Monday, August 24, 2009

Women's Team USA announcement today

Today at 1pm CT, USA Hockey will announce the 23-player roster for the 2009-10 US Women's National Team. You can watch the live webcast on usahockey.com.

As you know, Badgers competing for roster spots include Molly Engstrom, Kerry Weiland, Jinelle Zaugg Siergiej, Erika Lawler, Jessie Vetter, Angie Keseley, Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Brooke Ammerman, Geena Prough, Brianna Decker, and Chanda Gunn.

The US National Team will participate in the Qwest Tour (Sept 25 - Feb 4), the National Women's Invitational Tournament (Aug 26 - Sept 6, Vancouver), and the Four Nations Cup (Nov 2 - 8). In mid-December, the roster will be pared down to 21 players for the Olympic Games.

USA Hockey didn't have a ton of coverage of the Women's National Festival, which is wrapping up today with the roster announcement, but I see that yesterday they did put up an article that includes quotes from Molly Engstrom, Mark Johnson, and Hilary Knight:
The USA Hockey Women’s National Festival continues to be a big draw at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn. All the festival practices and games are open to the public and hundreds have filed through to catch the action.

“I wasn’t expecting it, because we’re not used to it,” said defenseman Molly Engstrom. “The energy is high when there are that many people in the stands.”

U.S. Olympic Women’s Team Head Coach Mark Johnson said it’s encouraging to see the turnout and pointed out that the festival is a chance for young hockey fans in attendance to see the elite in women’s hockey.

“It’s nice for so many people to get a chance to watch these kids play,” he said.

Forward Hilary Knight has handed out quite a few high-fives to those young hockey fans during the Festival and said she enjoys the atmosphere.

“I can remember when I was one of those little girls standing by the glass,” she said. “It’s definitely a rush when you see all these kids out here wanting to shake your hand. It’s great for women’s hockey to get all this support.”