Report: UMD’s Noah Cates selected to U.S. Olympic men’s team

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On Thursday University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) captain Noah Cates learned he’d been selected to play for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team in Beijing.

Cates confirmed the news to WDIO Thursday afternoon stating he had received a text with the news that morning.

"Very emotional telling some family and friends right away," Cates said. "Just couldn’t believe it. I’ve dreamed about being in the Olympics or representing Team USA. I’ve done it once before with the World Juniors, that was awesome and one of the best experiences of my life, but I think this is a little step up from that and I’m just looking forward to getting going."

The senior foward, and Stillwater, Minn. native, is one of five initial invitees currently skating for a Minnesota college. The U.S. men’s team began looking at collegiate standouts after the NHL pulled its players from the Olympic pool.

"Kind of unfortunate the NHL players couldn’t go, with how great the level of talent would have been for Team USA and some of these other teams," Cates said. "But obviously great opportunity for us younger guys, or guys overseas that are playing pro, so just got to take advantage of it and make the most of the opportunity that we have to represent our country and try to bring home a medal."

He will be led by former UMD assistant coach Brett Larson, and current head coach of St. Cloud State University men’s hockey, who was named as an assistant to Team USA.

Cates plans to depart Minnesota to meet the team in L.A. at the end of the month. The opening ceremony for the 2022 Beijing games is set for Feb. 4th and Team USA’s first game is Feb. 10th.