With the World Cup of Hockey right around the corner, it’s fitting that the 1996 United States World Cup team is among the three inductees set to become part of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016. It was announced Monday that the entire 1996 team, which included
Mike Richter and was coached by Ron Wilson, will be heading into the Hall of Fame twenty years after the team’s impressive World Cup victory. The American squad lost only one of the seven games it played during the tournament, with their only defeat coming at the hands of the Canadian team in the first game of the three-game tournament final. The Americans tied the final at one game apiece to set up a World Cup-deciding Game 3, and in the final minutes of the contest the U.S. team put together one of the most thrilling comebacks in international hockey history. Down by one with 3:18 to go, Hull scored to tie the game, and less than one minute later
Tony Amonte found the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.
Derian Hatcher and
Adam Deadmarsh added two goals in the final minute to secure a 5-2 comeback win.
When the tournament concluded, five members of Team USA were among the top 10 scorers. Hull led the way with seven goals and 11 points,
John LeClair finished second in scoring with six goals and 10 points, Leetch and
Doug Weight tied for third with seven points each and
Keith Tkachuk’s five goals and six points put him into a tie for eighth in scoring. For his play between the pipes, Richter was named tournament MVP and American blueliner
Chris Chelios finished on the tournament all-star team alongside Hull, LeClair and Richter. For 16 members of that World Cup squad, the induction as part of the 1996 team marks the second time they’ll go into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Along with the World Cup team, Craig Janney and coach Normand “Bill” Belisle will also be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Janney, 48, was a first-round, 13th overall selection of the Boston Bruins in 1986, and he would go on to play 760 games in the NHL. During his NHL career, Janney was a gifted playmaker and he notched 188 goals and 751 points during his career to go along with another 24 goals and 110 points in 120 playoff games. He would become a key member of the Bruins teams that made deep post-season runs during the late-1980s, but he had his most successful season in the early 1990s as a member of the St. Louis Blues. Traded to the Blues in 1991-92 in exchange for Adam Oates, Janney would have his breakout season in St. Louis the following campaign. In 84 games during the 1992-93 campaign, Janney notched 24 goals and 106 points. He followed that up with 16 goals and 84 points in 69 games in 1993-94. Janney retired relatively young, at 31, in 1998-99. He finished his career as a New York Islander, but played only 18 games for the club before hanging up his skates. On the international stage, he represented Team USA seven times, including winning a bronze medal at the 1985-86 World Junior Championship. Belisle, 86, is likely the least-known of the group, but his contributions to the game have been outstanding at the minor hockey level. He has been the coach at Rhode Island’s Mount Saint Charles Academy for 42 seasons. During his tenure at Mount Saint Charles, the club went on a run of 26-straight state titles, spanning from 1978 to 2003, and Belisle has been behind the bench for an outstanding 990 victories. The program has also produced some exceptional talent under Belisle, including Brian Lawton and
Brian Berard, a pair of first overall picks. Among the other notable alumni to play under Belisle are
Mathieu Schneider, Brian Boucher,
Keith Carney and New York Islanders GM Garth Snow. “This is a truly magnificent class,”
said president of USA Hockey, Jim Smith, in a statement. “Each member of the Class of 2016 has had an extraordinary impact on our sport and is most deserving to take their place among the hockey immortals in the United States.”
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