The United States men’s national hockey team is called Team USA and is the fielded team for USA Hockey, the organization governing amateur and Olympic ice hockey in the U.S. It encompasses youth hockey programs for girls and boys, national and international women’s and men’s team competitions and developmental leagues for preparing players for professional careers. USA Hockey’s goal is to provide a solid foundation for playing--and promoting a lifelong love of--the game of hockey.
USA Hockey started in 1937 under the moniker Amateur Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS); it adopted the present name in 1991. The organization is currently headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO.
The emphasis of the organization is on youth hockey and developing and supporting grassroots programs throughout the country. The “cutting edge” American Development Model has been a nationwide blueprint for “age-appropriate athlete development” since 2009.
USA Hockey supports active programs for juniors and adults providing opportunities for players of all levels of ability. The organization also supports a program for the physically challenged in U17 (under age 17) and U18 (under age 18) play, including Paralympics competition.
At the pinnacle of the national ice hockey pyramid, however, is Team USA. USA Hockey is the official representative to the U.S. Olympic Committee and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), hence the club is “responsible for organizing and training men’s and women’s teams for international tournaments,” including IIHF World Championships and the Winter Olympic Games.
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Team USA gained fame as the “Miracle on Ice” team that beat the heavily favored Soviet Union hockey team for the gold medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, NY. That event is considered one of the great achievements in the history of American sports. In the shadow of that win, Team USA brought home the gold in 1960 when it defeated the Soviet Union and other favorites. The 1960 victory is ironically known as the “forgotten miracle.”
In 2010, Team USA lost to Canada in a tight game that went into overtime. Canada captured the gold and the U.S. took home the silver medal.
USA Hockey Trivia
There are 30 professional hockey clubs that make up The National Hockey League—23 from the United States and 7 from Canada. Most U.S. professional players come up through the ranks of USA Hockey.
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