By Bill Brophy for WCHA.com
The United States and Canada opened play in the 2018 Winter Olympics with dominating play Sunday and, not surprisingly, players from the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) were among the marquee names in the long-time rivals' first day victories.
Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Dani Cameranesi each scored goals to help the U.S. beat Finland and its star goaltender Noora Räty, 3-1 in Pyeongchang, South Korea in the first game of Pool A play. Räty, the former Minnesota all-American, saved 39 of 41 American shots and helped Finland take a 1-0 lead after the first period.
Lamoureux-Morando had the tying goal in the second period on an assist from her twin sister Jocelyne. It was Monique's 14th career Olympic point and the 12th career point for Jocelyne. Both of the former North Dakota stars won silver medals with team USA in 2010 and 2014. Cameranesi, the former Minnesota all-American, had an empty net goal in the final seconds and former Wisconsin all-American Hilary Knight had an assist on Kendall Coyne's second period goal.
Maddie Rooney, the goaltender who led Minnesota Duluth into the NCAA tournament last season, made 23 stops for Team USA in her Olympic debut.
Here are two different accounts of the game with player quotes:
In the other game in Pool A, Ann-Renée Desbiens, last year's Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner from Wisconsin, made 18 saves in her Olympic debut and Canada rolled to a 5-0 victory over Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). Haley Irwin, a former star at Minnesota Duluth, had a goal for Team Canada. Jocelyn Larocque, a former UMD defenseman, reached a milestone, playing in her 100th international game in the Olympic opener. Here is a story on Larocque, who is one of 37 former and current WCHA players participating in the 2018 Games:
Here are two recaps of Canada's opening game in Pyeongchang:
Canada faces Finland at 1:40 a.m. (CST) Tuesday when Pool A play resumes, while the U.S. plays Russia at 6:10 a.m. The United States and Canada conclude Pool A play Wednesday at 9:10 p.m. (CST). All of these games will be televised live on NBCSN. The gold medal game is scheduled for Feb. 22.
Group A will feature the top four teams based on the 2016 IIHF World Ranking -- the United States, Canada, Finland and Olympic Athletes from Russia -- with each of them automatically earning a spot in the elimination round. Group B will feature the remaining four teams in the tournament – Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and the unified Korean team -- with only the top two teams qualifying for the elimination round.
Pool B competition resumes at 1:40 a.m. (CST Monday when Switzerland plays Japan and, at 6:40 a.m., Sweden meets Korea.
After each team competes in three preliminary round games, the top two teams in Group A will receive a first-round bye in the medal round -- automatically advancing them to the semifinal round. In the quarterfinal round, the third-place team from Group A will play the second-place team in Group B, while the fourth-place team in Group A plays the top team in Group B. The quarterfinal winners will advance to face the top two teams in Group A, while the two quarterfinal losers will play the bottom two teams in Group B in a classification round that determines places five through eight in the tournament standings.
A schedule of all the women's hockey games at the Olympics is here: https://www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018/results/en/ice-hockey/daily-schedule.htm
And, the current Pool standings can be found here: http://pyeongchang2018.iihf.hockey/women/
NBC will broadcast and stream the games live. Erika Lawler, a former U.S. Olympian who played at Wisconsin, and Tessa Bonhomme, the former Ohio State all-American who won a gold medal for Team Canada, are part of NBC's coverage.
Team USA includes 14 former and current WCHA players. Team Canada includes nine former and current WCHA players while Team Finland has seven, Team Sweden features five WCHA alumnae and Team Switzerland has two players with WCHA ties.
Here is the breakdown of WCHA players on the rosters.
* -- denotes that player has eligibility remaining
Goaltenders (2): Alex Rigsby, Wisconsin; *Maddie Rooney, Minnesota Duluth
Defense (4): Monique Lamoureux-Morando, North Dakota; Gigi Marvin, Minnesota; Lee Stecklein, Minnesota; Sidney Morin, Minnesota Duluth
Forwards (8): Hannah Brandt, Minnesota; Dani Cameranesi, Minnesota; Brianna Decker, Wisconsin; Meghan Duggan, Wisconsin; Amanda Kessel, Minnesota Hilary Knight, Wisconsin; Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, North Dakota; *Kelly Pannek, Minnesota
Goaltender (1): Ann-Renée Desbiens, Wisconsin
Defense (3): Brigette Lacquette, Minnesota Duluth; Jocelyne Larocque, Minnesota Duluth; Meaghan Mikkelson, Wisconsin
Forwards (5): *Emily Clark, Wisconsin; Haley Irwin, Minnesota Duluth; Sarah Nurse, Wisconsin; Natalie Spooner, Ohio State; Blayre Turnbull, Wisconsin
Goalie (2): Noora Räty, Minnesota; Eveliina Suonpää, Minnesota Duluth
Defense (1): Mira Jalosuo, Minnesota
Forwards (4): Michelle Karvinen, North Dakota; Susanna Tapani, North Dakota; Emma Nuutinen, North Dakota; Minnamari Tuominen, Ohio State
Defense (3): Johanna Fallman, North Dakota; Emilia Andersson Ramboldt, Minnesota State; Annie Svedin, Ohio State
Forwards (2): Maria Lindh, Minnesota Duluth; Pernilla Winberg, Minnesota Duluth
Goalie (1): *Janine Alder, St. Cloud State
Forwards (1): Lara Stalder, Minnesota Duluth