Jan 7, 2014, 8:20 AM EDT
For most of the 1990s, major hockey championships were decided among six nations — the U.S., Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic.
Slovakia bridged the gap with the turn of the century, making the quarterfinals of the 2006 Olympics and, in 2010, upsetting Sweden to reach the semifinals, where it put a scare into Canada.
It will be an outside medal threat in Sochi, leaning on goaltender Jaroslav Halak and defenseman Zdeno Chara while injuries may keep two NHL All-Stars at home.
Potent forward Marian Gaborik has a broken collarbone, and experienced defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has been out since Oct. 19 with a concussion.
Both were named to the team but can be replaced by Feb. 12.
A key member of the 2010 Olympic Team was NHL All-Star Pavol Demitra, who died a year later in the KHL Lokomotiv plane crash.
Here’s the full Slovakia roster:
Peter Budaj — Montreal Canadiens
Jaroslav Halak — St. Louis Blues
Zdeno Chara — Boston Bruins
Martin Marincin — Edmonton Oilers
Andrej Meszaros — Philadelphia Flyers
Andrej Sekera — Carolina Hurricanes
Lubomir Visnovsky — New York Islanders
Marian Gaborik — Columbus Blue Jackets
Michal Handzus — Chicago Blackhawks
Marian Hossa — Chicago Blackhawks
Tomas Jurco — Detroit Red Wings
Tomas Kopecky — Florida Panthers
Richard Panik — Tampa Bay Lightning
Tomas Tatar — Detroit Red Wings
Milan Bartovic — former NHL player
Marcel Hossa — former NHL player
- Japan’s Machida routs U.S. men at Skate America; ice dancers make history 0
- Mikaela Shiffrin wins her first World Cup giant slalom in Soelden tie (video) 0
- Alpine skiing men’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski preview Skate America 0
- Oscar Pistorius’ agent seeks prison meeting to discuss running future 1
- Alpine skiing women’s World Cup preview 0
- Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Terry Gannon named NBC’s lead figure skating announcers 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)