EDINA, Minn. – May 11, 2017 – The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) – which has seen 66 Olympians since the league's inception in 1999 – will be represented by 12 incoming, current or former student-athletes on the 2017-18 Olympic centralization roster for Canada's National Women's Team. The 28-player roster, as announced today by Hockey Canada, will be centralized in Calgary throughout the upcoming season in preparation for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The 12 women with WCHA ties include representation from four of the league's 2017-18 member institutions (the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Duluth, Ohio State University and the University of Wisconsin), along with the University of North Dakota.
The full list of WCHA-affiliated players on the 2017-18 Olympic centralization roster for Canada's National Women's Team (in alphabetical order):
Player, Pos. - School
*#Emily Clark, F - Wisconsin
*Ann-Renée Desbiens, G - Wisconsin
Haley Irwin, F - Minnesota Duluth
*Halli Krzyzaniak, D - North Dakota
Brigette Lacquette, D - Minnesota Duluth
Jocelyne Larocque, D - Minnesota Duluth
Meaghan Mikkelson, D - Wisconsin
*Sarah Nurse, F - Wisconsin
^#Amy Potomak, F - Minnesota
*#Sarah Potomak, F - Minnesota
Natalie Spooner, F - Ohio State
Blayre Turnbull, F - Wisconsin
* denotes played in the WCHA in 2016-17
^ denotes committed freshman for 2017-18
# denotes has collegiate eligibility remaining
Five student-athletes played in the WCHA during the 2016-17 season (Wisconsin's Emily Clark, Ann-Renée Desbiens and Sarah Nurse, along with Minnesota's Sarah Potomak and North Dakota's Halli Krzyzaniak), while three have collegiate eligibility remaining (Clark, Sarah Potomak and her younger sister, Minnesota commit Amy Potomak). Four captured gold with Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi (Minnesota Duluth's Haley Irwin and Jocelyne Larocque, UW's Meaghan Mikkelson and Ohio State's Natalie Spooner), while two (Irwin and Mikkelson) are going for their third-straight Olympic gold after also winning at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
The 2018 Games will be the fifth Winter Olympics since the WCHA was formed in 1999, following 2002 (Salt Lake City, Utah), 2006 (Torino, Italy), 2010 (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) and 2014 (Sochi, Russia). The previous 66 WCHA-affiliated Olympians have come from eight member institutions and have represented eight countries (also Canada, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland). Seven WCHA players have worn the Canadian sweater in Olympic competition.
For more information on the 2017-18 Olympic centralization roster for Canada's National Women's Team, visit www.hockeycanada.ca.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)
The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association has won a record 16 national championships in 18 years since its inception in 1999, while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Award winners, 94 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and international team members. The eight-team Division 1 conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), the University of North Dakota, Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). For more information, visit www.wcha.com.