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2022 Men's Olympic Notebook | Prepping For The Quarterfinal

By USA Hockey, 02/15/22, 6:05AM EST

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Follow along on Team USA's journey during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games

The 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games are taking place from February 3-20, 2022 in Beijing, China. Follow along on the journey with the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. 


2022 U.S. Olympic Men's Team

Team USA Roster

Team USA Schedule


Feb. 15 | Prepping For The Quarterfinal

Getting Set For Quarterfinal

After a well-deserved off day yesterday, Team USA was back to the rink for an hour-long skate early this afternoon on the training ice of the National Indoor Stadium. While the U.S. was practicing, their opponent for the quarterfinal game was being determined during a qualification game between Slovakia and Germany. In the end, Slovakia prevailed by a 4-0 count just as Team USA was departing back to the Village. The Team USA lockerroom has a couple of large TVs that provide access to all feeds from Olympic venues. Curling is regularly on in the U.S. room. Today upon arrival, the team watched the last part of the Beanpot final between Boston University and Northeastern, which connected to the TV via and HDMI cable from a team staff computer.

The Flag In The U.S. Locker Room

U.S. captain Andy Miele brought a special U.S. flag with him to Beijing that hangs in the Team USA lockerroom. Below is the text of the note that came with the flag.

Andy,

This is the flag that was given to me at grandpa’s memorial. I hope it will be a symbol of his love for country and the love of country for you during the Olympics. He would be so proud of you. Good luck. Love Grandma.

Miele’s grandfather enlisted in the Navy and served in both World War II and the Korean War.

Five Questions with Forward Nick Abruzzese

One person, living or dead, you would like to meet and why: Probably a former President of the United States, either George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Not only because of their recognition and their place in history, but to get the perspective of what they lived through and see the country through their eyes.

Favorite Winter Olympic sport other than hockey: Speed skating. Being a hockey player, obviously, skating is something that's really important and I think it’s as close to hockey you're going to get. Watching Apolo Ohno when he was in his heyday and hearing about his backstory was pretty cool, too.

Where were you when you found out you made the Olympic roster: My dorm room

Who’s your hockey hero/role model: My dad. He’s the one that got me into the game, the one who took me to all my games, took me all my practices, taught me how to skate. He's been with me really since day one.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given: Champions are made when no one’s looking.

Abruzzese Intro Video


Feb. 14 | Happy Valentine’s Day From Beijing

A Well-Deserved Day Off

Team USA had a well-deserved day off after playing three games in four days and earning the number one seed in the playoff round of the 12-team Olympic tournament. The U.S. was the only squad to win all three of its preliminary round games in regulation. Players and staff were following the Super Bowl, which started at 7:30 a.m. here in Beijing. Players also attended the Big Air competition this afternoon at Big Air Shougang in Beijing and planned to gather to watch the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team semifinal game against Finland, which started at 9:10 p.m. Team USA will practice at 1 p.m. tomorrow in preparation for its 12:10 p.m. quarterfinal game on Wednesday at National Indoor Stadium. 

Did You Know?

Team USA head coach David Quinn and assistant coach Scott Young played together on the 1986 U.S. National Junior Team in the IIHF World Junior Championship and helped the U.S. to a bronze medal, its first-ever medal in the event. The two were both first-round NHL draft picks, Quinn in 1984 by Minnesota and Young in 1986 by Hartford.

Photo Fun — Goalie Masks

Enjoy photos of Team USA’s three goalie masks, including Pat NagleStrauss Mann and Drew Commesso. The restrictions as to what can be on goalie masks are significant in the Olympics, so as you’ll see, the focus of the look lies firmly in celebration of country with all three netminders.

Fun With Family

Forward Brian O’Neill spoke with NBC after Team USA’s win over Canada on Saturday and enjoyed a special surprise.

Five Questions With Goaltender Drew Commesso

Favorite sport outside of hockey: I would say golf because in the summertime, I like to unwind and relax. I love spending time with my dad on the course and it's a sport that takes my mind away from hockey for a little bit.

