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Parise named captain

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Parise named captain
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(Reuters) — Zach Parise, who was tied for the lead in scoring for the silver medal-winning United States team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, was named captain of the U.S. men’s ice hockey team for the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

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Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown, both members of the U.S. squad in Vancouver, were name alternate captains.

Minnesota forward Parise, who ended his first Olympics four years ago with four goals and four assists in six games and a coveted spot on the Vancouver Games All-Star team, has been an alternate captain in his two seasons with the Wild.

The 29-year-old also has previous experience as a captain, having worn the ‘C’ armband for the New Jersey Devils during the 2011-12 season when they reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Parise’s famous hockey-playing father is J.P. Parise, who was a member of the fabled Canadian team that faced off against the mighty Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series, celebrated as the most important moment in the nation’s sporting history

In preliminary-round play at the Sochi Games, the U.S. will compete in Group A and will launch their title bid against Slovakia on Feb. 13.

The Americans have not won Olympic gold since the 1980 Lake Placid Miracle on Ice but should be among the contenders again after runner-up finishes at two of the last three Winter Games.

They were beaten by hosts Canada in the Vancouver final where Sidney Crosby scored the winning ‘golden’ goal after Parise’s goal in the final minute of the third period had forced the game into overtime.

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