HERSHEY — Come February, Hershey Bears’ Chris Bourque will be trading in the chocolate and white for the red, white and blue.
On Monday afternoon, USA Hockey announced that the 31-year-old forward will join 24 other players in PyeongChang, South Korea, representing Team USA in the Winter Olympic Games.
Bourque has had his fair share of international appearances with Team USA — having previously represented the country in the 2005 and 2006 World Junior Championships as well as earning a Deutschland Cup title in 2013 — but being a member of the Olympic Team, he says, is something you can’t even dream about.
“It’s one of the biggest moments in not only my hockey career, but life when I got the call for that,” the American Hockey League’s leading scorer said. “Playing in the Olympics, I don’t even know if it’s something you really dream about because it’s so far-fetched growing up as a kid, so to have the opportunity to play in the Olympics is something that I can’t even describe.”
Hershey’s Vice President of Hockey Operations, Bryan Helmer, added that the organization is thrilled and eager to see him on the ice.
“This is an incredible honor for Chris and something that he deserves,” Helmer said in the team’s press release. “He has been a large part of our organization for many years, and his play on the ice this year once again cements his legacy as one of the best to ever play the game at this level.
“We’re excited to see Chris skate for Team USA in the Olympics, and know he’ll do us proud.”
In 35 games this season, Bourque — who is in his ninth season with Hershey — is the league’s scoring leader with 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists).
Bourque and Team USA open their schedule with a preliminary game on Feb. 14 versus Slovenia. The Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule runs through Feb. 25 when the Gold-Medal game will be played.