Ruggiero and Potter named to fourth U.S. Olympic teams

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Angela Ruggiero and Jenny Potter were picked for their fourth successive Olympics on Thursday in a powerful United States women's ice hockey squad for next year's Vancouver Winter Games.

The pair, the only Americans to have been chosen for each of the four Olympics where women's ice hockey has been played, were among six players in the 21-member squad with previous Olympic experience.

Julie Chu and Natalie Darwitz will both make their third appearance at the Olympics, while Caitlin Cahow and Molly Engstrom will make their second.

The squad also features 19 of the players who helped the Americans win this year's world championship in Finland, beating their bitter rivals Canada in the final.

"We're excited by the youthfulness of our team, as well as comfortable with the veterans and the leadership they will provide."

The U.S. won the inaugural women's ice hockey gold medal at Nagano in 1988 but Canada won the gold at Salt Lake City (2002) and Turin (2006).

(Reporting by Steve Keating. Editing by Julian Linden)