BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Jan. 1, 2018 – More than half of the 23-player roster of the 2018 United States Olympic Women's Hockey Team hails from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), as 14 current or former WCHA players – representing four schools – have been tabbed by USA Hockey to wear the Red, White and Blue this February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The 14 WCHA-affiliated women, including a pair of current student-athletes, that will play for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics are: University of Minnesota alumnae Hannah Brandt (forward), Dani Cameranesi (forward), Amanda Kessel (forward), Gigi Marvin (forward) and Lee Stecklein (defense), along with current Gophers senior Kelly Pannek (forward); current University of Minnesota Duluth junior Maddie Rooney (goaltender) and Bulldogs alumna Sidney Morin (defense); former University of North Dakota stars Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (forward) and Monique Lamoureux-Morando (forward); and, past University of Wisconsin greats Brianna Decker (forward), Meghan Duggan (forward), Hilary Knight (forward) and Alex Rigsby (goaltender).
"To have 14 of the 23 players chosen by USA Hockey to represent our country on the sport's grandest stage is a testament to the hard work of the WCHA's amazing coaches and programs, and to the dedication and skill of the women who play in our league," said WCHA Vice President and Women's League Commissioner Katie Million. "We are tremendously proud of each of these women and are thrilled to watch them skate in the 2018 Olympics! Congratulations to all!"
The six set to make their Olympic debut include a trio of Gophers who were teammates on Minnesota's 2015 and 2016 national championship teams: Brandt, a three-time All-American and two-time WCHA Player of the Year who ended her collegiate career with 285 points, tied with Lamoureux-Davidson for most in league history and second-most in NCAA annals; Cameranesi, a two-time All-American and 2016 WCHA scoring champion; and Pannek, a 2017 All-American after leading the WCHA with 62 points. They are joined by Morin, the 2016-17 WCHA Defensive Player of the Year; her UMD teammate Rooney, who as a sophomore was Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 WCHA Final Faceoff with an event-record 112 saves; and, Rigsby, a two-time All-American and 2011 NCAA champion who still owns Wisconsin's program records for most saves (3,126) and wins (100).
The eight returning Olympians read as a who's-who of some of the best in NCAA and international women's hockey history. The Lamoureux sisters, Duggan, Knight and Marvin are all two-time Olympic silver medalists (2010 and 2014) with Team USA, while the quintet has been teammates for four gold-medal winning American squads at the IIHF World Championships. Decker, the 2017 USA Hockey Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year, and Kessel, both Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, are back for their second Winter Olympics, joining fellow Sochi teammate (and three-time NCAA champion) Stecklein.
Duggan will wear the captain's "C" for Team USA in Pyeongchang, while Decker is one of two alternate captains.
The United States Women's Team opens Olympic competition Sunday, Feb. 11 against Finland.
For more on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Team roster, click here.