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Looking Back at the Isles on Team USA

In honor of July 4, NewYorkIslanders.com looks back at the Isles who have played for Team USA at the Olympics and World Juniors

by Cory Wright and Sasha Kandrach NYIslanders / NewYorkIslanders.com

In honor of July 4, which marks the 244th year of independence for the United States, NewYorkIslanders.com is looking back at the Islanders who have donned the Red, White and Blue at the Olympics and World Juniors. 

AMERICAN ISLES AT THE OLYMPICS

Ken Morrow - Lake Placid 1980 | 7GP, 1G, 2A, 3P | Gold Medal

The gold standard for Islanders in the Olympics, Ken Morrow was a part of the 1980 Miracle on Ice, when an underdog Team USA knocked off the heavily-favored Soviet squad. Morrow chipped in three points (1G, 2A) in seven games for arguably the most famous and important Team USA ever assembled. 


Pat LaFontaine - Sarajevo 1984 | 6GP, 5G, 4A, 9P | 7th 

The Americans didn't have the team success they were looking for at the 1984 Sarajevo Games, but Pat LaFontaine put forth a great individual performance offensively. LaFontaine led Team USA with nine points (5G, 4A) in six games and finished eighth in scoring overall in the tournament. The Isles' draft pick's five goals were also tied for the team lead. 

(Fun fact, the Olympic point leader in 1984 was Erich Kuhnhackl, Tom Kuhnhackl's dad.)


Jeff Norton - Calgary 1988 | 6GP 0G, 4A, 4P | 7th 

Jeff Norton dished out four assists in six games for Team USA at the Calgary Olympics. It was a preview for what was to come from the defenseman, who averaged 0.667 points-per-game during his six years with the Islanders. 


Marty McInnis - Albertaville 1992 | 8GP, 5G, 2A, 7P | 4th 

Marty McInnis burst onto the scene in 1992, leading Team USA with seven points (5G, 2A) in eight games en route to a fourth-place finish. McInnis rode the momentum of the Olympics into his Islanders debut, with eight points in 15 games to finish the 1991-92 season. Team USA finished fourth in the Albertaville games.


Scott Lachance - Albertaville 1992 | 8GP, 0G, 1A, 1P | 4th 

Scott Lachance took a similar path to McInnis, making his Isles debut after the 1992 Olympics. Lachance recorded one assist in eight games as Team USA finished fourth in Albertaville.  


Bryan Berard - Nagano 1998 | 4GP, 0G 0A 0P | 6th 

Bryan Berard represented Team USA at the Nagano Olympics, the first to feature active NHL players. The Islanders defenseman finished with zero points in four games, as Team USA finished sixth in the tournament. 


Rick DiPietro - Turin 2006 | 1-3-0, 2.28 GAA, .893 SV% | 8th 

Rick DiPietro assumed the starting role for Team USA at the 2006 Turin Olympics. DiPietro posted a 1-3-0 record with a 2.28 GAA and a .893SV%. DiPietro allowed two goals or fewer in three of his four appearances, but Team USA was held to one goal in a pair of 2-1 losses to Sweden and Slovakia in group play before being eliminated by Finland in the quarterfinals. DiPietro's patriotic pads are some absolute beauties though. 


Mark Parrish and Jason Blake - Turin 2006 | 6GP, 0G 0A 0P 8th 

Two Islanders forwards, Mark Parrish and Jason Blake were named to Team USA for the 2006 Olympics. Both were held without a point in six games as Team USA finished eighth.  


AMERICAN ISLES AT THE WORLD JUNIORS:

Tom Fitzgerald - 1987 U20 WJC

Tom Fitzgerald made his first and only World Juniors appearance in 1987 in Czechoslovakia. The Isles' 1986 first-round pick recorded three goals in seven games in the 1987 tourney, as Team USA finished fourth with a 4-3-0 record. 


Scott Lachance - 1991 & 1992 (Bronze) U20 WJC

Scott Lachance, who the Islanders selected fourth overall at the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, participated in two World Juniors with Team USA. 

In 1991 before being drafted by the Isles, Lachance and Team USA placed fourth in the World Juniors hosted by Saskatchewan. The blueliner totaled three points (2G, 1A) throughout seven games. 

The following year, Lachance's final WJC appearance, Team USA took home some hardware as they won a bronze medal with a 5-2-0 record. Lachance finished the tournament with five points (1G, 4A) through seven games. 


Rick DiPietro - 2000 & 2001 U20 WJC

Rick DiPietro participated in two World Juniors with Team USA in 2000 and 2001. 

In his first year, 2000, DiPietro and Team USA lost 4-3 in overtime in the Bronze Medal Game to Team Canada in the U20 WJC that was hosted by Sweden. DiPietro finished the tournament with a 1.81 GAA and a .935 SV% and was named the top goaltender of the tournament. 

In his final World Juniors appearance the next season, DiPietro and Team USA lost in the quarterfinals to Team Canada by a 2-1 result. Through six games, DiPietro totaled a 1.33 GAA and a .927 SV%. 


Kyle Okposo - 2007 (Bronze) & 2008 U20 WJC

In the 2007 World Juniors, Okposo and Team USA took home a Bronze medal after beating Sweden 2-1 in the Bronze Medal Game. Okposo dished one assist in seven games. 

