Monday, 15 October, 2018

North Van's Elliott and Brule make Olympic hockey team

North Van's Elliott and Brule make Olympic hockey team North Van's Elliott and Brule make Olympic hockey team
Domingo Copeland | 12 January, 2018, 06:22

Team Canada has won three of the last four men's Olympic hockey tournaments - including the last two.

The other six names are Chay Genoway (North Dakota, '11), Cody Goloubef (Wisconsin, 2007-10), Andrew Ebbett (Michigan, '06), Chris Lee (SUNY-Potsdam, '04), Mat Robinson (Alaska-Anchorage, '09) and Karl Stollery (Merrimack, '12).

Team Canada announced its roster Thursday, which unlike in the past, doesn't contain any current National Hockey League players.

"These guys that are going to be named here today they earned it", general manager Sean Burke said.

Those heavy hitters will be bolstered by a core made up of KHL teammates who'll have the advantage of familiarity that, so often in history, has helped push European countries with domestic leagues ahead of Canada's non-NHL Olympians in the podium pecking order. He also played with the Rockford IceHogs for four seasons.

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As the brain trust of Canada's men's Olympic hockey team introduced its roster for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games on Thursday, there were repeated references to the squad's underdog character.

"A lot like other Canadians, they've managed to battle it and fight back", Desjardins said.

"We had all three at the Deutschland Cup ... and they've all had really solid years", said USA head coach Tony Granato. "There'll be a gold-medal effort and there won't be one guy that puts that jersey that this isn't the highlight of their hockey career and the highlight of their family's career". The Americans open preliminary-round play against Slovenia 7:10 a.m. ET on February 14, then take on Slovakia 10:10 p.m. February 15, followed by a 7:10 a.m. game on February 17 against Russian Federation. The organization announced on Thursday that Europe-based professionals Leggio and Maxwell will join Ryan Zapolski as Team USA's netminders in PyeongChang.

Forward Christian Thomas, a second-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2010 who is playing for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL, got the news he had made the team from his father, former NHLer Steve Thomas. Canada opens play in a group with the Czech Republic, Switzerland and host South Korea.

It could be an incredible story for these players; they could be Canada's heroes in this tournament and in this Olympics. The U.S. will be captained by 38-year-old Brian Gionta, who elected to take a year off from the National Hockey League to represent his country. The gold medal game for men's hockey at this year's Olympics will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25.

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