When Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane makes his way to Sochi, Russia to represent the United States hockey team in the 2014 Winter Olympics he will be reunited with an old friend.
Kelli Stack, a forward for the United States women's national hockey team, has known Kane since the two were teenagers. The pair of U.S. gold medal hopefuls played against each other in the North American Hockey League and were teammates during a tournament when they were 14.
"He was from Buffalo and I'm from Cleveland," Stack told Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. "We always played against his team growing up. He had all-black everything, all-black skates, all-black stick. He definitely stood out and was the best player on his team. He was fun to play against and fun to play with."
This will be the second straight Winter Olympics for the duo. Kane and Stack each helped lead United States to the silver medal for their respective hockey teams in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Kane's first stop on his quest to help United States capture a gold medal will be against his Blackhawks teammates' Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus of Slovakia on Thursday, Feb. 13. Stack and the women's team will square off against Finland on Saturday, Feb. 8.
"I'm sure when I see her (in Russia), the connection will probably be pretty quick because of what's happened in the past with our careers and where we used to play," Kane said. "It was fun to kind of get to know her again in 2010 and talk about some of the memories we had."