U.S. makes final cuts for Olympic women's hockey roster
The U.S. women's hockey team made its final cuts this week and, barring any freak injuries in the next month, has set its roster for the 2018 Olympic Games.
The Americans cut 2014 Olympic silver medalists Alex Carpenter and Megan Bozek, according to three college hockey sources, to get down to the 23-player roster it will take to Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Carpenter, a former Boston College star and winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, plays forward. Bozek, a former Minnesota standout, is a defenseman.
That means Grand Forks natives Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux and Warroad's Gigi Marvin will play in their third Olympic Games come February.
The Lamoureux twins and Marvin have two silver medals from the 2010 Vancouver Games and the 2014 Sochi Games.
The official roster announcement is expected on Jan. 1 during the NHL's Winter Classic.
The Americans are keeping an odd mix of 11 forwards and nine defensemen, which means one or two defensemen will likely be moved up front.
Marvin is almost a lock to be one of them. She has played forward for most of this season, including in three of the four December exhibition games between the U.S. and Canada.
Monique Lamoureux could be an X-Factor, playing wherever she is needed.
Monique played forward during the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, but in 2015 was moved to defense -- where she played most of her college career at UND. Monique was the top-scoring defenseman in three straight Women's World Championships -- 2015, 2016 and 2017. She played both positions during the December series against Canada.
These late cuts weren't part of the original plan.
USA Hockey announced what appeared to be the final roster in April, a televised event where a 23-player roster was revealed as the national team.
The plan was for these players to get together in Tampa, Fla., for months and build chemistry while preparing to try to bring the United States its first gold in women's hockey since 1998.
But come October, the Americans decided to add one more player to the mix, picking up Boston College rookie defenseman Cayla Barnes. After Thanksgiving, USA Hockey added two more: former Boston College forward Haley Skarupa, who played for the U.S. at the World Championships this year, and former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Sidney Morin, who has minimal experience on a world stage.
All three players ended up making the team, though the U.S. is 0-4 against Canada since the Thanksgiving additions, scoring just three goals in the four games.
The Americans previously cut Wisconsin forward Annie Pankowski, who also was one of the final cuts in 2014.
Since losing the 2014 gold medal game in overtime, the Americans have appeared to turn the tide in their favor, winning gold at all three World Championships. They also have won gold at the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Four Nations tournament.
U.S general manager Reagan Carey replaced coach Ken Klee, who won gold at the 2015 and 2016 Worlds and Four Nations, with Robb Stauber a year ago.
USA Olympic roster
29 Nicole Hensley
33 Alex Rigsby
35 Maddie Rooney
2 Lee Stecklein
3 Cayla Barnes
5 Megan Keller
6 Kali Flanagan
7 Monique Lamoureux-Morando
8 Emily Pfalzer
22 Kacey Bellamy
38 Sidney Morin
10 Meghan Duggan
11 Haley Skarupa
12 Kelly Pannek
14 Brianna Decker
17 Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson
19 Gigi Marvin
20 Hannah Brandt
21 Hilary Knight
24 Dani Cameranesi
26 Kendall Coyne
28 Amanda Kessel
37 Amanda Pelkey