Winter Olympics 2018: Hockey Canada announces leadership group

Garrett Roe: NHL disappointment opens door for Olympic glory

Garrett Roe: NHL disappointment opens door for Olympic glory

Winning the gold in women's ice hockey for the first time in 20 years will require reversing a four-game losing streak to Canada, accrued during a recent eight-game series, after the United States won the World Championship, in Plymouth, in March. Desjardins isn't concerned about that.

"This is a hockey tournament, " Stauber said after practice Thursday.

Canada's Olympic Men's team has revealed the names of their leadership group as they make their final preparations for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

The time difference between Olympics host Pyeongchang and many Canadian cities will mean the puck drops for some hockey games as early as 2:40 a.m. ET, the opening ceremony will land at 6 a.m. ET and some snowboarders and skiers will take to the slopes at 2 a.m. ET.

A top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, for the top women's collegiate player, last season, Keller won the Cammi Granato Award, named after Granato's sister, as MVP of Women's Hockey East in 2016-17.

Megan Keller, the rock-solid USA defenseman from Farmington, said she got increasingly eager this week, as she finished packing for the Olympics and boarded a plane bound for South Korea. The general manager of the Olympic team had watched games with Stauber, getting the chance to learn how he watches games and his vision for his teams.

Opportunity. Maturity. Rebirth. There is a thought that a good showing in Pyeongchang might earn some players a look from some National Hockey League team looking for some late-season depth on defense. I'm not sure I know anything better, so I know and I know what I see and I know what I believe in and I believe in our players, so I'm sticking to that focus. We all know how sports works. You see the ice better.

Both women's hockey powers will have an opportunity to size up their biggest competition in pool play, as they are set to meet in the final Group A game on February 15.

"The goaltending matters, too, in an event like this", NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire said.

"It doesn't matter where you're from", he says.

Among those medalists are six athletes who will be competing this month in PyeongChang.

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The Olympic squad that will represent the United States, in lieu of the National Hockey League pros who stocked the team in the past, is largely comprised of players who headed to Europe after their National Hockey League dream stagnated in the AHL and ECHL. "There's a lot of great hockey players".

U.S. defenseman Sidney Morin, who along with goaltender Maddie Rooney are the two players with Minnesota Duluth ties on the team, said Stauber's focus and determination are tough to miss.

As South Korea is not a traditional hockey hotbed - their current worldwide ranking of 19th is by far the lowest among Olympic teams, and barely puts them ahead of Hungary and Poland - even one victory would be seen as a surprise.

It's nearly time for the Americans, and Stauber, to prove what they can do. Americans Troy Terry, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Donato and Will Borgen are now playing college hockey.

"Somebody mentioned along the way that he started at USA Hockey the mentality was 'Let's go out there and not get embarrassed and try to compete, '" Gionta said.

"I don't really know how much of a boost we will really receive from the Olympics", he said. He knows the global game so, that's a strength.

For the men, it is a competitive situation closer to the "Miracle on Ice" of 1980 than in the five recent Winter Games in which the National Hockey League has participated.

Russian Federation and Canada are the odds-on favorites to win gold, so that goal would be to repeat American history. The 2002 and 2010 Men's teams also brought home silvers, their first medals since the Miracle on Ice.

More than 200 skaters were scrutinized in league play and some 100 given the opportunity to play under Desjardins' watch in worldwide tournaments.

Among those are guys who once laced up the skates for the Phoenix or Arizona Coyotes, ranging from players who played one game in the desert to those who were here for a large chunk of their careers. "It's fun to be a part of - fun to play (in)".

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