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Potsdam’s Gavin Regan works in Sochi Olympics as USA Hockey official

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The first person Ogdensburg’s Jimmy Howard saw after walking off the ice following his team’s loss in the NHL Winter Classic last month was Potsdam resident Gavin Regan, who was preparing to take part in the announcement of the U.S. men’s Olympic team.

“You could see (Howard) was ticked off he lost in the shootout; he’s such a wicked competitor,” Regan said.

Among the more than 100,000 people at Michigan Stadium for the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day were the two former north country residents — from towns 28 miles apart. Both had a role in preparing for the Sochi Olympics.

Howard, a goalie for the Detroit Red Wings, came back on the ice shortly after the game against Toronto when his name was announced as one of three goalies on the U.S. team.

But one of the men who played a part in Howard being selected for the team was Regan, 52, the vice president of international hockey for USA Hockey. Regan is the U.S. representative at any international hockey meeting.

“I have oversight for everything for the men’s and women’s teams,” Regan said. “I help pick the staff and all that. I’m like the (general manager) of an NHL team. Everybody reports to me.”

Regan, who runs the branch and investment services for the Key Bank in Massena, has been involved with USA Hockey for almost 20 years.

In the late 1990s, he started as a vice president for the New York State Amateur Hockey Association in the northern zone. In 2006 he was involved in the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, serving as a general manager for the women’s team, but that job involved activities such as arranging the team’s travel and hotels and making sure everything was ready once the Games began.

Regan played high school hockey for Potsdam and played NCAA Division III hockey at Norwich University in Vermont under Don “Toot” Cahoon, who went on to coach Princeton and UMass. A major ankle injury ended Regan’s collegiate career after one season.

While in youth coaching, he worked with future NHL players, including Clarkson alum Erik Cole. Regan’s current role gives him a chance to see a plethora of games and do a lot of traveling.

For the most part, it’s been pleasant.

“Some days are better than others,” Regan said. “There is a lot of stress involved. We have so many good (NHL) players now that it was hard for us to put a team together. We have tough choices of who we have to leave off. It’s stressful making sure you put the right pieces to the puzzle together to have the best opportunity to be successful. It’s also fun. You get to see a lot of good hockey and meet good people, and it’s a great sport.”

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