BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 30, 2021 – Fifteen players with Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League ties are among the 25 players named to USA Hockey's Women's National Team, the national governing body announced Tuesday.
The group makes up the majority of the 26-player U.S. squad that will compete at the 2021 IIHF Women's World Championship May 6-16 in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia.
"Congratulations to all of the WCHA players who will represent the United States at the IIHF World Championship," WCHA Commissioner Jennifer Flowers said. "Representing your country on the international stage is one of the highest honors any athlete can achieve, and we're proud to see so many of our players competing for our country. I also want to recognize the WCHA institutional representatives who will be a part of the U.S coaching and support staffs at this year's World Championship. Good luck to all."
The final U.S. roster includes three goaltenders, eight defensemen and 14 forwards. The WCHA contingent that makes up 60 percent of that group features one goaltender, four defensemen and 10 forwards.
The WCHA contingent includes three players who competed in the league this season – Minnesota forward Grace Zumwinkle, Wisconsin defenseman Natalie Buchbinder and her Badger teammate, forward Britta Curl. WCHA alumni on the roster include forwards Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, Amanda Kessel and Kelly Pannek of Minnesota, Sydney Brodt of Minnesota Duluth and Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight and Abby Roque of Wisconsin.
WCHA alumni on defense include Minnesota's Megan Bozek and Lee Stecklein while former Badger goaltender Alex Cavallini is one of the three U.S. netminders. Wisconsin 2021-22 signee Caroline Harvey is also among the U.S. defenders on the final roster.
In addition to the 15 players, University of Minnesota assistant coach Joel Johnson is a member of the U.S. coaching staff and Minnesota Duluth director of hockey operations Nick Bryant is the U.S. team leader and director of hockey operations. Several other with WCHA are serving as support staff, including Minnesota's Brent Proulx (equipment manager) and Cal Dietz (head human performance coach) and Wisconsin's Sis Paulson (equipment manager).
The United States will play its World Championship Group A preliminary round games at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax with host Canada, Finland, Russia and Switzerland. Group B, which features the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary and Japan, will play at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro. The top three Group B finishers will advance to the quarterfinals along with all five Group A teams. The tournament schedule will be released at a later date.
|WCHA USA Hockey National Team Representatives|
|Megan Bozek*||D||Minnesota||Buffalo Grove, Ill.|
|Hannah Brandt*^||F||Minnesota||Buffalo Grove, Ill.|
|Sydney Brodt*^||F||Minnesota Duluth||North Oaks, Minn.|
|Natalie Buchbinder||D||Wisconsin||Fairport, N.Y.|
|Dani Cameranesi*^||F||Minnesota||Plymouth, Minn.|
|Alex Cavallini*^||G||Wisconsin||Delafield, Wis.|
|Britta Curl||F||Wisconsin||Bismarck, N.D.|
|Brianna Decker*^||F||Wisconsin||Dousman, Wis.|
|Caroline Harvey#||D||Wisconsin||Pelham, N.H.|
|Amanda Kessel*^||F||Minnesota||Madison, Wis.|
|Hilary Knight*^||F||Wisconsin||Sun Valley, Idaho|
|Kelly Pannek*||F||Minnesota||Plymouth, Minn.|
|Lee Stecklein*^||D||Minnesota||Roseville, Minn.|
|Abby Roque||F||Wisconsin||Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.|
|Grace Zumwinkle||F||Minnesota||Excelsior, Minn.|
*- 2019 World Championship gold medalist
^- 2018 Olympic gold medalist
#- 2021-22 Signee
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League
The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association marked its 22nd season in 2020-21. The nation's premier women's hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league's inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 105 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division I conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), The Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). The WCHA will grow to eight members with the addition of the University of St. Thomas (Tommies) beginning with the 2021-22 season. For more information, visit wcha.com.