspend its season to accommodate the Olympics, effectively blocking the league's top global stars from playing in South Korea.

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