- The Washington Times - Friday, May 21, 2004

Jeff Halpern, Olie Kolzig and Rastislav Stana of the Washington Capitals will participate in the second World Cup of Hockey for their respective countries late this summer.

The United States is the defending champion, winning the initial World Cup in 1996 over Canada. The Americans again will be coached by former Caps coach Ron Wilson, who led the San Jose Sharks into the NHL’s Western Conference finals this season.

Halpern, a Cap for five seasons, was named to the United States team yesterday shortly after he returned from the Czech Republic, where he helped the American team win a bronze medal in the World Championships. The U.S. defeated Slovakia 1-0 in a shootout to take the consolation game.

It will be Halpern’s first appearance in the World Cup although he has represented his country in three World Championships.

Kolzig appeared in the first World Cup, tending goal for Germany. He also has represented that country in two World Championships and the Nagano Olympic Games.

Stana, a native of Slovakia, was assigned to Portland in the American Hockey League this season but spent a good part of the year in Washington because of injuries to others. He has been on the Slovakia roster during three World Championships.

In 1996, nearly 20 former or current Caps played for their respective countries during the World Cup. Jim Carey, Phil Housley and Steve Konowalchuk were on the Washington roster for the Americans during the first World Cup.

Former Washington assistants Tim Army and Keith Allain will be on Wilson’s staff when training camp opens Aug.20 in Columbus, Ohio. Army currently is coach of the Caps’ top farm team in Portland, Maine. Allain will coach goalies.

One of the major roster surprises so far has come from Sweden, where Boston (and former Washington) center Michael Nylander was left off the roster. Also not making Team Sweden was defenseman Calle Johansson, captain of the 1996 team and a member of the all-tournament team.

Stana will join former Caps Peter Bondra and Richard Zednik on the Slovak roster. Kolzig will be teamed with former Caps Jan Benda and Stefan Ustorf and prospect Robert Muller.

The championship of the eight-country tournament will be Sept.14 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

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