ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Among the 21 players named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team here today at Michigan Stadium during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic are 11 Olympic veterans, including Julie Chu (Fairfield, Conn.), who will be be making her fourth Olympic appearance.
The U.S. team, which includes three goaltenders, seven defensemen and 11 forwards, will continue training and competing in the Boston, Mass., area until departing for the Olympics on Feb. 1. The opening ceremonies are slated for Feb. 7, with Team USA's first game taking place on Feb. 8 against Finland.
The team was selected from the 25 players who made up the 2013-14 U.S. Women's National Team. In addition to competing on the Bring on the World Tour, which included the Four Nations Cup, the group has been practicing at the Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Mass., and training at MBSC in Woburn, Mass., since early September.
"We're excited to officially announce our roster," said Reagan Carey, general manager for Team USA and also USA Hockey's director of women's hockey. "We had some very tough decisions, but we're confident that we have assembled 21 players that will help us achieve our goal of winning the gold medal. These players have fully dedicated themselves and have earned this opportunity. We'd also like to acknowledge and thank those players who did not make the team. They have contributed greatly to the advancement of the team."
"Today is an important day for our team and we're thrilled to continue our journey toward Sochi," said Katey Stone, head coach for Team USA. "We have a good blend of veterans and first-time Olympians and we're excited about what lies ahead. We're enthusiastic about our team and focused on getting better every day."
In addition to Chu, the 10 additional players with Olympic experience on the U.S. roster include Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.), Hilary Knight (Sun Valley, Idaho), Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.), Monique Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.), Gigi Marvin (Warroad, Minn.), Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle (Sheffield Village, Ohio), Molly Schaus (Natick, Mass.), Kelli Stack (Brooklyn Heights, Ohio), and Jessie Vetter (Cottage Grove, Wis.), who all played in 2010. All 21 players have competed in an International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship, including 18 who captured a gold medal last April to propel the United States to the No. 1 ranking in the world.
Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) is the youngest U.S. player at 19 years old (nine months, 16 days), just 10 days younger than Alex Carpenter (North Reading, Mass.). Chu is the senior member of the team at 31 years old (10 months), making her the oldest player to ever represent the U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team at the Olympics.
For more information on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, including the full roster, click here.
Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Women's Olympic Team can be found on olympics.usahockey.com, as well as on the U.S. Women's National Team's Facebook page and on Twitter at @usahockey.
NOTES: The selection of the U.S. Olympic Women's Team is subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee’s Games Preparation Division ... Captains will be named at a later date ... The U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team has medaled in all four Olympic appearances to date (gold-1998, silver-2002 and 2010, bronze-2006) ... The 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team is under the direction of General Manager Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ... Katey Stone (Arlington, Mass.) was named head coach on June 8, 2012, and will be the first female to serve as head coach of a U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team ... USA Hockey's international council, chaired by Gavin Regan, vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. Olympic Teams ...The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will take place Feb. 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.
Aug. 25, 2016 | Body-checking is a skill, not unlike skating, shooting and stickhandling, and it’s a critical skill to teach. Rhode Island Hockey recently gave it special emphasis with a free on-ice checking clinic open to all players in the 12U, 14U and 16U age classifications. Hosted at Schneider Arena with help from Providence College men’s hockey head coach Nate Leaman and Roger Grillo from USA Hockey, the two-hour clinic welcomed more than 100 players for station-based instruction in the fine art of giving and receiving a body check properly.
“Body contact is sometimes an under-taught skill, but there’s so much value in teaching it, both in terms of helping young players become more successful and also in terms of injury prevention,” said Grillo. “It was great to team up with the Rhode Island coaches and offer a learning opportunity that’ll pay dividends for these kids throughout their hockey careers.”
The event was so successful that Rhode Island Hockey will host a second session Sept. 8 at Boss Ice Arena on the University of Rhode Island campus in Kingston. Led by Kevin Sullivan, Rhode Island Hockey’s American Development Model director, the clinic will likely become an annual offering to enhance players’ skill and contact confidence, especially for 13-year-olds progressing into their first season of 14U hockey.
“The initial idea came from a parent asking if we offer any checking-specific training for players transitioning from 12U to 14U,” said Bob Larence, president of Rhode Island Hockey.
There’s a component of body-contact training that happens at every level, from cross-ice 8U to small-area battle drills for older players, but the idea of a body checking-specific teaching event for tweens and teens seemed a beneficial complement to that team-level training, so Rhody ran with it.
“We all thought it was a great idea, and ultimately, it became a great collaboration with Rhode Island Hockey, USA Hockey and the local colleges – Providence, URI and Brown,” said Larence.