When the NHL announced that it will not participate in the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the question became who will wear “USA” on their sweaters come February? On New Years Day — during the Winter Classic — the question was finally answered.
Among those named to the team was Boston University men’s hockey junior forward and assistant captain Jordan Greenway.
Despite being just 20 years old, Greenway brings with him a plethora of international tournament experience. In 2017, Greenway’s team won gold in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship — a tournament in which Greenway scored eight points, tying for the ninth-highest scorer in the tournament.
However, during last season’s IIHF World Championships, Greenway — skating along current NHL stars — did not have repeat success, failing to record a single point.
BU head coach David Quinn noted the progress Greenway has made throughout his three years with the program.
“He’s made such progress on and off the ice. He means so much to our program in so many ways,” Quinn said. “[I’m] just really happy for him. His freshman year he didn’t make the World Junior team and here he is now two years later on the Olympic team.”
The inclusion of Greenway on the team is historic. When Greenway takes the ice for the first time for Team USA, he will do so as the first African-American to play on the Olympic team for the United States.
Standing at 6-feet-5-inches, Greenway is the tallest member of Team USA’s roster and will be the second youngest. The Canton, New York native is currently fourth on the Terriers (8-10-1, 6-6-1 Hockey East) in points and goals with 17 and seven respectively.
Quinn said he thinks Greenway has what it takes to be an great player at the NCAA level.
“[Junior forward and assistant captain] Bobo [Carpenter] and Greeny have done a great job,” Quinn said. “You’re talking about two guys who can be elite players at our level.”
However, Greenway will not be the only NCAA player seeking to help USA secure a gold medal. He will be one of four current NCAA hockey players that will skate for Team USA. Greenway will be joined by University of Denver junior forward Troy Terry, Harvard University junior forward Ryan Donato and St. Cloud State University junior defenseman Will Borgen.
Quinn said it means a lot to the program to have Greenway named to the team.
“Well you certainly take a lot of pride in having one of the four collegiates making the Olympic team,” Quinn said. “He and I were joking I didn’t think he make it through his first year year let alone be here for three years and make the Olympic team.”
BU’s bloodline runs deep on this Olympic roster.
Greenway will stake with three former Terriers in South Korea. Recently inducted Boston University Athletic Hall of Famer defenseman Matt Gilroy, forward Chris Bourque and forward John McCarthy were all named to the Olympic roster. The four Terriers are the most on the roster by a single school.
BU will send one more person to participate on Team USA. Although not a player, he will still have a major impact on the team. Assistant athletic director Brian Kelley will serve as a media relations contact for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team.
The last time the United States won gold during the Olympics was after the “Miracle on Ice” during the 1980 games in Lake Placid, New York. The Terriers sent four players, including captain Mike Eruzione and goaltender Jim Craig.
BU played a major role in the game against the Soviet Union, in which the United States’ historic upset qualified the team for the championship game in which they took home gold. Eruzione scored the game-winning goal halfway through the third period, forward Dave Silk recorded two assists and Craig stopped 36 of 39 shots he faced.
During the nine Olympic games since, Team USA has medaled twice, finishing in second place both times — most recently in 2010. Greenway and the rest of Team USA hope to bring home the Olympic gold for the third time in its history.
Liam O’Brien contributed to the reporting of this article.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the United States’ game against the Soviet Union won gold in the 1980 olympics. The game was actually a semifinal which qualified them to later win gold.