An Olympian you would like to meet: Shaun White. I've played with him in video games growing up and I’ve watched him compete so many times and he's so amazing at what he does.

Who’s your hockey role model: My hockey hero would be Tim Thomas. As a kid, I always grew up going to games and watching him play and to see him get a Stanley Cup for the Bruins, for my hometown team was definitely awesome.

The best advice you’ve been given: Happiness is the key to success.

Best memory of your playing career: Winning the Five Nations tournament in Sweden with the USA Hockey Under-18 Team at the National Team Development Program.

Commesso Intro Video

Feb. 13 | Securing The No. 1 Seed

Behind 24 saves from Drew Commesso (Norwell, Mass.), Matt Knies (Phoenix, Ariz.), and Nathan Smith (Hudson, Fla.), the U.S. beat Germany, 3-2, tonight to close out preliminary round play in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and earn the top seed in the tournament headed into the playoff round.

The U.S. will meet the winner of the Slovakia-Germany game on Wednesday (Feb. 16) in the quarterfinal round at 12:10 p.m.

“I thought that was our best game of the tournament,” said David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team. “We played with speed, skill and tenacity against a very good German team.”   

Game Highlights

Photo Gallery

On The Move

The scene shifted today to the Wukesong Sports Center where Team USA faced Germany in the final game of the preliminary round. The training staff packed up the lockerroom at the National Indoor Stadium yesterday following the game and everything was transferred to Wukesong this morning. A handful of players skated at noon and then the trainers continued their preparation for the game tonight. After the game, everything was packed up again and moved back to the National Indoor Stadium.

Five Questions With Forward Kenny Agostino

Favorite Olympic Sport: Swimming. I was fortunate to be old enough to appreciate and enjoy the Michael Phelps era of the Olympics. Every time he was on the screen, it was absolutely electric and I think that's what really sparked my love for the swimming event.

Your favorite hockey moment: Winning a national championship with Yale. In college, winning the Frozen Four was always the top goal and to be able to be the first team for our school to do it, with your best friends on the team with your family and friends watching, it was a pretty special moment I’ll never forget it.

Favorite hockey player growing up: My favorite hockey player growing up was Mark Messier. The way he played and the leader he was on and off the ice stood out to me. Growing up a huge ranger fan, I had his poster on my bedroom wall and he was just the ideal role model in the game to have.

The person(s) who's helped you the most in your hockey career: My mom and dad. The countless hours my dad spent with me in our garage and basement working on my game, as well as the time and effort both my mom and dad gave to help me pursue this game and to play it at the highest level.

Something unique about you/your background that people might not be aware of: There is no hockey in the family background and my parents couldn’t skate.

Agostino Intro Video


Feb. 12 | Second Straight Win

BEIJING – Strauss Mann (Greenwich, Conn.) made 35 saves and captain Andy Miele (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) had a goal and an assist, as the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team skated to a 4-2 victory over Canada here today in preliminary round play of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. 

With the victory, Team USA moves atop the Group A standings with six points and one preliminary round game remaining tomorrow against Germany at 9:10 p.m.

“I thought we played a solid game overall,” said David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team. “We got out to a 3-1 lead, but when they scored that shorthanded goal, the momentum changed. We got a big goal to make it 4-2 and then killed off that two-man advantage. I told our guys to enjoy this, because they earned it.”

Game Highlights

Photo Gallery


Feb. 11 | Preparing For Canada

It was a short night for Team USA. After leaving the National Indoor Stadium following an 8-0 win over China at 12:30 a.m. local time, the U.S. was back at 11:15 a.m. to prepare for a 1 p.m. skate in advance of the next day's 12:10 p.m. tilt with rival Canada.

Defensemen Jake Sanderson joined Team USA for practice today after arriving in Beijing at 12:30 a.m. Sanderson was with the U.S. in Los Angeles for team processing starting on Jan. 30, but after one practice was put into COVID protocol and remained in L.A. until being cleared on Feb. 9.

