Former Wisconsin defenseman Ryan Suter has been named an alternate captain of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team, USA Hockey announced on Friday.
The XXII Olympic Winter Games will be held Feb. 7-23 in Sochi, Russia. The United States plays Slovakia in its first game Feb. 13.
Suter, who was an alternate captain on his first U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team in 2010, is currently in his second season as alternate captain with the Minnesota Wild. He previously served as captain of the 2005 U.S. National Junior Team that played in the IIHF World Junior Championship. Suter has been a member of Team USA at four IIHF Men's World Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009), three IIHF World Junior Championships (2003, 2004-gold, 2005) and two IIHF Men's Under-18 World Championships (2002-gold, 2003).
According to UW athletic communications, Suter makes it five consecutive Olympic Winter Games during which a Wisconsin alumni will have served in an official team leadership role. Suter and Brian Rafalski were alternate captains in 2010, while Chris Chelios captained teams in 1998, 2002 and 2006. Former Badger John Taft also captained Team USA at the 1976 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, while taking a year off from his time at UW.
A Madison, Wis., native, Suter is the third member of his family to represent the United States at the Olympics. His father, Bob, won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. Suter's uncle, Gary, won a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and also donned the red, white and blue at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. All three Suter's suited up for the Badgers.
Suter won't be the only former Badger representing Wisconsin in Sochi. Former Badgers Joe Pavelski, Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh also join Suter on Team USA. Pavelski earned a silver medal in 2010 in Vancouver along side Suter, while McDonagh and Stepan will be making their Olympic debuts.
The Badgers will also be represented on the management side for Team USA. Tony Granato, currently an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins, will be an assistant coach for the American's, while Jim Johannson is the Assistant Executive Director, Hockey Operations, for the team.
Five former Wisconsin women's hockey players will also represent the University at the games. Hilary Knight, Jessie Vetter, Meghan Duggan and Brianna Decker will all lace up the skates for the U.S., with Duggan being named team captain. Former Badger Meaghan Mikkelson is set to skate for Canada.
Bucky's 5th Quarter will have regular updates throughout the Winter Olympics on how the former Badgers are faring in Sochi.
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