Sept. 27, 2012
USA Hockey announced today that two current University of Minnesota women's hockey players and three former Golden Gophers were selected as members of the U.S. Women's National Team, who will compete at the 2012 Four Nations Cup from Nov. 5-10. Senior captain Megan Bozek and junior Amanda Kessel received invites to join the 23-player roster, while alums Sarah Erickson, Gigi Marvin and Anne Schleper were also listed.
"Anytime that our players, current or former, are on their respective national teams, it is a big plus for our program," head coach Brad Frost mentioned. "Playing at that caliber helps our players get better, and those skills are obviously brought back to our team. The majority of our players want to reach that level at some point in their career, so it is a great honor when that goal is achieved."
Both Bozek and Kessel have represented Minnesota and their country in international play before. Kessel most recently did so last fall when she played in the Internationl Ice Hockey Federation (IIFH) Twelve Nations Invitational and netted two goals.
"Every opportunity I get to play with the national team, it is awesome," Kessel stated. "The more and more I get to play on that team, the more fun I have and the more I learn. It is just an honor to skate on the ice with the nation's best."
The current Gopher duo will be joined by a trio of former players in Sarah Erickson, Gigi Marvin and Anne Schleper. Erickson and Schleper each were on the 2011-12 National Championship team and graduated this past spring. Marvin played with Minnesota from 2005-2009 and was a two-time Patty Kazmaier Award Top 10 finalist.
"It is exciting to be reunited with them," Bozek said about playing with her former teammate. "It is nice to not be done playing with them yet. It will also be a good time, and I am honored to join these four other girls in not only representing Minnesota but also our country as well."
The U.S. National Team will hold camp in Tarrytown, N.Y. at the New York Rangers' Madison Square Garden Training Facility from Oct. 30-Nov. 4, but the duo will not be in attendance because they will be with the Gophers on their trip to Duluth, Minn. They will join the National Team in Finland following the games against Minnesota Duluth.
Bozek, Kessel and the rest of the U.S. National Team open up the Four Nations Cup on Nov. 6 against Sweden at Tikkurila Valttie Arena.
The Gophers will not miss any game during the 2012-13 season due to their stint with the National Team. Minnesota and many other WCHA teams have the week off from competition to allow players to participate in the national competition.
Pannek Ties Program Record
Kelly Pannek scored back-to-back goals just 15 seconds apart against Bemidji State last weekend.
Five Minutes with Sophie Skarzynski
Catch up with the sophomore defenseman as the Gophers prepare for this week's series at Wisconsin.
Pannek Garners WCHA Monthly Honors
Kelly Pannek is the WCHA Offensive Player of the Month for November after leading the NCAA with 18 points in six games.