Hershey Bear named to US Olympic Ice Hockey Team

Chris Bourque (center) plays left wing for the Bears. Photo Courtesy of JustSports Photography

Casey Saussaman
Head Copy Editor

Chris Bourque of the Hershey Bears is headed to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The roster was announced by USA Hockey on Jan. 1 at the 2018 National Hockey League Winter Classic.

 

“This is obviously an unbelievable honor for myself and my family,” said Bourque in a press 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, who has spent nine of his 11 professional hockey seasons with the Bears, currently leads the American Hockey League in scoring with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists). He is also the league’s leading scorer among active players with 678 points in 693 games. Bourque has won three Calder Cup Championships with Hershey (2006, 2009, 2010) and was named MVP in 2010. He previously represented Team USA at the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships.

 

“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.” 

 

Last April, the NHL announced it would not allow any of its players to attend the Olympic games, including AHL players who are signed to NHL deals. Since Bourque is contracted only through the minor league Bears, he was available to Team USA. He will be joined by follow AHLers, college players, former NHLers, and American players from leagues overseas.

 

Team USA opens the Games with a preliminary matchup against Slovenia on Feb. 14. The Gold-Medal game is scheduled for Feb. 25.