Zach Parise named captain of US hockey team

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm •  Published: January 31, 2014
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Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild will be the captain of the U.S. men's hockey team at the Sochi Olympics.

Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter and center Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings will be the alternate captains, U.S. general manager David Poile announced Friday.

The 29-year-old Parise was an alternate captain at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago, scoring the goal that sent the gold-medal game into overtime. He has experience on U.S. national teams going back to 2002, and he welcomed the chance to take a leadership role in his second Olympics.

"It's a special thing to be named captain of any team, but when it's a national team, an Olympic team, it's extra special," Parise said. "We've got a lot of players who are great leaders. I'm going to get a lot of help. I'm going to need a lot of help. It's very humbling."

U.S. coach Dan Bylsma said Parise's work ethic and no-nonsense playing style are exemplary of the attitude he wants for his team. The Americans aren't considered a gold-medal favorite, but a roster packed with NHL star power is expected to keep them in contention.

"We're a team that's got a blue-collar mentality, and Zach embodies that," said Bylsma, also the coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "Every time we play against Zach Parise, there has been a work ethic, a never-quit, a determination, an abrasiveness about a hard-to-play-against type of player. And it's every time regardless of the score (or) the situation our respective teams might be in. That is exactly how we want our team to play."

Parise's alternate captains have extensive leadership experience as well. Brown and Suter were both alternate captains to Jamie Langenbrunner on the U.S. team at the Vancouver Olympics.

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