Chris Bourque leads the AHL with 39 points (11-28) in 34 games played for the Hershey Bears. Monday, he earned the greatest accomplishment of his career and was named to the 2018 United States Olympic team.
Bourque, who is signed to a AHL contract with Hershey, has played 51 career games in the NHL during his 13 years pro, including 13 games with the Capitals and 38 with the Penguins and Bruins.
“This is obviously an unbelievable honor for myself and my family,” Bourque said in a release from the Bears. “It’s one of the biggest moments in not only my hockey career, but in my life. Playing in the Olympics—I don’t even know if it’s something you really dream about because it’s so far-fetched growing up as a kid, so to have the opportunity is something that I can’t even describe. It’s an honor to represent Team USA.”
Bourque added on Twitter that he was “incredibly honored.”
Incredibly honored to be picked to represent the USA!
— chris bourque (@cbourque17) January 1, 2018
Bourque’s father, Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque, wrote on social media that his wife and he “are so proud of our son.”
We are so proud of our son Christopher on being name to the USA hockey team… there’s nothing better than representing your country. We will be there by your side for this unforgettable experience. #TeamUSA #2018WinterOlympics https://t.co/vDozKo5vg2
— Ray Bourque (@RayBourque77) January 1, 2018
The United States roster was announced during the second intermission of the 2018 Winter Classic at Citi Field.
According to the Hershey Bears, Bourque and Team USA open their schedule with a preliminary game on Feb. 14 versus Slovenia. The Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule runs through Feb. 25 when the Gold-Medal game will be played.
Recently retired forward Brian Gionta will serve as captain of the US team. Gionta has played 1,006 regular-season games and captained both the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres in his career. He is the lone player on the US roster with Olympic experience, having played for Team USA in 2006.
“We really like our roster,” Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, said. “It’s a group that brings versatility and experience and includes players who have a lot of passion about representing our country.”
Former Capital Ryan Stoa also made the US Olympic team. Stoa played three games for the Capitals in 2013-14 and spent two seasons with Hershey (2012-14).
Garrett Roe is the only other player that has a loose Capitals connection on the team. Roe is a close friend and former college (St. Cloud State) and Swedish Elite League teammate (Linkopings HC) of former Capital Andrew Gordon.
The full roster is below.
Ryan Zapolski (KHL) — NHL Games: 0
Chad Billins (Swedish League) — NHL Games: 10
Jonathon Blum (KHL) — NHL Games: 110
Will Borgen (NCAA) — NHL Games: 0
Matt Gilroy (KHL) — NHL Games: 225
Ryan Gunderson (Swedish League) — NHL Games: 0
Bobby Sanguinetti (Swiss League) — NHL Games: 45
Noah Welch (Swedish League) — NHL Games: 75
James Wisniewski (German 2nd League) — NHL Games: 552
Mark Arcobello (Swiss League) — NHL Games: 139
Chris Bourque (AHL) — NHL Games: 51
Bobby Butler (AHL) — NHL Games: 130
Ryan Donato (NCAA) — NHL Games: 0
Brian Gionta (unsigned) — NHL Games: 1,006
Jordan Greenway (NCAA) — NHL Games: 0
Chad Kolarik (German League) — NHL Games: 6
Broc Little (Swiss League) — NHL Games: 0
John McCarthy (AHL) — NHL Games: 88
Brian O’Neill (KHL) — NHL Games: 22
Garrett Roe (Swiss League) — NHL Games: 0
Jim Slater (Swiss League) — NHL Games: 584
Ryan Stoa (KHL) — NHL Games: 40
Troy Terry (NCAA) — NHL Games: 0
USA Hockey announced Monday afternoon that forward Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears has been named to the U.S. Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.
Bourque, 31, is currently the American Hockey League’s leading scorer with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) in 35 games this season. An alternate captain with Hershey, Bourque leads the club in all offensive categories, and his 28 assists are tied for the most in the AHL. The Boston, Mass. native has previously represented Team USA at the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships, and led USA to the 2013 Deutschland Cup title.
“The entire Hershey Bears organization is thrilled for Chris Bourque,” said Hershey Vice President of Hockey Operations, Bryan Helmer. “This is an incredible honor for Chris and something that he deserves. He has been a large part of our organization for many years, and his play on the ice this year once again cements his legacy as one of the best to ever play the game at this level. We’re excited to see Chris skate for Team USA in the Olympics, and know he’ll do us proud.”
Bourque is in his ninth season with Hershey. He is the AHL’s career scoring leader among active players with 678 points (230 goals, 448 assists) in 693 games with Hershey, Hartford, Providence, and Portland. Bourque has captured two AHL scoring titles (2012, 2016) and was named league MVP for the 2015-16 regular season. Bourque also ranks among the AHL’s all-time playoff leaders with 82 assists (first) and 117 points (fourth) in 133 postseason games played (second), winning three Calder Cup championships with Hershey (2006, 2009, 2010) in five trips to the Finals and earning MVP honors for the 2010 postseason. Bourque, who has also skated in 51 National Hockey League contests with Washington, Pittsburgh and Boston, has been a First Team AHL All-Star selection three times.
The forward has collected 572 points (190 goals, 382 assists) in 575 regular season games with the Bears. He ranks fifth in team history in points, eighth in goals, and fourth in assists. He also ranks first in franchise history with 86 points in the playoffs. Bourque made his fifth AHL All-Star Classic appearance last January, serving as the playing captain for the Eastern Conference.
Bourque will be part of Team USA’s final 25-player roster which is comprised of college players, American Hockey Leaguers, and Americans playing professionally in Europe. The National Hockey League did not release players to participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. Bourque and Team USA open their schedule with a preliminary game on Feb. 14 versus Slovenia. The Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule runs through Feb. 25 when the Gold-Medal game will be played.
1/11 Update: Former Bears goaltender David Leggio has been added as a goaltender to Team USA
Headline photo: @TheHersheyBears
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.