Yesterday's Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs truly lived up to its name. Nearly 106,000 people packed into Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on a cold, snowy New Year's Day to watch a tight hockey game won by Toronto, 3-2, in a shootout. But there was more to yesterday's event than the game. USA Hockey announced its men's hockey roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (Team Canada will unveil its roster January 7, followed by other national teams later this month.)
The lineup features a lot of familiar faces from the 2010 team, especially on the offensive side — nine of the 14 forwards competed in Vancouver. The defensive corps, however, is almost completely new. Only two of the eight defenseman played in the last Olympics. In goal, two of the three netminders played on the last US team. The newcomer is Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. That's him in the picture at the top of the page after the Winter Classic.
The American team that skates in Sochi will be looking to build on the silver-medal performance turned in by the 2010 squad. It's not the same team, that's true, but the core of is still there, and they'll be playing with a pretty big chip on their shoulder come Februrary.
"I think the group of guys who were there in Vancouver feel we've got some unfinished business," Blues captain and two-time Olympian David Backes told SI Kids in December. "I think there's a fire burning in each one of us."
Check out the full 2014 US Men's Hockey roster below. The players with a star next to their name played in the 2010 Games.
Jimmy Howard *Ryan Miller *Jonathan Quick
Detroit Red Wings Buffalo Sabres Los Angeles Kings
John Carslon Justin Faulk Cam Fowler
Washington Capitals Carolina Hurricanes Anaheim Ducks
Ryan McDonagh Paul Martin *Brooks Orpik
New York Rangers Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins
Kevin Shattenkirk *Ryan Suter
St. Louis Blues Minnesota Wild
*David Backes *Dustin Brown *Ryan Callahan
C, St. Louis Blues RW, Los Angeles Kings RW, New York Rangers
*Patrick Kane *Ryan Kesler *Phil Kessel
RW, Chicago Blackhawks C, Vancouver Canucks RW, Toronto Maple Leafs
T.J. Oshie Max Pacioretty *Zach Parise
C/RW, St. Louis Blues LW, Montreal Canadiens LW, Minnesota Wild
*Joe Pavelski *Paul Stastny Derek Stepan
C, San Jose Sharks C, Colorado Avalanche C, New York Rangers
James van Riemsdyk Blake Wheeler
LW, Toronto Maple Leafs RW, Winnipeg Jets
What do you think of the US team roster? Can they get back to the gold medal game and win the 2014 tournament? Share your opinions in the comments section below!
Photos: Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images (Jimmy Howard), Bruce Bennet/Getty Images (players)