Last week, USA Hockey announced the first 23 players to make the roster for next month's Pyeongchang Olympics. Two spots have yet to be filled, and one of those could go to San Jose Barracuda goalie Parker Gahagen.
It's a nice story, regardless of whether he makes the team or not.
"He played for Army, you know," Barracuda coach Roy Sommer said. "He was one of the top goaltenders last year in college hockey, and we were fortunate enough to get him."
Sommer and the Barracuda got him thanks to a rather unique curriculum.
"It's called the world class athlete program for the Army, which allows soldiers to basically train for the Olympics," Gahagen said. "So I joined that."
And the second lieutenant did so knowing there was no blueprint for the journey he was about to embark upon.
"It's kind of weird because there was never really a hockey player in there so, you know, when you blaze paths, there's obviously bumps in the road," he said. "So, I kind of figured it out, and they made room for me there."
Indeed, Gahagen is on orders to train and play with the Barracuda until February. What happens after that even he doesn't know. But he does know if he were to make the Olympic team alongside teammate John McCarthy, it would clear some things up.
"Making the Olympics would make it a little more simple, where I'd go to the Olympics then come back here afterwards for the remainder of the season," Gahagen said.
Sommer said it's a positive all the way around.
"You know, two guys off the same team; that would be something special," the coach said. "Good for the organization, good for both those guys and, you know, what an honor."