Jan 6, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene (9) prepares to take a shot on goal in the second period against the Calgary Flames at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
KUSA - Matt Duchene was named to the Team Canada squad for the Sochi Olympic, the national team announced Wednesday morning.
Duchene, 22, has 16 goals and 22 assists this season for the Colorado Avalanche and will make his Olympic debut. Duchene said he got a call about an hour before the team unveiling in Toronto.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet. You think you're going to be happier in the moment, but it doesn't really sink in," Duchene said after Tuesday's practice. "Over course of today I'll take some time to celebrate and have some fun, then get ready for game against Ottawa tomorrow."
Duchene said Monday he has been dreaming for the past week about the announcement, which was held live Tuesday morning on Canadian television from Toronto.
"Other than getting drafted by the Avalanche, this is the biggest accomplishment of my career," Duchene said. "I'm humbled and honored to be picked for part of this team."
He will join Avalanche teammates Paul Stastny (U.S. team), Semyon Varlamov (Russia) and Gabriel Landeskog (Sweden) at the Sochi Games.
"Yeah, of course there is going to be more pressure when you play in front of Russian fans, in front of your Russian president," Varlamov said. "But it's going to be so much fun to play at home."
Added the 21-year-old Landeskog: "To be named to the team at such a young age, right now it might be a bit of a blur, but down the road looking back at videos and pictures and all the memories it will create, that's when you sit back and realize maybe what you did. But for now just try to enjoy it, take it in stride and have as much fun as possible."
Also, former Avs defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was named the Latvian national team. The 41-year-old made his NHL debut with San Jose in 1992 and played for Colorado from 1995-2000. He played in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics and played in 875 NHL games and retired in 2008.