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Richter, Leetch Named to Olympic All-Tournament Team

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


by Shawn P. Roarke - Courtesy of www.nhl.com

Team USA might have lost the gold medal game, but they dominated the tournament's All-Star team.

The Americans placed four players -- goalie Mike Richter, defensemen Brian Leetch (right) and Chris Chelios and forward John LeClair on the six-man squad. Canadian forward Joe Sakic, the tournament's MVP, and Sweden's Mats Sundin were the only non-Americans to make the cut.

Leetch finished the tournament with five assists and a plus-2 rating. Chelios, Team USA's captain, had just one goal, but led his squad with a plus-6 rating. LeClair was dominant early in the tournament, tallying six goals and one assists. He, however, did not tally a point in the last two games.

Sakic, who had two goals and two assists in Sunday's gold medal game, finished the tournament leading Canada with seven points. Sundin, Team Sweden's captain, tallied five goals and four assists in the four games before the Swedes were upset by Belarus in the quarterfinals.

But, it was Richter who most deserved the all-tournament honor. The American goalie went 2-1-1 in the tournament, often saving the Americans from near disaster. He finished the tournament with 2.25 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.

He was at his best in the two games against Russia, earning a 2-2 tie in Group play and a 3-2 win in the semifinals, but was better than the scoreline suggested in Sunday's final. Richter finished with 34 saves Sunday, and had his team down 3-2 entering the third before allowing late goals to Jarome Iginla and Sakic.

"[Richter] played outstanding," said Ryan Smyth, a forward for Team Canada. "He was flopping around out there and made some great saves. We could have buried them during that 5-on-3 [advantage in the second period], but we couldn't beat Richter."
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