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2014 WINTER OLYMPICS: Two Penguins named to U.S. hockey team

by LARRY LAGE AP Hockey Writer on January 02, 2014 10:50 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Bobby Ryan helped the U.S. to the silver medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Unless Ryan gets a spot for the Sochi Games to replace an injured player, he will not have a chance to help the Americans go for gold.

The U.S. Olympic hockey team was announced Wednesday after Toronto’s shootout win over Detroit in the NHL Winter Classic.

Ryan, who has more goals in the NHL this year than all but 10 players, was perhaps the most surprising omission on the 25-man roster. The Ottawa Senators star has 18 goals this season.

Two Penguins players will be on the U.S. team in Sochi: Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik, and the Americans will be coached by Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

With goaltending and grit, the Americans might have some assets to help them compete with the defending champion Canadians, along with the talented and extremely motivated Russians on their home soil.

The other U.S. forwards will be: David Backes, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk and Blake Wheeler.

John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter will be on defense for the Americans.

The three goalkeepers will be Jonathan Quick, Ryan Miller and Jimmy Howard.

Miller was named the Most Valuable Player of the hockey tournament at the Vancouver Games, but he wasn’t a lock to keep a spot because Quick, one of many players on the team who has been injured this season, has been perhaps the world’s best at stopping shots the past two years.

The Americans, who start Feb. 13 against Slovakia, expect to be a medal contender in Sochi after they were a goal away from knocking off the host Canadians in Vancouver.

Bylsma has been at ease publicly, saying he likes his team’s chances to win gold for the first time since the “Miracle on Ice” victory over the Soviet Union in 1980.

The U.S. women’s team was also announced Wednesday, with 11 returning Olympians on the roster.

Julie Chu, 31, is heading to her fourth Olympics. She’ll be looking for a gold medal to go with the two silvers and a bronze she’s already got. Canada has won the last three Olympic titles.

Also making the team was Amanda Kessel, who was named to the team shortly before her brother Phil, a forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs, earned a place on the U.S. men’s team.

Amanda Kessel, 21, was the top scorer in the NCAA last season with 101 points in 37 games while leading the Minnesota Golden Gophers to the national championship and earning the Patty Kazmaier award as the top player in NCAA women’s hockey.

The women’s team has seven defensemen, 11 forwards and includes three goaltenders: Jesse Vetter, Molly Schaus and Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle, all of whom have Olympic experience. The other players with Olympic experience include Kacey Bellamy, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Gigi Marvin and Kelli Stack. Former Harvard star Julie Chu is the oldest player at 31 and Lee Steckline the youngest at 19.

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