US Olympic Hockey Team 2014: Top Stars to Watch on Men's and Women's Rosters

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 03: A member of the United States women's ice hockey team skates over the Olympic rings logo during a practice session ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 3, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The excitement surrounding the 2014 Winter Olympics is heating up, and the focus for many fans has shifted to the rosters for Team USA’s men’s and women’s hockey teams.

With some of the biggest stars in the sport coming together to defend the Red, White and Blue, the patriotism that will flow from the United States should help carry the teams to a deep run toward gold medals.

Here are the rosters for the men’s and women’s national teams and the top players to watch on each squad.

Here is the full roster for the men's Olympic team:

2014 Men's Olympic Hockey Roster
PositionPlayerNHL Team
D Cam Fowler Anaheim Ducks
D John Carlson Washington Capitals
D Paul Martin Pittsburgh Penguins
D Ryan SuterMinnesota Wild
D Kevin Shattenkirk St. Louis Blues
D Ryan McDonagh New York Rangers
D Brooks Orpik Pittsburgh Penguins
D Justin Faulk Carolina Hurricanes
F Joe Pavelski San Jose Sharks
F Zach PariseMinnesota Wild
F Derek Stepan New York Rangers
F Ryan Kesler Vancouver Canucks
F James van Riemsdyk Toronto Maple Leafs
F Dustin BrownLos Angeles Kings
F Ryan Callahan New York Rangers
F Paul Stastny Colorado Avalanche
F Blake Wheeler Winnipeg Jets
F David Backes St. Louis Blues
F Max Pacioretty Montreal Canadiens
F T. J. Oshie St. Louis Blues
F Phil Kessel Toronto Maple Leafs
F Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
G Jonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings
G Jimmy Howard Detroit Red Wings
G Ryan Miller Buffalo Sabres
Source: USAHockey.com

Here is the women's roster for the Sochi Games:

2014 Women's Olympic Hockey Roster
PositionPlayerCollege
GBrianne McLaughlinRobert Morris University
GMolly SchausBoston College
GJessie VetterUniversity of Wisconsin
DKacey BellamyUniversity of New Hampshire
DMegan BozekUniversity of Minnesota
DGigi MarvinUniversity of Minnesota
DMichelle PicardHarvard University
DJosephine PucciHarvard University
DAnne SchleperUniversity of Minnesota
DLee SteckleinUniversity of Minnesota
FAlex CarpenterBoston College
FKendall CoyneNortheastern University
FJulie ChuHarvard University
FBrianna DeckerUniversity of Wisconsin
FMeghan DugganUniversity of Wisconsin
FLyndsey FryHarvard University
FAmanda KesselUniversity of Minnesota
FHilary KnightUniversity of Wisconsin
FJocelyne LamoureuxUniversity of North Dakota
FMonique LamoureuxUniversity of North Dakota
FKelli StackBoston College
Source: USAHockey.com

 

Men’s Star to Watch: Zach Parise, Forward

ARLINGTON, VA - AUGUST 26:  Zach Parise poses after being named a candidate for the 2014 USA Hockey Olympic Team at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on August 26, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There are high expectations for the men’s roster in Sochi this winter, and the pressure of leading the national team will fall hardest on the shoulders of team captain and Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise.

Parise is in his second year with the Wild. The veteran signed with Minnesota after leaving the New Jersey Devils via free agency and has done a great job to help rebuild the franchise into a contender using his leadership abilities on and off the ice.

Add in his elite play in both the defensive and offensive ends, and it’s clear that Team USA is in good hands with Parise as the captain.

International hockey is far less physical than the NHL’s style—no fighting and less checking with fewer grinders on the playing surface—and that gives a talented forechecker like Parise the green light to be aggressive without the fear of retribution.

With the captain acting as a defensive shadow to the best players in the world, the hopes of a gold medal for the men’s team are not too far-fetched.

 

Women’s Star to Watch: Meghan Duggan, Forward

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 30: Meghan Duggan #10 of Team USA skates up the ice against Team Canada during a Sochi preparation game at the Air Canada Centre December 30, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

While Parise has stolen headlines as the captain of the men’s team, it is forward Meghan Duggan who will lead the women’s team as it looks to bring home the gold medal for the first time since 1998.

The women have won two silver medals (2002 and 2010) and one bronze medal (2006) since the team’s first and only gold-medal performance. Duggan wants to end that streak this year and bring honor back to the women’s national team.

Duggan is one of the best two-way forwards in the world, and her ability to keep the opposition’s top players from making an impact on a game is one of her biggest strengths.

While the competition this year is bound to be as fierce as ever, Team USA’s women are ready with a tenacious star like Duggan leading the charge offensively, defensively and emotionally.

 

*All stats and information via USAHockey.com and NHL.com.