WNY native named to US Olympic men's ice hockey team

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Hockey Canada released its men's hockey roster for the 2018 Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

While Canadians continue to try getting over the disappointment of not having NHLers defending the gold medal Canada has won three of the last four Games, the thrill of representing their country on the grandest of stages will be a strong motivator for the National Hockey League castoffs making up the roster. Then there's 18-year-old Joey Lamoreaux, who is playing in the U.S. Hockey League. On Wednesday, TSN's Darren Dreger reported that he turned down an invitation, likely because he preferred to play NCAA rather than potentially be the No. 7 or No. 8 defenseman.

The NHL is not allowing its players to suit up for the Olympics. Howden has 15 goals and 14 assists in 49 KHL games this season, which helped put him on the radar for Canadian officials looking to fill the Olympic roster with non-NHL players.

Howden and Genoway couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, as it was late-evening in Belarus and Russian Federation when the announcement was made.

"All of our players, at somewhere along the line, they've been told 'No,"' head coach Willie Desjardins said at the roster reveal Thursday.

But most are unknown or forgotten names playing in remote hockey outposts, like Gilbert Brule, taken with the sixth overall selection in the 2005 NHL draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, who now earns a living with China-based team Kunlun Red Star in the KHL.

USA captain Brian Gionta is the only member of the team with Olympic experience, scoring four goals at the Olympic Winter Games Torino 2006.

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Um, who are these guys?

Added Team Canada GM Sean Burke: "When we go to these Olympics, this team will make Canada proud".

When they head out on the ice in Pyeongchang, they'll deserve every bit of enthusiasm that would have been given to a team chock full of National Hockey League players.

Canadian forward Wojtek Wolski (right) pursues Russian forward Sergey Kalinin at the Channel One Cup in Moscow on December 16, 2017.

The Olympics will take place February 9-25. "I don't think you could say we missed anybody".

With the opening ceremonies less than a month away, the Canadian Olympic Committee has yet to state what the Canadian team's medal target is for Pyeongchang. Thomas has also represented Canada twice on the global stage twice in the last two months, participating in the Karjala Cup in November and emerging victorious at the Spengler Cup in December. She has competed for the US since 2013 when she helped the team to a silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation U18 Women's World Championship. The Canadian men have won three of the last four hockey golds, including the last two in Sochi and Vancouver.

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