Ryan Miller honors wife, dog as nesting dolls on Olympic mask (Photos)

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American hockey fans are hoping to once again "Believe in Millercles" next month when Team USA tries for gold at the Sochi Olympics. Ryan Miller has a good shot at being the no. 1 netminder for the U.S. for the second straight Games after earning tournament MVP honors in 2010 and leading the team to within an overtime goal of a gold medal.

For 2014, Miller went back to mask designer Ray Bishop, who also painted one for the Buffalo Sabres goaltender in 2010. For Sochi, Miller is using an updated design of Uncle Sam, the Olympic torch and a bald eagle. Also, on each side side is a shamrock, which "Miracle on Ice" goalie Jim Craig featured on his mask during the 1980 Games in Lake Placid.

In 2010, Miller had the Olympic rings on the chin plate. This time around he opted for the great American shield. The back plate has Miller and his wife, actress Noureen DeWulf and their dog, Puck, as nesting dolls.

The 5:01 clock time refers to "Miller Time," which he had on his mask in 2010 before the IOC stepped in acting like it was a beer advertisement.

"With Ryan's mask we had a kind of direction from the last time around, and I just whipped up a couple of sketches, he liked one that I came up with, and I asked if I should run with it and he said cool lets do it," Bishop told MINBCNews.com earlier this month.

Bishop did mask for Dominik Hasek for the 2002 and 2006 Olympics and is also painting up a design for Jimmy Howard, who he works with regularly, for this year's tournament as well.

Stick-tap Chris Peters

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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