Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Mark Johnson . . .

I'm pretty excited about Mark Johnson being named head coach of the Women's US Olympic team. In addition to the articles linked yesterday, I have a few more links for you:

Milewski (Icehouse): How the team heard
Baggot (WSJ): Special journey ahead for Johnson
Donohue (Badger Herald): Johnson named coach of 2010 Games

And lookie, the news even made NHL.com!
Former Devil Mark Johnson tapped to coach US Women's Olympic team in 2010

One of the most interesting parts of yesterday's press conference was listening to Natalie Darwitz talk about how excited she was that Johnson was named. And you could tell that she really was excited. I thought that was pretty cool.

Gandalf was listening to the radio yesterday, and he tells me that if Hilary Knight and Meghan Duggan make the team, they'll miss the whole season next year but won't lose any eligibility. Which is what I would have expected; I just hadn't thought about it until he mentioned it to me.

With having the Blaine Residency all this year for post-collegiate players, and with having all of the collegiate and post-collegiate players in Blaine all next year, USA Hockey seems pretty committed to having a good showing in the Olympic Games.

It's all in the announcement and various articles, but I thought I'd go ahead and list what Mark Johnson and Team USA will be up to leading up to the Olympics.

April 4-12, 2009: IIHF World Women's Championship (Hameenlinna, Fin)
August: Olympic tryouts (Blaine, MN)
Aug 31 - Sept 6, 2009: National Women's Invitational Tournament
Nov 2-8, 2009: Four Nations Cup (Fin)
Sept 25, 2009 - Feb 4, 2010: Qwest Tour

I've heard that the preliminary roster for the April WW roster usually comes out in the end of January or the beginning of February, with the final roster being set 3 to 4 weeks later. So I'd expect that we'll hear about the prelimiary roster soon.

The National Women's Invitational Tournament is a test event for the Olympic games.

The Qwest Tour includes games against Team Canada and Finland, WCHA/HE/ECAC All-Star teams, and 3 WCHA teams -- including the Badgers in January 2009 (date TBA).