|Flag and abbrev.||USA|
|Leader|| Barack Obama |
|Population||305,131,000 (2008 estimate)|
|National team||Team USA|
|National federation||USA Hockey|
|IIHF ranking||6th (+1)|
|Top league||National Hockey League (NHL)|
|Current champion||Chicago Blackhawks|
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its forty-eight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to its east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait, and the state of Hawaii is in the mid-Pacific. The United States also possesses several territories, or insular areas, that are scattered around the Caribbean and Pacific.
Hockey's origins in USA are almost as old as they are in Canada. The first professional league in the USA was organised in the early 1900's. In 1920, the United States Amateur Hockey Association was founded, and it became a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The USA made its international debut in 1920, as it won Olympic silver medals in Antwerp. In 1924-25, Boston Bruins became the first US team to play in the NHL. USA missed the 1928 Olympics and the 1930 World Championships because there were no governing body for amateur hockey in the country during the period from 1926 to 1930.
The country returned to the international arenas in 1931, and two years later it won its first World Championship.
Ice hockey, universally referred to as hockey, is less popular than baseball, basketball and football, but is still considered a major sport. The National Hockey League is the major professional league in North America, and 23 of its 30 teams are based in the United States; the other seven are located in Canada. Always a cultural mainstay in some northern areas, hockey has gained tenuous footholds in regions like the Carolinas, Tampa Bay, Florida and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in recent years, as the National Hockey League pursued a policy of expansion. Recreational ice hockey on a wide scale, as well as hockey at the high school and college levels, is generally confined to hockey country, specifically New England and the Great Lakes region, but recreational leagues do exist in large- and medium-sized metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Hockey legends include Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe (all of whom are Canadians who played either extensively or exclusively for U.S.-based pro teams).
The United States men's national ice hockey team is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado with its U18 and U17 development program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The team is controlled by USA Hockey. Because of the United States' performance in the 2009 World Championships (4th place), the team moved up one spot – passing Czech Republic – to 5th in the IIHF World Rankings. The United States won silver medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Olympics and the gold medal at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey. The team's most recent medal at the World Championships came in 2004 with a bronze and they won the tournament in 1960 and 1933. At the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, the U.S. was unable to defend its title, losing to Finland in the semifinals. Most recently, the team finished fourth in the 2009 IIHF World Championship. Its current head coach is Ron Wilson. As of 2007, the United States has a total of 480,038 registered ice hockey players (0.20% of its population). They are the current Olympic Silver medalists, after losing to Canada in overtime at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
The American ice hockey team's greatest success was the "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York when they defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union on the way to a gold medal. Though hockey is not a universally popular sport in the United States, the "Miracle" is often listed as one of the greatest achievements in the history of American sports. The U.S. also won the gold medal in the 1960 games at Squaw Valley, California.
U.S. hockey had a spike in talent in the 1980s and 1990s with top NHL stars like Brett Hull, Kevin Stevens, Jeremy Roenick, Tony Amonte, Doug Weight, Tom Barasso, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Chris Chelios, John LeClair, Keith Tkachuk, Pat Lafontaine and Mike Modano. As a result, the team won the 1996 World Cup and earned a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics, which the roster included additional superstars such as Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Brian Rafalski, Jamie Langenbrunner, and Adam Deadmarsh. But by 2006, many of these NHL All-Stars had retired or lost their skill with age. Though the 2006 Olympic Team finished a disappointing 8th place, it was more of a transitional team, featuring young NHL players like Rick DiPietro, Jordan Leopold and John-Michael Liles.
The 2010 Olympic team was composed of much younger and faster players than teams of previous years such as Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Dustin Brown, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Callahan, Phil Kessel, Mike Komisarek, and Bobby Ryan. The team also had a solid group of veterans that included top NHL goalie Ryan Miller and top defenseman Brian Rafalski. The U.S. team upset team Canada 5-3 in the round-robin phase of the tournament and went into the single elimination phase of the tournament as the number one seeded team. After beating Finland 6-1 the U.S. advanced to the Gold Medal game where they lost in overtime 3-2 to Canada to claim the Silver Medal. The Gold Medal game between Canada and the U.S. was watched by an estimated 27.6 million U.S. households. This was the most watched hockey game in America since the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" game including any Stanley Cup Final or Winter Classic broadcast.
However, several months later at IIHF World Championship the US ice hockey team set the worst record in its entire history by losing all three games of the preliminary round. It eliminated them from medal competition and placed them below the 12th place. However, the US later secured a spot in the 2011 championship by winning all three games in the relegation round.
- United States men's national ice hockey team
- United States men's national junior ice hockey team
- United States women's national ice hockey team
- United States women's national U-18 ice hockey team
- United States men's national U-18 ice hockey team
|Ice hockey in United States|
|National Hockey League|
|High Level: American Hockey League|
|Mid Level: ECHL • Central Hockey League • International Hockey League|
|Low Level: Mid-Atlantic Hockey League • Southern Professional Hockey League|
|Semi-Professional: North Eastern Hockey League|
|Collegiate: National Collegiate Athletic Association|
|Men's National Team • Women's National Team|
|Alabama - Alaska - Arizona - Arkansas - California - Colorado|
|Connecticut - Delaware - Florida - Georgia - Hawaii - Idaho|
|Illinois - Indiana - Iowa - Kansas - Kentucky - Louisiana|
|Maine - Maryland - Massachusetts - Michigan - Minnesota - Mississippi|
|Missouri - Montana - Nebraska - Nevada - New Hampshire - New Jersey|
|New Mexico - New York - North Carolina - North Dakota - Ohio - Oklahoma|
|Oregon - Pennsylvania - Rhode Island - South Carolina - South Dakota - Tennessee|
|Texas - Utah - Vermont - Virginia - Washington|
|West Virginia - Wisconsin - Wyoming|