Team Hosts

The U.S. has two team hosts that help navigate the language barrier and provide support with all team logistics.

Yuepeng Nan (English name Russell) is 20 years-old and born in Beijing, China. He is currently studying at Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing with a major in sports economics and management. He started playing ice hockey in 2005 and studied in the USA in 2015.

Chen Yang (English name Tony) is 25 years-old and is a recent Indiana University graduate with a master’s degree in athletic administration and sports management. He works for a basketball academy in Shanghai as an operation and marketing assistant.


Chen Yang (Tony) and Yuepeng Nan (Russell) pose for a photo during a short break.

Dr. Stuart - His Beginnings In Medicine And Olympic Journey

Dr. Michael Stuart from the Mayo Clinic is revered in the sports medicine world and is serving as the team physician for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Stuart, who is USA Hockey’s chief medical and safety officer, is also a key member of the International Ice Hockey Federation medical committee.

His Olympic journey and some favorite memories:
“I was the team physician for the men’s pre-Olympic tour in 1994. In 2002, I worked the Salt Lake Games in the Poly Clinic where we cared for athletes in all sports. And in 2010, 2014 and now 2022 I’ve served as the team physician for the U.S. men’s hockey team. The greatest memories are working with the team itself … the medical staff, the equipment staff, the players, the coaches …. I really cherish the opportunity to be part of the team. I’ve had the chance to be part of some very exciting moments, including winning a silver medal in Vancouver (2010) with Zach Parise tying the game late and unfortunately losing in overtime. In Sochi, we beat the Russians on their home soil. It was a very loud environment and a very exciting shootout with T.J. Oshie able to come through for us multiple times.”

His beginnings in sports medicine:
“I became interested in medicine actually in high school. I used to go into the operating room with my best friend’s father and watch him do surgery, so it’s always been a goal of mine. I had multiple orthopedic procedures dating back to my high school and college football days and after coming to Mayo Clinic to do my residency, I wanted to pursue sub-specialization in sports medicine. My practice involves pretty much patients from the age of 12 to 92 and I really enjoy taking care of taking care of a variety of different orthopedic conditions, but my real love is sports medicine.”

Five Questions With Forward Brian O'Neill

The person(s) who's helped you the most in your hockey career: My dad helped me avoid a lot of obstacles during my youth hockey career and made a few really important decisions that helped me develop properly. Without his support, I don't know if I would have had much of a hockey career.

One person you’d like to meet: I'd like to meet Joe Rogan. I think he's a fascinating and extremely smart person. It would be almost impossible to have a boring conversation with Joe.

What is something unique about you that people might not be aware of? I am a twin.

NHL team you followed most growing up: Philadelphia Flyers

Favorite Olympic sport outside of hockey: My favorite Olympic sport is short track speedskating. I got to see it up close and personal and at the 2018 Olympics and fell in love with it. The constant emotion definitely creates a unique atmosphere and a sport that's always exciting to watch.

O'Neill Intro Video


Feb. 10 | Finally Game Day

Pre-Game Skate

Team USA arrived to National Indoor Stadium this morning at 10:30 a.m. to get ready for a 12 noon pre-game skate on the training rink here. During a brief meeting in the lockerroom 15 minutes after arrival, head coach David Quinn went through what practice would include and then announced Andy Miele as Team USA’s captain and Steven Kampfer, Aaron Ness and Noah Cates as alternate captains. Miele is the first Michigander to serve as captain of a U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team.

What Does The Training Staff Do?

With a 9:10 p.m. game and a 12 noon pre-game skate, it’s a long day for the U.S. training staff, which includes equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Nate LaPoint; athletic trainers Stan Wong, Chris Mizer and Jason Hodges; and team physician Dr. Michael Stuart. The group had breakfast at the hotel, arrived at the rink at 9:30 a.m. and after practice took 90 minutes to head to the Olympic Village for a late lunch. Arriving back around 3 o’clock, the journey began to get the lockerroom set for the Olympic Broadcasting System to film at 5 o’clock. The first bus of players/coaches arrived at 6:40 p.m. and the second group 30 minutes later. Because of the distance from the lockerrooms to the ice, teams are using game-day lockerrooms, which creates an additional layer of work for the group. The game ended at approximately 11:30 p.m. and by the time the group headed back to the hotel, it was nearly 1 a.m. They’ll start again tomorrow in the morning to get ready for a 1 p.m. practice on Friday.

