Slovenia announced its first Olympic men’s hockey team Monday, becoming the second country to name its 25-man roster after the U.S.
It is led by Los Angeles Kings sniper Anze Kopitar, whose father, Matjaz, is the head coach. Younger brother Gasper, 21, did not make the team despite playing at the 2013 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Slovenia beat Belarus, Ukraine and Denmark to make it to Sochi as the lowest-ranked team (17th) in the 12-nation field.
Slovenia is not expected to have much success in its first Olympic hockey tournament.
Its highest finish at the World Championships is 13th. It’s grouped with medal contenders Russia, the U.S. and Slovakia in Sochi.
“The guys did a tremendous job in qualifying, beating out some very good teams,” Anze Kopitar said, according to Reuters. “Our national team can only choose from maybe about 30 guys compared to some other hockey nations, they’ve got a lot more guys to choose from.
“But just the fact that we made it and the huge stage we are going to be on in Sochi, it’s going to be one hell of a feeling for sure — a career moment.”
The other 10 nations have until Tuesday to name their rosters. Canada is scheduled to announce its team at 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday.
Here’s the full Slovenia roster:
Anze Kopitar — Los Angeles Kings
Jan Mursak — former Detroit Red Wings player