Seven Gophers represented their respective countries as USA Hockey hosted the annual Four Nations Cup between the U.S., Canada, Finland and Sweden in Lake Placid, N.Y., this week.
The U.S. Women's National Team roster included Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper and Lee Stecklein. Meanwhile, Noora Räty and Mira Jalosuo were members of Finland's team.
Canada topped Finland, 6-3, in the championship game, while the U.S. took third place with an 8-1 win over Sweden. Bozek (1g-5a) was the second-leading scorer in the tournament, while Marvin (2g-2a) and Schleper (1g-1a) each appeared in all four games as well. Räty played in three games and posted a .937 save percentage for the tournament; she also recorded an assist. Jalosuo was in Finland's line up for two games, and Stecklein appeared in one game. Kessel did not play.
Here's a quick game-by-game recap of the tournament:
The U.S. Women's National Team's Bring on the World Tour continues with two games against Canada in December. The teams meet at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D., on Dec. 20 before facing off at the Xcel Energy Center on Dec. 28.
The final 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, which will include 18 forwards/defensemen and three goaltenders, will be announced during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2014, in Ann Arbor, Mich., live on NBC.
Ridder Arena was selected as one of four finalists to host the women's NCAA Frozen Four from 2015 to 2018, the NCAA announced last week. Ridder is among the three sites in contention to hold an upcoming NCAA Division III men's hockey championship as well.
The announcement came as the NCAA released a list of the host site finalists for the final round of 81 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 championship seasons.
Along with Ridder Arena, the four finalists for the women's Frozen Four include Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo., (hosted by Lindenwood/St. Louis Sports Commission); Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, N.H. (New Hampshire); and Ralph Englstad Arena in Grand Forks, N.D. (North Dakota).
The three venues in contention for the NCAA Division III men's hockey championship are Ridder (hosted by St. Scholastica); Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. (Plattsburgh State/Olympic Regional Development Authority); and Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, N.Y. (Utica).
The NCAA sport committees will select the winning sites, which must then be approved by the appropriate divisional championships cabinets/committees before being announced via webcast at NCAA.com on Dec. 11.
Along with the Gophers' NCAA-record 59-game winning streak, the Minnesota women's hockey team also has now tied the NCAA women's hockey record for the longest home unbeaten streak.
Minnesota's 4-1 win over Minnesota State last Friday marked the team's 30th-straight victory at home in Ridder Arena. The Gophers are now tied with Harvard's unbeaten mark of 30 games set Feb. 2, 2002 to Jan. 11, 2004.
Here are a few more articles that are worth reading. The Minnesota Daily looked at the Mariucci Arena and Ridder Arena zamboni drivers and what goes into preparing the ice for Gopher hockey games. Last but not least, Dave Schwartz wrote about the Gophers' 57-game winning streak for his column in Minnesota Hockey Magazine.
Catch up on some of the media coverage of Gopher women's hockey this week. The media previewed this weekend's series at Bemidji State, recognized Dani Cameranesi's WCHA Rookie of the Week award and looked at both Gopher men's and women's hockey being No. 1 in the national polls.
USA Hockey profiled Lee Stecklein as she competes with the U.S. Women's National Team in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Stecklein explained how her freshman season with Gopher women's hockey helped prepare her for the competition she's facing at the international level.
During her freshman season with the Gophers in 2012-13, Stecklein played in all 41 games and recorded 12 points on three goals and nine assists. Her three goals included two power-play goals and two game-winning goals. The blue liner from Roseville, Minn., was +35 on the season as well.
Catch up with Stecklein and learn about her U.S. National Team experience in the article below.
Gopher women's hockey has been the No. 1 team in both national polls since the final poll of the 2011-12 season (March 19-20, 2012). That's 28-straight USCHO polls and 31-straight USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
2013-14 USCHO.com Poll: Minnesota's First-Place Votes
Preseason Poll: 14 of 15
(No Poll Sept. 30)
Oct. 7 Poll: 15 of 15
Oct. 14 Poll: 15 of 15
Oct. 21 Poll: 15 of 15
2013-14 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll: Minnesota's First-Place Votes
Preseason Poll: 18 of 19
Oct. 1 Poll: 19 of 19
Oct. 8 Poll: 18 of 19
Oct. 15 Poll: 19 of 19
Oct. 22 Poll: 19 of 19
The No. 1 Gophers (6-0-0, 4-0-0 WCHA) travel north to face Bemidji State (3-2-1, 0-0-0 WCHA) this weekend. Puck drop is set for 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday at BSU's Sanford Center.