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Canada Olympic men’s hockey roster

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The Canada Olympic men’s hockey roster seeking the nation’s third straight gold medal of course looks very different than in 2010 and 2014.

In fact, the 25-man team named Thursday includes zero players with Olympic experience.

Canada is ranked No. 1 in the world but is one of the teams hardest hit by the NHL’s decision not to participate in the Olympics for the first time since 1994.

That was very apparent in a pre-Olympic tournament last month, when lowly South Korea led 2-1 after the first period against a Canadian team that included many skaters named to the Olympic team.

Canada will try to become the first nation to win three straight Olympic men’s hockey titles since the Soviet Union/Unified Team in 1984, 1988 and 1992.

Former Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins is the head coach.

The Olympic favorite is Russia, since it is expected to lean heavily on KHL stars such as four-time Olympians Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Canada Olympic Men’s Hockey Roster
Goalies (NHL Games)
Justin Peters (83) — German League
Kevin Poulin (50) — Austrian League
Ben Scrivens (144) — Russian League

Defensemen (NHL Games)
Stefan Elliott (84) — Swedish League
Chay Genoway (1) — Russian League
Cody Goloubef (129) — AHL
Marc-Andre Gragnani (78) — Russian League
Chris Lee (0) — Russian League
Maxim Noreau (6) — Swiss League
Mat Robinson (0) — Russian League
Karl Stollery (23) — Russian League

Forwards (NHL Games)
Rene Bourque (725) — Swedish League
Gilbert Brule (299) — Russian League
Andrew Ebbett (224) — Swiss League
Quentin Howden (97) — Russian League
Chris Kelly (833) — Unsigned
Rob Klinkhammer (193) — Russian League
Brandon Kozun (20) — Russian League
Maxim Lapierre (614) — Swiss League
Eric O’Dell (41) — Russian League
Mason Raymond (546) — Swiss League
Derek Roy (738) — Swedish League
Christian Thomas (27) — AHL
Linden Vey (138) — Russian League
Wojtek Wolski (451) — Russian League

The players have a combined 5,544 games of NHL experience, or an average of 222 games per player.

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MORE: Full Olympic hockey schedule

Exactly one year ago today I laid in a hospital bed after having surgery to fix a broken neck. Today I am so proud and excited to have been named to Canada’s Olympic Hockey Team. I look at the picture of me in the hospital and can’t help but cry. Mostly tears of happiness, but I am filled with so many emotions about what I have overcome. I could never have imagined that I would be so lucky one year later. I want to take this moment to thank everyone for all the amazing support along the way. Without my family and friends, I don’t think any of it would be possible. @jesselammers has been an absolute superstar through all of it. Thank you and I Love you. When I say family and friends that most definitely includes @matt_nichol @mgivelos @mikeprebeg @sk8onhockey @marylalancette @dmartella12 @carnz74 @biosteelsports , Dr.Forman, Dr.Ford, Dr.Galea . This amazing group helped me literally get back on my feet and then back on the ice. Absolutely thrilled to be representing Canada and defending Gold in Pyeongchang. @hockeycanada @teamcanada @olympics #olympics

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Lindsey Vonn wins 79th World Cup race as oldest downhill victor (video)

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Lindsey Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill with three weeks until the Olympics, notching her 79th career victory in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, on Saturday.

In PyeongChang, she can become the oldest female Alpine medalist in Olympic history.

Vonn prevailed by .92 of a second over Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather on Saturday, moving seven shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record of 86 World Cup victories.

“My focus right now is just so much on Olympics that I haven’t really thought about [the record] that much this season,” Vonn said. “After the Olympics, that will be my No. 1 priority again, and I’ll try to just rack up as many wins before I retire as possible.”

American Jackie Wiles was third to become the fifth U.S. female Alpine skier to qualify for PyeongChang, joining Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, among others. (full U.S. Olympic roster here)

Shiffrin was seventh in Saturday’s race in her least comfortable discipline.

Full results are here.

Vonn, 33, broke Austrian Elisabeth Goergl‘s record as the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill. Goergl is still the oldest winner for any World Cup race, taking a super-G in 2014 at nearly 34 years old.

Vonn, already an Olympic medal favorite in downhill and super-G, won her first downhill since Jan. 21, 2017.

She had raced eight downhills in between with four podium finishes, including taking second to Italian Sofia Goggia on Friday in Cortina. Goggia failed to finish Saturday.

The World Cup continues with a super-G in Cortina on Sunday (5:30 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

“Mentally, I feel like it’s the first podium I ever got,” Vonn said. “Back in 2004, I feel the same. I have the same motivation, the same drive, the same excitement. I love going fast. That’s never changed. The only thing that’s changed is my body is not as good as it once was, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still win.

“I’ll keep going until my poor little knee gives out.”

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VIDEO: Shaun White scores perfect 100 to qualify for Olympics

IOC approves unified Korea Olympic team, 22 North Korean athletes

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North and South Korean athletes will compete on the same team at the Olympics for the first time, while the IOC approved 22 North Koreans to compete overall in PyeongChang.

The IOC on Saturday approved the Koreas’ agreement to field a unified women’s hockey team and to march together in the Opening Ceremony behind the Korean Unification flag.

Twelve North Koreans have been added to the South Korean women’s hockey team. The other North Korean athletes will compete in figure skating, Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and short track speed skating.

Full details are here.

“Today marks a milestone on a long journey,” IOC president Thomas Bach said. “Since 2014, the IOC has addressed the special situation of having the Olympic Winter Games 2018 on the Korean Peninsula. Until today, we met separately with the parties on a bilateral basis to address an often fast-changing political situation in a comprehensive way. Today is therefore a great day because the Olympic Spirit has brought all sides together. This was not an easy journey.”

At the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9, one North Korean and one South Korean will carry the flag in the Parade of Nations. The Koreas previously marched together at the Opening Ceremonies in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

The hockey team will compete as “Korea,” under the unification flag and using the song “Arirang” as its anthem. North Koreans will compete under their own flag in all other sports.

North Korea did not qualify any spots for the Olympics, but the IOC had power to offer special invitations.

“Such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago,” Bach said. “The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula.”

The 22 North Korean athletes mark more North Koreans at a Winter Olympics than the last six Winter Games combined.

North Korea had zero athletes in 2014 and two in 2010.

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MORE: South Korea Olympic hockey rosters have North American flavor