Gionta named captain as U.S. unveils Olympic roster

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One current St. Cloud State men's hockey player and one former Husky were named Monday to the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Winter Olympics.

Under the direction of head coach Robb Stauber, who played for the University of Minnesota from 1986 to 1989, the 2017-18 U.S. Women's National Team has been centralized in the Tampa area training at Florida Hospital Center Ice in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games since September. The announcement came on Monday during second intermission ceremonies of the NHL Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field in New York City.

Veteran winger Brian Gionta will serve as captain of the U.S. Olympic hockey team at the Winter Olympics, which will be the first without NHL players since 1994.

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

Neither Team U.S.A.'s men nor women have won an Olympic gold medal in the 21st century.

Tony Granato, who played at the 1988 Olympics and now coaches at Wisconsin, will be behind the bench in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the USA seeks its first Olympic gold medal since the 1980 "Miracle On Ice" team. The 25-year-old won gold in the 2010 and 2014 Paralympics. Kendall Coyne, Lee Stecklein, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel made their second Olympic team.

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Two-time defending gold-medal-winning Canada is expected to announce its roster on January 11. The initial US roster includes the admittedly "semi-retired" Gionta, three players from the AHL in Bourque, Bobby Butler and John McCarthy, four from college and 15 now playing in leagues across Europe.

On Dec. 22, Canada named five former Badgers women's hockey players to its Olympic team: forwards Emily Clark, Sarah Nurse and Blayre Turnbull; defenseman Meaghan Mikkelson; and goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens.

Borgen is now a junior defenseman at St. Cloud State. "I hope we can celebrate the Pyeongchang Olympics like it's our own party". "Gio, of course, has experienced the Olympics before and will lead the 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.

Team USA began pre-Olympic play on October 22, going 5-1 out of the gate before losing four straight games -two decided in overtime - to perennial rival Canada, the four-time defending Olympic champion. Bob Johnson went on sabbatical in the 1975-76 college hockey season to coach the U.S.to a fifth-place finish and took three UW players - Steve Alley, Bob Lundeen and John Taft - along with assistant coach Grant Standbrook with him.

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