Luongo to Skate for Team Canada at 2006 Winter Olympics
SUNRISE, Fla. – Florida Panthers G Roberto Luongo today was named to Team Canada's 2006 Olympic Hockey Team. He will represent Canada in his first Winter Olympics that will take place Feb. 15-25 in Turin, Italy.
Luongo, 26, has represented his native country four-times in the World Championships ('01, '03, '04 '05), winning back-to-back gold medals in 2003 and 2004. The Montreal-born netminder also helped Team Canada capture the 2004 World Cup, earning a 4-3 victory over the Czech Republic in the semifinals.
Luongo most recently was named the NHL's Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending Dec. 18, after backstopping the Panthers to a 3-1-0 record with a 2.25 GAA and a .942 save percentage in four games played. Luongo was also awarded the honor after the first week of the 2005-05 season when he posted shutouts in his first two starts and went 2-1-0 with a 0.67 GAA and .979 save percentage in three games. He currently owns a 12-15-4 mark with a .917 save percentage.
During the 2003-04 campaign Luongo was selected as a Vezina Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award finalist, and broke the NHL single-season record for saves in one season with 2,303, passing Toronto's Felix Potvin, who made 2,214 stops during the 1996-97 campaign. Luongo also set franchise marks for games played (72), shutouts (7), minutes played (4,252) and consecutive shutout minutes (182:37).
Panthers head coach Jacques Martin will serve as an associate coach for Team Canada during the Olympics. Martin was also an associate coach for Canada's gold medal winning teams at the 2004 World Cup and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.