Darwitz to captain US women’s Olympic hockey team

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Two-time Olympian Natalie Darwitz will captain the U.S. women’s hockey team in Vancouver.

Angela Ruggiero and Jenny Potter, both heading into their record fourth Olympics, will be Americans’ alternate captains along with two-time Olympian Julie Chu, USA Hockey announced Thursday.

Darwitz was the American captain during the past two international seasons, leading the U.S. team to IIHF world championships in 2008 and 2009. The former University of Minnesota star has played in 197 games for the American team, scoring 231 points.

“She’s a great scoring threat,” Ruggiero told The Associated Press. “She’s someone that definitely doesn’t say a lot, but she has a strong presence on the team and has proven to be successful.”

Potter has been on the U.S. team since 1997, while Ruggiero has played in a record 244 games for the team. Chu has been in the American program since 1999.

The U.S. team is in training in Minnesota before its final push toward Vancouver. The American women will play Finland in two final games in Colorado Springs, Colo., in early February before beginning Olympic competition Feb. 14 against China.