U.S. Men Shut Out China, 8-0, In Opening Game

Sean Farrell (Hopkinton, Mass.) had five points, including three goals, and Drew Commesso (Norwell, Mass.) recorded a 29-save shutout, to lead Team USA to an 8-0 win over China in the opening game of the preliminary round for both teams at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

“It was a good start for us and I thought we got better as the game went along with the third period being our best,” said David Quinn (Cranston, R.I.), head coach of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. “They’re tough to play against and hats off to them.”

Farrell’s five points were the second most for an American player in the modern era of the Olympics (1956-present) and the most since Bill Cleary recorded six points (4-2—6) on Feb. 24, 1960against Germany. His three goals marked the first hat trick since Phil Kessell scored three times against Slovenia on Feb. 16, 2014.

Commesso’s shutout was the first for a U.S. player in the Olympics since Ryan Miller made 19 saves on Feb. 24, 2010, in a 2-0 win over Switzerland.

USA vs. China Highlights

USA vs. China Photos

Five Questions with Forward Sean Farrell

What does it mean to be an Olympian: I watch the Olympics every time it’s on and it's just amazing to see all these athletes competing at the highest level. I think anytime that I’m able to represent the United States it's such an honor and something that I always look forward to, but at the Olympic level, especially it's really crazy and kind of unbelievable I'm really excited to represent my country and be with all the other athletes at the Olympic Games.

What’s your favorite Olympic sport: It would be between either snowboarding or speed skating. Shaun White's incredibly fun to watch and he's been a staple in the Winter Olympics forever, so my family will always be excited to watch him. I think speed skating is really cool as well, it's just crazy how fast those athletes go and how much control they have on the ice.

Best hockey moment: It would have to be winning the Clark Cup last year with the Chicago Steel. I think that was incredibly special for us coming off of a difficult year with COVID and having the previous season stopped. We went into the year with a lot of uncertainty, if we were going to able to play or even finish the season, then to be able to finish it off with a lot of the guys who I was with the year before when the season was cancelled, was something that was really special.

Someone you’d like to meet: I’d like to meet Tom Brady. I've been a huge Patriots fan my whole life so a large part of my childhood has been dedicated to rooting for the Patriots and being able to witness that many Super Bowl wins was awesome. Just to be able to speak with him about everything that he's done for the city of Boston and also pick his brain about how he's such an elite athlete and how he's so clutch in those moments.

NHL team you followed most growing up: Boston Bruins

Farrell Intro Video


Feb. 9 | Practice, Meetings & The Men’s Freeski Big Air Final

On The Docket Today

After breakfast this morning at the Village in Beijing, most players journeyed to watch the Men’s Freeski Big Air Final at Big Air Shougang and used terms like “sick and awesome” to describe the event. After returning back to the Village, the players had power play and penalty kill meetings and after a bite to eat, took the bus to the National Indoor Stadium to prepare for their 6 p.m. practice. The hour-long skate was the final tune-up – outside of a light skate in the morning -- for Team USA’s opening game against China tomorrow at 9:10 p.m.

The York/Parker Influence

While they’re not here in Beijing, the presence of Hall of Fame coaches Jack Parker and Jerry  York -- can be felt. David Quinn, head coach of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, both played for and coached with Parker. “I played for Jack until 1987 and came back to coach with him in 2004 and it was when I started coaching with him that I realized how big of an influence he had on me. He was a demanding coach, but he really cared about you as a player and was trying to help you be the best players you could be. Much of how I go about coaching was learned from Jack. He’s not only a mentor, but a friend.” 

