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South Korea Olympic hockey rosters have North American flavor

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Of the 48 players on South Korea’s first Olympic men’s and women’s hockey rosters, 11 were born in the U.S. or Canada, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Another player, Marissa Brandt, was born in South Korea but adopted by a Minnesota family when she was 4 months old. Brandt’s younger sister, Hannah, is on the U.S. Olympic team.

Seven players on the men’s roster of 25 are naturalized South Korean citizens born in the U.S. or Canada who now play for South Korean club teams.

Perhaps the most notable is No. 1 goalie Matt Dalton, who spent several days with the Boston Bruins during the 2009-10 season but never saw game action.

Dalton was in goal for a pre-Olympic tournament game with Canada, where South Korea led 2-1 after the first period before losing 4-2. Canada outshot South Korea 57-10.

Dalton is joined on the Olympic team by forwards Alex Plante, Eric Regan and Bryan Young and defensemen Brock Radunske, Michael Swift and Mike Testwuide.

All but Testwuide were born in Canada. Testwuide was born in Vail, Colo.

The South Korean men are coached by two-time Stanley Cup winner Jim Paek, the first South Korean-born NHL player.

The women, coached by former University of Minnesota-Duluth player Sarah Murray, have four Canadian-born or U.S.-born forwards of South Korean descent: Randi Griffin, Danelle Im, Caroline Park and Grace Lee.

The South Korean women’s roster could add North Koreans pending a meeting between the two Koreas and the IOC on Saturday.

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North Korea hopes to compete in four sports in PyeongChang

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North Korea hopes to compete in figure skating, Alpine skiing, hockey and cross-country skiing at the Olympics, a PyeongChang 2018 chief organizer reportedly said Thursday.

Lee Hee-beom said the two Koreas agreed on those four sports, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The International Olympic Committee will decide on North Korea’s participation in PyeongChang, given zero North Koreans qualified outright for the Winter Games. The IOC can offer special invitations.

The two Koreas and the IOC are scheduled to discuss the North’s potential Olympic participation on Saturday.

Earlier this week, the two Koreas agreed to march together in the Opening Ceremony and compete as a joint team.

That agreement included North Koreans being added to South Korea’s women’s hockey team.

A South Korean unification minister said the two Koreas agreed to add five or six North Koreans to the 23-player team, according to Yonhap.

Again, the IOC would have to sign off on the agreement, which would put South Korea over the maximum Olympic roster size.

Figure skaters Ryom Tae-ok and Kim Ju-sik appear to be the most likely North Korean athletes invited to the Olympics, given they qualified an Olympic pairs quota spot for the nation in September.

North Korea’s Olympic Committee failed to accept the spot by an Oct. 30 deadline, so it instead went to Japan.

North Korea has zero internationally relevant Alpine skiers or cross-country skiers, though those two sports have the most lenient qualifying standards in the Winter Games.

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Henrik Lundqvist’s brother headlines Sweden Olympic hockey team

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Even without NHL players, there is one very familiar name on Sweden’s Olympic men’s hockey roster.

Lundqvist.

Joel Lundqvist, the identical twin brother of longtime New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, is among the headliners of 23 men named Tuesday. The finalized team will be 25 players.

Joel, a former NHL forward, captained Sweden to the 2017 World title but didn’t make the Olympics in 2006, 2010 or 2014, like Henrik did (winning gold in 2006).

Sweden took silver in Sochi with star NHL skaters like Erik Karlsson, Nicklas Backstrom, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Zetterberg.

None of them are on this year’s team of course.

But two of the three goalies should be recognizable to ardent NHL fans — Jhonas Enroth (former Buffalo Sabre) and Viktor Fasth (former Edmonton Oiler and Anaheim Duck).

Enroth, 29, was an unused backup on the 2014 Olympic team.

Fasth, 35, was Sweden’s No. 1 at the 2017 World Championship until Henrik joined the team mid-tournament and backstopped it to gold.

Former NHL skaters on the PyeongChang team include Viktor Stalberg (parts of eight NHL seasons) and Joakim Lindstrom.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is the first male hockey player born in 2000 to be named to an Olympic team. Dahlin could be the No. 1 pick in the June NHL Draft.

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