Okposo had a more productive tournament in 2008, with six points (1G, 5A) in six games, but Team USA finished fourth after losing to Russia 4-2 in the Bronze Medal Game. 


Matt Donovan - 2010 U20 WJC (Gold)

In 2010, Matt Donovan the Isles' 2008 fourth rounder, and Team USA claimed gold in a thrilling 6-5 overtime victory over Team Canada at the 2010 World Juniors held in Saskatchewan. Through seven games in the tournament, the blueliner amassed five points (3G, 2A). 


Brock Nelson - 2011 U20 WJC (Bronze)

Brock Nelson (the 30th-overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft) represented Team USA at the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championship hosted in Buffalo, New York. Nelson, who was 19 at the time, helped the U.S. to a 4-1-1 record and a bronze medal which was its first-ever WJC medal on home ice. 

Through five games in the tournament, Nelson registered one assist. Nick Leddy, who was a Chicago Blackhawks prospect at the time, was also on the Team USA squad. The defenseman tallied three assists in the tournament. 


Kieffer Bellows - 2016 U-18 (Bronze) | 2017 (Gold) & 2018 (Bronze) U20 WJC

Kieffer Bellows donned the Red, White and Blue twice at the World Juniors (2017, 18) and once at the U-18s (2016). Bellows and Team USA earned hardware at all three tournaments. 

Before being selected 19th overall by the Islanders in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Bellows and the US U18 WJC squad claimed a bronze medal with a 10-3 rout over Team Canada. Through seven games, the winger compiled eight points (5G, 3A) on home soil as the tournament was hosted in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  

The following year in 2017, Bellows and Team USA became champions at the U20 WJC hosted in Toronto and Montreal. Team USA edged a dramatic 5-4 shootout win over the host country of Canada to claim gold. Bellows scored twice in the Gold Medal Game. Bellows finished the tournament with three points (2G, 1A) in seven games. 

Tweet from @BellowsKieffer: World junior hockey champions! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/F0im78R7IO

In 2018, Bellows embraced a leadership position in his final World Juniors as an alternate captain. Bellows and Team USA took home a bronze medal on home soil in Buffalo, New York with a 9-3 victory over the Czech Republic. 

Bellows scored twice in the second period of the Bronze Medal Game; the first coming off of a penalty shot, while the second was an even-strength goal. Bellows finished his final tournament third in overall scoring with 10 points and was the leading goal scorer of the tournament with his nine goals. Bellows was named to the 2018 WJC All-Star Team. 


Jake Pivonka - 2018 U-18 (Silver) | 2020 U20 WJC

Jake Pivonka was teammates with his fellow Islanders prospect in Wahlstrom at the 2018 U-18s and the 2020 WJC tournaments. 

The Islanders' 2018 fourth rounder (103rd overall) wore the 'A' in the U-18s. Through seven games, Pivonka added two assists. 

In his World Juniors appearance, Pivonka registered one assist. The tournament, hosted in the Czech Republic, was special for the center, whose father is a former NHLer of Czech descent. The stands were filled with extended family and Pivonka's proud father there to support him and the United States. 


Logan Cockerill - 2017 U-18 (Gold) | 2019 U20 WJC (Silver)

Logan Cockerill has won two medals in international competition with Team USA.

Just before being drafted by the Isles in 2017, Cockerill won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2017 U-18s in Slovakia. The Isles' 2017 seventh-rounder recorded three assists in seven games. 

Cockerill also earned a silver medal at the 2019 World Juniors. Cockerill had one assist in seven games, hooking up on a goal with fellow Isles prospect Oliver Wahlstrom in Team USA's semifinal win over Russia. 

Oliver Wahlstrom - 2017 (Gold), 2018 (Silver) U-18 | 2019 (Silver), 2020 U20 WJC

Like Bellows, Oliver Wahlstrom represented Team USA on a number of occasions on the international stage, twice at U-18s and twice in the World Juniors. 

Wahlstrom helped the US claim gold at the 2017 U18 WJC in Slovakia with a 4-2 victory over Finland. Through seven games, Wahlstrom amassed five points (4G, 1A). 

In 2018, after the Islanders' selected Wahlstrom 11th overall in the draft, the winger and Team USA captured a silver medal at the U18 WJC in Russia. Finland edged a 3-2 win over the US Wahlstrom was second in goals with seven as he compiled nine points through seven games. Wahlstrom was also named to the U18 WJC All-Star Team. 

Tweet from @usahockey: Have another look at that @WahlstromOliver icebreaker for 🇺🇸! #TeamUSA holds a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of semifinals play on @NHLNetwork! #USAWJC pic.twitter.com/SYyAgscgi5

In his first World Juniors in 2019, Wahlstrom was named an alternate captain and helped lead the US to a silver medal with a 3-2 loss to Team Finland in the finals. Throughout five games, Wahlstrom had four points (2G, 2A). 

In his final WJC appearance, hosted in the Czech Republic, Wahlstrom and Team USA lost in the Quarterfinals to Team Finland 1-0. Wahlstrom finished the tournament with four points (1G, 4A) in five games. 

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