Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Athletes With Local Ties Named to 2018 Olympic Hockey Rosters

Athletes With Local Ties Named to 2018 Olympic Hockey Rosters

Former Sabres Captain Brian Gionta headlines the list of the players who will represent the Untied States at the 2018 Winter Games, USA Hockey announced during the Winter Classic.

Duggan is the second player to captain the U.S. Olympic women's hockey team twice, joining Cammi Granato, Tony Granato's sister. 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.

Sabres prospect Will Borgen will join Gionta as a member of the U.S. Olympic team. "I would have never (thought I'd) been saying to myself I will probably be playing in the Olympics in my junior year of college". Still, the Olympic roster was announced during the second intermission of the 2018 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres - a roster featuring former National Hockey League players, future National Hockey League players and everybody in between.

Now Rah (44) will officiate in English at the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics. They weren't among the 23 players announced Monday; two goalies will be added later.

The most obvious choice for captain of the United States roster was forward Brian Gionta. While the event has typically featured the best players on the planet from across multiple leagues, the NHL's decision to keep their players out of the tournament has led to some controversy among players and fans alike. The initial American roster includes the admittedly "semiretired" Gionta, three players from the A.H.L.in Bourque, Bobby Butler and John McCarthy, and 15 now playing in leagues across Europe.

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Other newcomers to the Olympic team include defensemen Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, Emily Pfalzer and Sidney Morin, along with forwards Hannah Brandt, Dani Camaranesi, Kelly Pannek, Haley Skarupa and Amanda Pelkey.

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 USA team in December.

"I think until those Olympics start, you're going to feel a "wish you were there" kind of thing", said Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who also played in Sochi. US took home Gold at that tournament in Nagano, Japan in a gold-medal game thriller over the Canadians.

"Things look really good", US coach Robb Stauber said.

Alley, Lundeen and Taft were the first three of 18 Badgers players to skate for the U.S.in an Olympics. The team will also play Slovakia on February 16 and OAR on February 17.

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