BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Jan. 22, 2018 – Nine players from the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), including one student-athlete and representing five institutions, have been chosen to represent Team Finland and Team Switzerland, respectively, at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
The seven WCHA alumnae that will wear the Finnish sweater in Pyeongchang, South Korea are: University of Minnesota alumnae Mira Jalosuo (defense) and Noora Räty (goaltender); former University of Minnesota Duluth goaltender Eveliina Suonpää; Ohio State University great Minnamari Tuominen; and, three forwards who skated at the University of North Dakota – Michelle Karvinen, Emma Nuutinen and Susanna Tapani.
The pair of Swiss Olympians are current St. Cloud State University sophomore goaltender Janine Alder, along with Lara Stalder, a UMD alumna and the 2016-17 WCHA Player of the Year.
"We are so fortunate to have yet another opportunity to stand and applaud a group of amazing women who will represent their countries at the Winter Olympics," said WCHA Vice President and Women's League Commissioner Katie Million. "We are thrilled and incredibly proud for these nine players to compete on the sport's biggest stage!"
All nine players will be making their at least their second Olympic appearance, as six made their debut at Sochi 2010. Räty will be between the pipes at her fourth Winter Olympics, while Tuominen and Karvinen are each back for a third time; in fact, the trio were teammates in Vancouver 2010 as Finland won bronze. Alder – who just last weekend made 57 saves to help the Huskies to a win and tie against Minnesota Duluth – and Stalder, a 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-three finalist, were part of the Swiss team that earned bronze in Sochi, the country's first-ever Olympic medal in women's hockey.
Finland begins its 2018 Olympic quest Sunday, Feb. 11 against the United States. Switzerland drops the puck Saturday, Sept. 10 against the host, Team Korea.