MINNEAPOLIS – Six players with Golden Gopher ties are among the 23 players named to the 2018 U.S. Women's Olympic Team that will to represent the United States at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea next month. USA Hockey revealed the members of Team USA during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field on Monday afternoon.
Senior Kelly Pannek and Gopher alumnae Hannah Brandt ('16), Dani Cameranesi ('17), Amanda Kessel ('16), Gigi Marvin ('09), and Lee Stecklein ('17) were selected to represent the Red, White, and Blue with Team USA.
Marvin leads the USA Gophers in making her third Olympic Games appearance after earning silver at both the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., and the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Kessel and Stecklein also return to the line-up for the Red, White, and Blue after earning silver in 2014. Brandt, Cameranesi, and Pannek are making their Olympic debuts.
Under the direction of head coach Robb Stauber, who played for the University of Minnesota from 1986 to 1989, the 2017-18 U.S. Women's National Team has been centralized in the Tampa area training at Florida Hospital Center Ice in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games since September. Fellow Gopher alumna Megan Bozek ('13) was part of the centralization team but will not return to the Olympic Games after earning silver with Team USA in 2014.
Before this year, 12 Gophers have competed in the Winter Olympic Games, making 20 Olympic appearances for two different countries. Ten Gophers have represented the U.S. in the Olympics, and two Finnish Gophers, Noora Räty and Mira Jalosuo, have competed for their native Finland. Most recently, seven Gophers participated in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and five Gophers earned silver with Team USA.
The U.S. Women's Olympic Team has participated in every Winter Olympic Games since the first-ever women's ice hockey tournament in 1998. USA took home Gold at that tournament in Nagano, Japan in a gold-medal game thriller over the Canadians. Since 1998, the U.S. has won three silver medals (2002, 2010, 2014) and one bronze medal (2006).
Team USA will be competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games from Feb. 11-22, 2018 with 11 other countries. Team USA is competing in Group A alongside Canada, Finland and Russia, and will open the competition Sunday, Feb. 11 against Finland.
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