David Leggio: “Amazing feeling” to represent US at the Olympics

Russia forward Viktor Tikhonov, right, scores past USA goaltender David Leggio during the Group B preliminary round match between Russia and USA at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, May 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – For the first time in his hockey career Williamsville native David Leggio will be representing the United States on the biggest stage – at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

“It’s crazy to be in this position,” Leggio said in a phone interview from Germany on Wednesday. “Anytime you get to wear USA on your chest it’s amazing and I’ve been really lucky to have that opportunity before.

“But, the Olympics is something you dream of as a kid. It seems so unattainable but it’s an amazing feeling to be able to represent the country and hopefully make them proud.”

Leggio, along with fellow netminder Brandon Maxwell, were the final two players added to the American’s roster last week.

“Making the team means a lot to me,” he said.  “I was nervous and my family was nervous. You think about it a lot but you just try to work hard and give yourself the best chance you can and I’m glad they picked me.”

The former Amerks netminder isn’t the only Western New York native who will be suiting up for Team USA in February.  Leggio will be playing with former Sabres Captain and Rochester native Brian Gionta, who he played with in November at the Deutschland Cup.

“He’s a great leader,” Leggio said of Gionta.  “A guy like myself, I always saw his name and saw him around the rinks and how special he was. Getting to play with him is pretty special and obviously having him as our captain and leader is a great asset to us. I’m excited to be doing this with him.

“We’ve chatted a little bit about the games and I’ve been able to draw from his experience since he’s had the Olympic experience before.”

And, with the talent on the team, Leggio believes the United States could be standing atop the podium when the Olympics comes to a close.

“The guys I saw at the Deutschland Cup were super skilled and we’ve added some great pieces whether it’s from other teams in Europe or in college,” he said.  “We have as good a chance as anybody. There’s going to be some really good teams out there but our goal should be to win Gold for the US.”

The United States’ first game at the Olympics is Wed. February, 14, against Slovenia.

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