Six Gophers are among 69 players invited to the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival, which will take place Aug. 12-16 in Lake Placid, N.Y., USA Hockey announced.
Senior Rachael Bona, junior Hannah Brandt, sophomore Dani Cameranesi, junior Milica McMillen, freshman Cara Piazza and sophomore Lee Stecklein have been invited to participate in the five-day festival.
The festival will be used to select the 22-player rosters for a pair of series against Canada from Aug. 21-24 in Calgary, Alberta, at Canada Olympic Park. The U.S. entries will feature an under-18 team and 22-and-under team.
Stecklein is one of four members of the silver medal-winning 2014 U.S. Olympic team invited to the festival, joining Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne and Michelle Picard.
Gopher women’s hockey associate head coach Joel Johnson will be head coach of the women’s under-18 team.
Two Gophers getting longer look at camp
Sophomore forward Hudson Fasching and incoming freshman defenseman Ryan Collins were among the 27 players asked to remain at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid.
They will stay on for three more games, against the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden.
The players are auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team and a trip to the World Junior Championship in Canada.
Gophers sophomore forwards Taylor Cammarata and Vinni Lettieri and defenseman Michael Brodzinski were among the 15 players sent home.
Jack Dougherty of Cottage Grove, who plays for Wisconsin, also was asked to stay.
Fasching is one of five players from last year’s roster still remaining. He and Gophers junior defenseman Brady Skjei played under Gophers coach Don Lucia on the 2014 U.S. national junior team.
“As a staff, we have been very pleased with the effort and competitiveness of the 42 players in camp,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations and general manager of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team. “ The three remaining games this week provide an opportunity for additional assessment of the players that are staying. We will continue to evaluate the players released today throughout the fall.”