U.S. players Marc McLaughlin and Drew Helleson currently play for Jerry York, the winningest coach in NCAA history, at Boston College. McLaughlin describes York as a coach that is amazing at building a team and culture within the team. “He carries himself so well both on and off the ice and it’s easy to understand why he’s the winningest college coach of all-time.”

Photo Fun - The Answer

The two members of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team pictured in “Photo Fun” from  yesterday’s Notebook were Andy Miele (left) and Steven Kampfer (right). The two are childhood friends. The photo was taken in Banff, Alberta, and was part of a larger hockey trip to Canada.

Five Questions with Forward Kenny Agostino

Favorite Olympic Sport: Swimming. I was fortunate to be old enough to appreciate and enjoy the Michael Phelps era of the Olympics. Every time he was on the screen, it was absolutely electric and I think that's what really sparked my love for the swimming event.

Your favorite hockey moment: Winning a national championship with Yale. In college, winning the Frozen Four was always the top goal and to be able to be the first team for our school to do it, with your best friends on the team, and with your family and friends watching, it was a pretty special moment I’ll never forget it.

Favorite hockey player growing up: My favorite hockey player growing up was Mark Messier. The way he played and the leader he was on and off the ice stood out to me. Growing up a huge Rangers fan, I had his poster on my bedroom wall and he was just the ideal role model in the game to have.

The person(s) who's helped you the most in your hockey career: My mom and dad. The countless hours my dad spent with me in our garage and basement working on my game, as well as the time and effort both my mom and dad gave to help me pursue this game and to play it at the highest level.

Something unique about you/your background that people might not be aware of: There is no hockey in the family background and my parents couldn’t skate.


Feb. 8 | Cheering on the Women

Cheering On The U.S. Women's Hockey Team

The players and staff of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team were at Wukesong Arena today to cheer on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team in their game against Canada. The team had the day off from practice, although Brian O’Neill and Scott Young jumped on the ice to shoot on netminder Pat Nagle. While the U.S. men are based at the National Indoor Stadium, they will play one game at Wukesong, that coming against Germany on Feb. 13. The team enjoyed dinner together to cap the day.

Robots

The hotel that U.S. team staff is staying at uses robots to make deliveries to rooms. One staff member yesterday was in the elevator alone from the lobby heading up to their room on the 28th floor when the elevator stopped on the 3rd floor and the robot got on the elevator. The robot asked for the staff member to make room in the middle of the elevator for it and then greeted the staff member while going up to the 17th floor. Upon departing the elevator, the robot said goodbye.

Photo Fun

Two members of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team are pictured here from their youth days. Who are they? Check tomorrow’s notebook for the answer.

Five Questions with Forward Andy Miele

One youth hockey coach (and team/organization) you'd like to thank: Craig Roehl with Little Caesars and Donnie Harkins when I played for him on Honeybaked, they both played different roles in my career at a young age.

Favorite Olympic sport outside of hockey: I like the downhill skiing races, I always enjoyed watching them compete at such a high speed and to me, I thought it was always such a dangerous sport, so I always had a lot of excitement watching that sport.

NHL team you followed most growing up: Detroit Red Wings

The best advice you’ve been given: Control what you can control because it’s easy to get lost in situations out of your control.

Other sports you played as a kid: Basketball, baseball and soccer


Feb. 7 | First Taste of Action

Scrimmage Today

Team USA and Team Canada played a controlled scrimmage this afternoon at National Indoor Stadium in preparation for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The Team USA net was shared by Drew Commesso and Strauss Mann. The teams played two 20-minute periods, with each team having one power play in each period. After a scoreless 40 minutes, then a five-minute three-on-three overtime period was played with Ben Myers and Nathan Smith scoring for the U.S. Strauss Mann did not allow a goal in the extra session and stopped two breakaways. Two Canadian players served as game officials. The U.S. will not practice tomorrow and have one final on-ice session on Wednesday before opening Olympic play against host China on Thursday.

