Team USA hockey looks for gold with members from the North Country and beyond

Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 4:29 PM EST
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POTSDAM, New York (WWNY) - We found Team USA’s Men’s Hockey Team Monday stretching after suffering it’s first loss of the tournament Sunday against Slovakia. The team’s record is 2-1.

For one player from Geneva, New York, being able to suit up for Team USA is a childhood dream.

“I’ve only been up here before, but never been able to put on like a USA jersey before, so this is hands down probably my greatest hockey opportunity in my life,” said Center Luke Aquaro.

The same goes for the head coach. While leading Team USA on the ice in the FISU World University Games is a first for Mark Taylor, playing hockey in Canton and Potsdam is not. Taylor grew up in Canton and wants to lead his team to the gold.

“I never would have thought, you know, country kid Mark Taylor from Canton was going to have been able to spend a couple of years in Europe playing. You know, hopefully these kids go after it and see where the hockey and schooling takes them,” said Taylor.

This weekend, games will go from Canton and Potsdam to Lake Placid, where the final matchups will be played.

Forward Sam Ruffin wants to get back to Lake Placid with Team USA. He knows what it’s like to win a championship on the ice there. His college team from Michigan won last year’s Division 3 Championship in the Olympic town. Ruffin says the FISU games have a different feel.

“It’s good to play those international teams. Kind of a different style when it comes to certain teams. So its fun and different to play against those European teams for sure,” said Ruffin.

The next chance the North Country has to cheer on Team USA, and it’s hometown coach, is Wednesday morning at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena when the team plays Kazakhstan. The puck drops at 9:30 AM.