Gophers men’s hockey’s Meyers, Faber and Knies to play for Team USA at the 2022 Beijing Olympics

Four players with Gophers ties will compete for Team USA – current Gophers in Ben Meyers, Brock Faber and Matthew Knies, and Minnesota alum Aaron Ness – at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Forward Ben Meyers follows the puck across the rink at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Oct. 25. The Gophers went on to lose 2-5 to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Kamaan Richards

Forward Ben Meyers follows the puck across the rink at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Oct. 25. The Gophers went on to lose 2-5 to the University of Minnesota Duluth.

by Michael Lyne , Sports Reporter

USA Hockey named three current Gophers men’s hockey players in junior co-captain Ben Meyers, sophomore Brock Faber and freshman Matthew Knies and Minnesota alum Aaron Ness to its 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team Thursday evening.

“There’s no greater honor than representing your country at the Olympics, and we’re certainly proud that four players from the University of Minnesota are going to get that opportunity this year,” Gophers head coach Bob Motzko said in a statement. “Gopher hockey has a tremendous legacy over the last century, and part of that history is our connection to USA Hockey and some of the most iconic moments in U.S. Olympic history. We look forward to watching this group add to that legacy.”

Meyers, a Delano, Minn. native, leads the Gophers with 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 20 games this season. The Olympics will mark his first international competition with USA Hockey.

“With this being my first opportunity to represent the United States at the international level, this is certainly an honor and a dream come true,” Meyers said in a statement. “It’s hard to put into words just how thankful I am, but I’m looking forward to putting on that U.S. jersey and representing my country.”

Faber, a Maple Grove, Minn. native, has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 20 games this season. The Gophers’ defenseman served as an alternate captain for the U.S. National Junior Team at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship this year, and he also helped the team win a gold medal last year.

“Playing for the United States at the Olympics is a dream come true, and it is a tremendous honor to be selected by USA Hockey,” Faber said in a statement. “Representing my country is something I’ve always been proud of, and I’m excited to fulfill a life-long dream at the Olympics.”

Last but not least for current players is Knies, the Phoenix, Ariz. native is averaging a point per game with the Gophers as he has recorded 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 20 games this season. Earlier this year, he represented Team USA at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship alongside Faber.
“It’s a surreal feeling to be given this opportunity, and I feel very fortunate to have another chance to wear the colors and the crest after the World Junior Championship event was canceled,” Knies said in a statement. “It’s an honor to represent the United States as well as Gopher hockey at the highest level of international competition, and I’m excited to do so alongside two of my teammates in Brock Faber and Ben Meyers.”

Ness, a native of Roseau, Minn., spent three seasons with the Gophers and served as an alternate captain for one season. He has played with the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, and Arizona Coyotes throughout his professional career while recording seven points (one goal, six assists) in 72 NHL games.

Currently, the 31-year-old defenseman plays for the Providence Bruins of the AHL and has seven assists in 25 games this season.

Team USA has 25 players on their roster, with 15 from the NCAA, eight from European pro leagues, and two from the AHL.

With the NHL pulling out of the Olympic games, it left opportunities for players from these leagues worldwide to represent the U.S.

While talking on Gopher Hockey Weekly, Motzko noted Meyers, Faber and Knies plan to miss at least six games of Minnesota’s season, depending on how Team USA performs overseas in the Olympics.

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be underway Feb. 3-20 in Beijing, China.