Goalie Nation

Catching Up With Team USA Goaltending Coach David Lassonde

The influence of Team USA goaltending coach David Lassonde is far and wide and includes serving on NCAA Division I men’s hockey coaching staffs at five different universities – from East to West; to his full-time job today serving as USA Hockey’s national goaltending coach; and here in Beijing molding Team USA’s Olympic netminders.

Lassonde On His Two Biggest Influences – Dick Umile and Jeff Sauer

Lassonde says the two biggest influences on his career are Dick Umile, retired University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey coach and the late Jeff Sauer, who coached collegiately at the University of Wisconsin and Colorado College and was also a big influence in disabled hockey, including coaching the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team to gold in 2014.

“Coach Umile convinced Bob Kullen, who was the head coach at UNH back in the day, to give me a chance as a full-time assistant at UNH and I’m forever grateful for that,” said Lassonde. When I was at Wisconsin early in my career, Coach Sauer also had a huge influence and helped shape me into the coach I am today.”

It was Sauer who also got Lassonde involved in teaching and coaching at the Stan Mikita hockey school for the hearing impaired in Chicago each summer, something he first did in 1992 and has continued to do every summer since.

Career Journey

Lassonde’s collegiate coaching journey started at UNH in 1988 after his professional teaching career at Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire. He also spent time at the University of Wisconsin (1991-94) and Miami University (1994-97), before a second stint at UNH from 1997-2011. He then moved out West to coach at the University of Denver (2011-14), before spending six seasons at Dartmouth College (2014-20).

Lassonde said today’s goaltenders are as athletic and analytical as he’s seen over the course of his 35-plus year career and the way goaltenders have play the position has changed drastically. “When I first started, goalies played their angles by primarily staying on their feet and built their coverage of the net built from the top down.  Today’s goalies primarily build their coverage from the bottom up where they are more often in a lower athletic position with a greater reliance on athleticism and an ability to read plays.  The use of video has really revolutionized the game as well, particularly for goaltenders.”

Five Questions With Pat Nagle

Best memory from your own playing career: Winning states at midget major Belle Tire. It was the first time I had ever won something of significance in hockey. My entire family was there in support, I still have a photo of the celebration post game with all of them.

One person you’d like to meet: Buzz Aldrin, I have always been interested in space travel and what it would be like to go to the moon.

What is something unique about you that people might not be aware of: I am colorblind.

One youth hockey coach (and team/organization) you'd like to thank: Chris Coury with Belle Tire. He created a culture that demanded a lot out of everyone while still making it fun to show up at the rink everyday.

NHL team you followed most growing up: Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche.


Feb. 6 | Picture Day

Photo Day

Team USA had photo day ahead of practice today, including the official Olympic headshots for all players and staff at 2 p.m. Following a couple different versions of the team photo taken just after 2:30 p.m., including one with flags/pennants representing the college or university each player attended, various group photos were taken.

On The Air 

Matty Beniers and Brock Faber recorded a segment for the Olympic Zone, hosted by NBC News’ Sam Brock from the mixed zone in the Beijing Olympic Village. The program airs ahead of NBC’s primetime coverage in major markets across the U.S.

From Houghton Country Arena And Laurn Grove To Beijing

Team USA assistant general manager Marc Boxer and equipment manager Scott Aldrich grew up together in the small Upper Peninsula town of Hancock, Michigan – population approximately 4,500. Hancock is adjacent to Houghton, Michigan, which is the home to Michigan Tech University. The two went to the same elementary, middle and high schools and played on the same hockey, baseball, football and golf teams growing up. Their hockey careers included time spent at iconic venues like the Houghton County Arena, Dee Stadium, Laurn Grove and Calumet Armory. They’ve both worked at USA Hockey since the summer of 2003 and were also on the Michigan Tech athletic staff together from 1999-2001. And today the lifelong friends are Olympians and actively involved in helping the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team in their quest to win gold here in Beijing.

