The USA Hockey National Team Development Program has been celebrating its 25th anniversary throughout 2021 and will finish off that milestone year by throwing things back to the wild and crazy decade known as the 1990s.
For their game on Saturday, December 18th the USA HNTDP under 18 squad will be wearing Team USA’s glorious stars-and-striped waving flag uniform design made famous by 1996 World Cup of Hockey winning team.
The USA NTDP uniform is the blue version of the design with star-infused red and white stripes at the waist shown in a pattern that mimicks a waving flag. Player numbers on the sleeve are white and placed within a single red star, the USA NTDP’s 25th anniversary shield logo is on the left shoulder.
A solid design that conjures up many magical memories for American hockey fans of a certain vintage, the 1996 U.S. squad surprised many when they defeated Team Canada in the best-of-three final during the inaugural World Cup of Hockey held that September. The American team, led by Brett Hull, John LeClair, and tournament MVP Mike Richter, lost Game 1 of the finals on home ice before winning the final two games, both in Montreal, to clinch the title.
The design worn by the United States that year was part of a templated series rolled out by Nike. Each of the eight nations participating in the World Cup of Hockey wore a similar style of jersey with striping inspired by each country’s national flag waving away at the waist. They continued to be worn in 1997 including by the women’s team in the World Championships but were replaced in time for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan.