UMD men's hockey: Bulldogs captain Noah Cates will wear a letter for USA at Olympics
The U.S. men's Olympic team opens the 2022 Olympics in Beijing at 7:10 a.m. on Thursday against host China
DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth senior captain Noah Cates will be wearing a letter on his red, white and blue jersey in Beijing, just as he does on his maroon and gold Bulldogs jersey.
Cates, 23, of Stillwater, Minnesota, was named an alternate captain on Wednesday night for the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team ahead of its first contest of the 2022 Winter Games against host China at 7:10 a.m. Duluth time on Thursday. Cates is in his second season as captain of the Bulldogs.
"He epitomizes our program," Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin said Wednesday when asked about Cates making his Olympic debut on Thursday. "He's the consummate team player. He works hard every day, You love players like that."
Former Miami RedHawk and 2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Andy Miele of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, was named captain of Team USA. He's the first Michigan native to ever captain the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team.
Other alternate captains include former Minnesota Golden Gopher Aaron Ness of Roseau, Minnesota, and former Michigan Wolverine Steven Kampfer of Jackson, Michigan.
“We have a great leadership group with Andy, Aaron, Steven and Noah,” U.S. head coach David Quinn said in the announcement. “There’s a lot of leaders in our room, and to get to our ultimate goal of winning gold, it will take everyone moving forward together.”
Cates is one of six Bulldogs wearing a letter in the 2022 Olympic hockey tournaments. Five former women's players were named captains, including Lara Stalder (C) of Switzerland, Michelle Lowenhielm (C) of Sweden, Jocelyne Larocque (A) of Canada, Katerina Mrazova (A) of Czechia and Alexandra Vafina (A) of Russian Olympic Committee.