Practice

The U.S. got to practice on the competition ice at National Indoor Stadium for the first time today. NIS is the venue that Team USA will play all but one of its games at during the Olympic tournament. Team USA had its full complement of players on the ice for the second straight day, outside of Jake Sanderson who the U.S. remains optimistic will join Team USA later this coming week.

A Cake(s) For Cates

Following practice today, the team celebrated Noah Cates’ birthday in the U.S. time zone by presenting him with a couple of birthday cakes. Cates, who played at the University of Minnesota Duluth, was born on Feb. 5. Reviews of the cake were generally good, however, some thought the frosting wasn’t sweet enough.

Fun Men's Hockey Note Outside The Olympics

The NHL All-Star Game festivities took place in Las Vegas over the weekend and among those playing, the U.S. had 16 players competing, second only to the 17 from Canada. The next closest countries were Russia and Sweden, each with three.


Feb. 5 | Practice & Cheering On Team USA

Practice

Team USA had an hour-long practice at National Indoor Stadium on the training center ice. Players Andy Miele and Steven Kampfer, along with assistant coach Brett Larson were on the ice with the rest of their team after clearing COVID protocol. The U.S. is still without defenseman Jake Sanderson, who is in L.A. and hopes to clear COVID protocol next week.

Forward Noah Cates, who turned 23 today, was celebrated by his teammates at the outset of practice.

Special teams was a significant focus during the practice, which coach David Quinn summarized as up-tempo and extremely productive to the assembled media after the skate.

New Father

Brian O’Neill (Yardley, Pa.) is the lone member of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team with Olympic experience after playing in the 2018 Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea. O’Neill, who currently plays for Jokerit in the KHL (based in Helsinki, Finland), and his fiancé celebrated the birth of his first child – son Declan on Sunday (Jan. 30).

Fun Photo

While forward Andy Miele was in COVID protocol and could not join his teammates to march with the U.S. delegation in the Opening Ceremonies, he nonetheless was in full Olympic spirit, dressing up in his Ralph Lauren Opening Ceremonies uniform and watching from his apartment in the Beijing Olympic Village.

Supporting Team USA

The players attended the women’s 3000M speed skating competition at the National Speed Skating Oval this afternoon following their practice. The entire team is also planning to attend the U.S.-Canada women's hockey game coming up on Tuesday.

Accommodations For Team USA

The Olympic Village is always a unique and robust experience for athletes competing in the Olympic Winter Games.

In the Beijing Olympic Village (there are also two Olympic Villages in the mountains), each country’s delegation receives an allotment of apartments that are assigned to various sports by each nation’s NOC (National Olympic Committee), which in the case of the U.S. is the USOPC (U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee). Because of limited space, there is not room in the village for all athletes and team staff.

Athletes, rightfully so, take priority and the men’s hockey team has five, five-bedroom apartments for its 25 players and one five-bedroom apartment for staff. The rest of the team staff stay in a hotel.

The Village includes a massive dining hall that is open 24 hours a day and has a wide variety of food from around the world. The Village “mall” has a couple of other food options, including a KFC and Pizza Hut. The mall also includes a beauty salon which athletes can access free of charge.

The USOPC also provides an athlete resource center (ARC) for U.S. athletes that includes a place to hang out with snacks, televisions, computers and information services.

Five Questions with Forward Noah Cates

Take us through where you were when you found out you were selected to the Olympic Team: I was just hanging out one night when I got the call from general manager John Vanbiesbrouck and when he asked me to be a part of the Olympic team, obviously, it was really emotional and I was very excited. I just called my family, called all my friends and told them about the opportunity and they were also so excited for me so I’m very thankful for the opportunity and all the support that I have.

What’s the best book you’ve read: My favorite book is Atomic Habits, it's a book about personal development and building good habits and what it takes to be an elite level athlete or business person.

The best advice you’ve been given: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

What does it mean to be an Olympian: It means so much to me, with all the great history in USA hockey and to represent my country and all the great people in it and for the people in Minnesota, it's obviously a great honor and I’m really excited to represent my country in China.

