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PHOTO: Molly Schaus debuts Team USA Olympic goalie mask

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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Molly Schaus is one of the three goaltenders on the U.S. Olympic Women's Hockey Team. She and Jessie Vetter have been battling all year for the No. 1 job in Sochi and now they'll be competing for best mask on the team.

Schaus' mask, which was painted by Jesse's Custom Designs, honors a little bit of USA Hockey history as well as the most clever use of the USA shield that will adorn the team's jerseys at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Here's a look.

(Photo via Molly Schaus/@schaus729)

The dual color scheme is not something you see terribly often, but this also doesn't use a lot of the imagery you see repeated a lot on USA masks over the years.

On the side that will occupy the right side of Schaus' face, Schaus gives a nod to U.S. Olympic hockey history. The diagonal USA against the blue background is the same pattern that occupied the blue jerseys of the 1960 U.S. Olympic Men's Hockey Team which won the country's first ever gold medal for hockey. That jersey is probably one of the best the U.S. has ever worn, too.

On the left side, the design features the U.S. coat of arms as it appears on the Great Seal of the United States. The only difference is that the shield has been replaced by the current Team USA logo, which is very similar to the original. That's a really neat touch on the mask.

To break up the white and blue backgrounds is a ride stripe right down the middle with faint stars inside it. You can see more angles of the mask here.

As the U.S. Olympic masks have come out, it might be between Ryan Miller's and Molly Schaus' for the coolest of the bunch. No matter which one you like best, the USA-themed masks always look fantastic and with three goalies for each of the men's and women's teams, you get six great masks to pick from.

(Photo via Molly Schaus/@schaus729)

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