Hershey’s Chris Bourque Is Going to the Olympics!

Posted January 1, 2018

(Cory Lyons – Cory Lyons Photography)

For the first time since the 2005 World Junior Championships, Hershey Bears forward Chris Bourque will represent the United States in international competition. This is his first trip as an Olympian.

“Playing in the Olympics—I don’t even know if it’s something you really dream about because it’s so far-fetched growing up as a kid,” Bourque said in a team release. “So to have the opportunity is something that I can’t even describe. It’s an honor to represent Team USA.”

Bourque is the Bears leading scorer with 11 goals and 39 points this season.  In his ninth season with the Bears, this is his first on an AHL contract.

The U.S Olympic roster is a combination of college players, AHL stars with some NHL experience, and American players in various European leagues. The NHL announced prior to the season that no player on an NHL contract would be able to compete at the Olympics in Peyongchang, South Korea.

“The entire Hershey Bears organization is thrilled for Chris Bourque,” Bryan Helmer, Hershey Vice President of Hockey Operations, said through a release. “This is an incredible honor for Chris and something that he deserves. He has been a large part of our organization for many years, and his play on the ice this year once again cements his legacy as one of the best to ever play the game at this level.

Bourque led the 2005 tournament in goals with seven, but the U.S finished fourth after losing to the Czech Republic in the Bronze Medal Game. Canada, paced by Boston Bruins star Patrice Bergeron, won the Gold over Russia.

The roster combines for 3,037 NHL games, with 1,006 of them from team captain and 2003 Stanley Cup champion with the New Jersey Devils Brian Gionta. Gionta retired from the NHL in the offseason after 15 seasons in the NHL with New Jersey, Montreal, and Buffalo. He spent seven years as a captain, four with Montreal and three with Buffalo.

One other former Bear, forward Ryan Stoa, is on the roster. Stoa is currently an alternate captain with Spartak Moscow of the KHL – he played 113 games with the Bears over two seasons.

Team USA made the roster announcement in the second intermission of the 2018 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field in Queens, New York. The full roster fro the Men’s, Women’s, and sled hockey teams can be found here.