NHL team you followed as a group: Minnesota Wild

Cates Intro Video


Feb. 4 | Day One in Beijing

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team arrived early this morning in Beijing after leaving Los Angeles on Feb. 2 at noon, stopping in Toyko for a four-hour layover after an 11-plus hour flight, and then landing in Beijing at 12:30 a.m. A total of 22 players and most staff were part of the group traveling from L.A. Note that Beijing is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone in the U.S.

Players Brian O’Neill, Strauss Mann and Brian Cooper traveled from Europe and arrived a day prior with O’Neill joining Team Finland’s travel party, going from Helsinki to Beijing. Mann and Cooper journeyed from Stockholm to Amsterdam to Beijing. Jake Sanderson was under COVID protocol and did not travel to Beijing but is expected to join the team next week.

Preparing For Player Arrivals

It wasn’t until 3:30 a.m. the U.S. training staff got settled into their living accommodations in Beijing and just four hours later they were up and headed to the National Indoor Stadium to unpack and get the locker room facilities arranged ahead of player arrivals at 11 a.m. The Olympic training staff is an experienced one and includes equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Nate LaPoint; athletic trainers Jason Hodges, Chris Mizer and Hall of Famer Stan Wong and team physician Dr. Mike Stuart. The training staff remained at the rink to complete set-up  following practice and departed the rink at 6 o’clock for a well-deserved meal and some sleep.

First Practice

The U.S. went through a quick 45-minute practice on the training rink at National Indoor Stadium. USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher, who arrived in Beijing today, was in attendance. Team USA was without three players, all in COVID protocol, including Jake Sanderson, who is still in L.A., and Andy Miele and Steve Kampfer, who are in Beijing. All three are expected to be cleared to play next week. Following practice, Straus Mann, Brian O’Neill, Matty Beniers and head coach David Quinn talked to attending media, including Harry Thompson, editor-in-chief of USA Hockey Magazine.

Day 1 Photos

Opening Ceremonies

Twenty three players were part of the Team USA delegation that marched in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games. The players gathered with the Team USA delegation at 4:45 p.m. and plenty of pictures were taken with the athletes dressed in their stylish Ralph Lauren garb. Ultimately the Team USA delegation left the Olympic village just after 6 o’clock on charter buses to head to National Indoor Stadium, which was used as a staging area for all Olympic athletes. While Andy Miele could not march because he was in COVID protocol, he was in the spirit of things dressed in his Ralph Lauren opening ceremonies gear and watching from his apartment in the Olympic village.

The L.A. Experience

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team (outside of players Strauss Mann, Brian Cooper and Brian O’Neill, whose journey to Beijing started in Europe), went through team processing in L.A., with arrivals on Sunday, Jan. 30; practices on Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 31/Feb. 1) and departure for Beijing on Feb. 2. Team USA practiced at the Toyota Sports Center, training facility of the NHL’s LA Kings. Daily COVID testing was part of the routine and members of the team also were presented with their extensive Olympic apparel package, including a Ralph Lauren experience to get fitted for the Team USA Opening Ceremonies uniform.

Five Questions with Defenseman David Warsofsky

NHL team you followed most growing up: Boston Bruins

One person you’d like to meet: I would love to meet Dwayne Johnson. He is so busy with his acting career and being a businessman yet finds time to be a family man. He is always giving back to his community and seems like a great role model for us all.

Plans after hockey (playing career): Would like to teach and train younger hockey players and use my experience playing to help kids achieve their own goals.

Describe yourself as a player: I would consider myself an offensive defenseman, but also take pride in my defense. I like to use my skating ability to create plays and get out of trouble.

Favorite Olympic sport outside of hockey: The ski and snowboarding halfpipe event. I look at those things and I’m pretty scared of heights so I don't even know how those athletes do it, but I always enjoy watching those and the heights that they push their bodies to and the tricks that they're able to do nowadays, it's pretty amazing.

Warsofsky Intro Video


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