Troy Terry skates against Martin Erat of the Czech Republic during the Men's Play-offs Quarterfinals at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 21, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

Men’s hockey has been played at every Olympic Winter Games since the first one in 1924 in Chamonix, France. However, the sport actually made its Olympic debut four years earlier at the 1920 Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium. That tournament was played with seven-man teams. The traditional six-man teams we know today were used starting at the 1924 Winter Games. 

Canada dominated the early tournaments, winning the first four gold medals and six of the first seven. The Canadians have been the most successful country over the years, with 16 total medals and nine golds. Russia-affiliated countries (the Soviet Union, Unified Team and Olympic Athletes from Russia) have also won nine gold medals and 13 total.

The U.S. has won two gold medals and 11 total. Both of Team USA’s gold medals came on home ice: in 1960 in what’s now Palisades Tahoe, California, and the iconic “Miracle on Ice” in 1980 in Lake Placid, New York. Since then, however, the Americans have won only two medals in 10 Winter Games — both silver, after losing to Canada in 2002 and 2010.

Olympic hockey will be played at the National Indoor Stadium and the Wukesong Sports Centre, both of which hosted sporting events during the Summer Games in 2008. The men’s medal games will be held at the National Indoor Stadium.

Updated on January 28, 2022. For more information, contact the sport press officer here.

No National Hockey League players will be participating for the second Olympics in a row. While a dispute between the International Olympic Committee and the NHL over travel and insurance costs left NHL players out of PyeongChang, this time they’ll miss out due to the number of games that need to be rescheduled because of the ongoing pandemic. NHL players were first allowed to play at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, and have participated in five Games. The NHL plans to have its players participate at the Milano Cortina Winter Games in 2026.

The absence of NHL players means Team USA will be compiled mostly of standout college hockey players and a few professionals from other leagues. The 25-man roster is made up of 15 college players, eight who are playing in professional leagues in Europe and two from the American Hockey League. Brian O’Neill is the only returning player from the 2018 roster, making him the only player with Olympic experience on the team. He currently plays in the Kontinental Hockey League, which is based in Russia.

The KHL will be shutting down during the Olympics, making the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) the favorites to win gold in Beijing. Russia, competing as the Olympic Athletes from Russia, took home gold in PyeongChang. Superstars like Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk won’t be back on the team — and neither will young star Kirill Kaprizov, who now plays in the NHL — but the ROC will still be stacked with KHL stars like the league’s leading scorer, Vadim Shipachyov, and former first-round NHL pick Mikhail Grigorenko.

Matty Beniers (Hingham, Massachusetts): After Beniers tallied 24 points in 24 games during his freshman season at the University of Michigan, the Seattle Kraken picked the forward second overall in the 2021 NHL Draft. Beniers is back at Michigan this season, and he’s been more productive, putting up 32 points (tied for third-most in the country) in 26 games played. While he doesn’t have Olympic experience, he’s already had success on the international stage. He won a bronze medal with Team USA at the world championships and a gold at the World Junior Championships, both coming in 2021.

Brock Faber (Maple Grove, Minnesota): Faber is coming off a strong freshman season at the University of Minnesota, where the defenseman was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. He showed off his offensive skill from the blueline by tying a NCAA tournament record with five assists in a 7-2 win over the University of Nebraska Omaha last March. Faber played alongside Beniers on the gold-medal winning U.S. team at the 2021 World Junior Championships as well. Like many Minnesotan hockey players, he’s a big fan of the movie “Miracle,” claiming to watch the movie “about 50 times a year.” He’ll have the chance go on a gold-medal run as part of a U.S. team without any NHL stars, just like the 1980 team did. 

Strauss Mann (Greenwich, Connecticut): Mann spent three successful years at the University of Michigan, where he became the first goalie to be named captain there in 78 years. This past summer he signed a contract to play in the Swedish Hockey League, and that success has continued. He leads the league in goals-against average (1.77) and save percentage (.930). Mann is the projected starter in net, but he’ll have strong competition from Boston College’s Drew Commesso, who was the starting goalie at this year’s World Junior Championships before it was canceled due to the pandemic.

Nathan Smith (Hudson, Florida): Smith enjoyed a solid first two years at Minnesota State University, putting up 52 points in 63 games and helping the Mavericks reach the Frozen Four last year. He’s now playing at an elite level in his junior year, as he leads the NCAA in points with 38 in 26 games. Expected to be a prime candidate for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in men’s college hockey, Smith might lose some ground in the award race this February. Though that might not be so bad if he can come home with an Olympic medal. 

Meet the full U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team in this teamusa.org article

Feb. 10 – U.S. vs. China
Feb. 12 – U.S. vs Canada 
Feb. 13 – U.S. vs Germany
Feb. 15 – Qualification playoffs
Feb. 16 – Quarterfinals 
Feb. 18 – Semifinals 
Feb. 19 – Bronze-medal game 
Feb. 20 – Gold-medal game