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Pacioretty to compete at Sochi Olympics

Three southern Connecticut natives will represent their country in men's hockey at the Sochi Olympics next month.

New Canaan's Max Pacioretty, Hamden's Jonathan Quick and Greenwich native Kevin Shattenkirk received word Wednesday afternoon when the team was announced after the NHL's Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich.

It's the second trip to the Olympics for Quick, but all three could play at the Olympics for the first time.

Pacioretty, 25, has 17 goals and 21 points for the Montreal Canadiens. The left winger scored 33 goals and 65 points two years ago for Montreal.

Quick joined Ryan Miller (who's returning to this year's team) and Tim Thomas as the goalies on the team that competed in 2010 at Vancouver. Quick didn't play then but won the Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings two years later.

Quick, who'll turn 28 on Jan. 21, has been out since Nov. 12 with a groin injury but is reportedly close to returning. He'll join the Buffalo Sabres' Miller and the Detroit Red Wings' Jimmy Howard this year.

Shattenkirk, a 24-year-old defenseman, has 28 points for the St. Louis Blues.Though he grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., he played youth hockey for the Mid-Fairfield program and played for Brunswick before joining the U.S. National Team Development Program.

Among those who didn't make the cut: former Bridgeport Sound Tigers right winger Kyle Okposo. The Minnesota native has 40 points in 41 games for the New York Islanders, second among Americans in the NHL only to Chicago's Patrick Kane (53).

The New York Rangers placed forwards Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan and defenseman Ryan McDonagh on the team. Quick, Kane and Callahan were among 13 players on this year's roster who were also on the 2010 roster.

The U.S. forwards selected: David Backes, Dustin Brown, Callahan, Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, T.J. Oshie, Pacioretty, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Paul Stastny, Stepan, James van Riemsdyk and Blake Wheeler.

On U.S. defense: John Carlson, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Paul Martin, McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Shattenkirk and Ryan Suter.

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio

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