Fromer Sabres Captain Brian Gionta headlines US Olympic Team

Will Borgen

Photo Troy Terry, a forward for the University of Denver, is among four college players to be named to the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team.

Four players with Western New York connections are playing in the 2018 Olympics, USA Hockey announced Monday. Every kid dreams of playing in the Olympics and I'm the same way.

Gionta, 38, put up 588 points in 1,006 regular-season games over 15 N.H.L. seasons for the Devils, the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

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The U.S. women's Olympic team is leaning on 13 newcomers as the Americans head to the Pyeongchang Games trying to end a 20-year gold medal drought. It just so happens that he is one of, if not the, most important player on the roster. The team was revealed Monday afternoon during intermission of the Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers. It was unknown if the 2010 Olympic Champion would vie for a spot on her fourth Winter Olympic Team, but her gold and silver medal at Copper Mountain confirmed she will aim to wear the green and gold at PyeongChang next month.

The final two BC players on 2018 United States of America.




Gionta, who played three seasons with the Blue and Gold from 2014-2017, spent time practicing with the Rochester Americans in October to prepare for global competition before heading overseas.

Zapolski, 31, is now a goalie for Jokerit (Helsinki, Finland) of the Kontinental Hockey League, which is an global professional ice hockey league.

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.

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 U.S. team is coached by former Gophers goaltender Robb Stauber of Medina.

However, neighbours Canada have been given the number one seeding. Forward Rene Bourque, who's playing in Sweden after a 12-year National Hockey League career, has been a part of Canada's team in two worldwide tournaments this season. Carpenter also played at the Sochi Olympics and scored a team-high four goals.

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