"No matter who we're playing here, it's going to be a battle", said defenseman Megan Keller.
The 20-year-old was picked up by the Minnesota Wild in the 2015 NHL draft while he was trying to complete his last year at Boston University where he plays Division I hockey.
Though the USA has recovered with world championship wins against Canada (with the most recent in 2017), no gold is quite as sweet as that from Olympics, Decker says.
But Greenway has embraced the storyline - and why not?
This version of the US team is faster and can move the puck more quickly than its predecessors.
It's over 10,000 kilometres to Pyeongchang and takes about a day to fly from Halifax.
"I've been fortunate enough to play for USA Hockey a number of times", says Greenway, who scored three goals and had five assists in seven games for the team that won gold a year ago at the World Junior Championship. McCarthy, now skating for the San Jose Barracudas of the AHL, and Gilroy, who has played with several NHL teams and in the AHL and is now with Jokerit in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League, were cocaptains of the 2008-2009 Terrier team that won BU's last NCAA championship.
"I like the team we have; I think we have a lot of blue-collar-type guys", he told radio station WTOP. "It does show us that we're part of something bigger than ourselves and what we went through in April was more than just for our team. That's what you need when you're a group of 23, to come together and be the best you can be for each other".
The team has won bronze at three different world tournaments. Gilroy apparently wanted an outlet to give other players a hard time, so he was active on the chirping front. Without NHL players participating in this year's Olympics - and with amateurs playing for the first time since 1994 - the door opened for Greenway, as well as other college players who'll join him this week (Denver's Troy Terry, St. Cloud State's Will Borgen, and Harvard's Ryan Donato).
Jordan Greenway didn't have much time to think about being a pioneer. And the 6-foot-5, 230 pound forward was thrust further into the spotlight after winning gold at the World Juniors past year.
"We all know when we play the U.S.it's probably going to be a one-goal game either way", said Melody Davidson, GM of the women's programs. Everybody knows what they bring to the group and everyone has that buy-in, team-first mentality. I've always had the dream of playing the Olympics. "They're experienced. I'm excited to see how they are at the Olympics".
How long a hockey game goes really depends on the score. Greenway is also the first hockey player in three decades that is an amateur playing for the US men's Olympic hockey team because no players from the NHL were sent to compete this year. I feel like our team did and will continue to do.
Greenway and his younger brother, JD, both play hockey. We have to thank the National Hockey League for moving franchises into Phoenix, and San Jose, and more in southern California, Dallas - that's helped open the game up to more parts of our country and have players from everywhere. Being challenged along the way would help the future of the game and make a third straight showdown that much sweeter. More African Americans, more Hispanics, more people who really haven't been associated with our game across the country.
"We've been able to post some video and some different things for them to read and kind of get a little head start", Granato said. In the 2014 Olympics, Finland finished in fifth-place. Those players have totaled 2,140 career points. It's certainly a small step forward compared to the late 1980's, and the often horrifying experience by pioneers like Val James.
Canadian ice dance team Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lead team Canada into the Olympic stadium as the flag bearers during the opening ceremonies at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday.
Indeed, as we enter 2018, it's a barrier that's finally been broken. Getting acclimated to their teammates is perhaps more important, but that will have to happen quickly.