Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.
Nine current or former Gophers women’s hockey players have been to the U.S. women’s national team selection camp. It will be held at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., June 16-23.
The nine Golden Gophers selected are:
D Megan Bozek
F Hannah Brandt
F Sarah Erickson
F Amanda Kessel
D Gigi Marvin
D Milica McMillen
D Anne Schleper
F Jen Schoullis
D Lee Stecklein
A total of 41 players have been invited to the camp -- four goalies, 12 defensemen and 25 forwards -- which will consist of daily practices, off-ice testing and three intrasquad scrimmages. The camp will be used to determine the U.S. women’s national team roster that will train together and participate in various competitions in the build-up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The final 21-player U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team roster is expected to be announced in late December 2013.
Bozek, Erickson, Kessel, Marvin, Schleper, Schoullis and Stecklein were all on the U.S. Women’s National Team that captured the gold medal at the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, Ont. last month.
Marvin is the lone player to represent the Maroon & Gold in an Olympic Winter Games.
The 2014 Olympic Winter Games will run from Feb. 6-23 and the women’s ice hockey competition is slated to begin on Feb. 8 with the gold medal game played on Feb. 20.
BADGERS SIGN GOALIE FROM CANADA
The Wisconsin women's hockey team signed goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens of La Malbaie, Quebec, to a national letter of intent on Monday. She will join the Badgers for the 2013-14 season.
"We're really excited that she's coming in," UW coach Mark Johnson said. "I think she's going to be a great goaltender for us."
Desbiens is a 5-foot-9 goaltender who spent the 2012-13 season playing for the Beaubourg Seigneurs AA, a boys midget AA level team located in Beauport, Quebec. With Beabourg, she was named the best goaltender in the Quebec Midget AA League, leading the league with a 1.99 goals-against average.
What a day for U women's hockey on Tuesday.
Junior forward Amanda Kessel scored the game-winning goal early in the third period as the U.S. beats Canada 3-2 for the gold medal in the Women's World Championship in Ottawa, Ontario.
"I feel like it is revenge," Kessel said, according to a U of M release. "We got beat on our home soil last year. To come into Canada and win the gold medal is unbelievable. We used our speed and worked hard. It gives us great confidence heading to Sochi."
She was speaking of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next year.
Senior defenseman Megan Bozek, Kessel's Gopher teammate, had the second U.S. goal. on a 5-on-3 power played, she scored on a slapper. It was her only tournament goal, but she also had two assists.
With the score knotted at 2-all, Kessel carried the puck into the right circle on an odd-man rush, then sniped a shot over one of the Canadian goalie's shoulders.
It was the fifth gold for the U.S. in this tournament.
Kessel was named the U.S. team's player of the game and one of its top three players. She tied for second in tournament scoring with two goals and six assists for eight points.
As for Noora Raty, she was in the nets for Finland in the bronze medal game. The punchless Finns lost 2-0 to Russia.
Raty kept the game scoreless until the third period when the Russians scored when Raty was screened. The second goal was an empty-netter in the last minute.
Raty was named to the media all-star team.
On Monday, Raty made 40 saves as the Finns lost 3-0 to the U.S. in the semifinals. She kept the score 0-0 until the U.S. got a puck past her at 13:55 of the third period. The Americans also scored once more before scoring into an empty net for the third goal.
Shots were 42-11 for the U.S. Raty has to rank as the one of the best women's goalies in the world right now, if not the best. She had an incredible season for the U, too.
This year’s 16-team field for the NCAA Division I men’s hockey tournament will be revealed on ESPNU at 8 p.m. Sunday. Host Anish Shroff will be joined by hockey analysts Barry Melrose and Dave Starman to discuss the five automatic qualifiers and 11 at-large teams that will play in the four regionals which will air on ESPNU.
The show will also feature a special on Quinnipiac as the Bobcats look to secure a No. 1 seed and make only their second appearance in the NCAA championship since becoming a Division I team in 1998-99.
Usually this show is on a Sunday morning, but the CCHA tournament, because of a schedule conflict, has its championship game on Sunday afternoon.
LUCIA TO BE JUNIORS COACH?
A joint press conference featuring a special announcements from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, USA Hockey, Inc., and University of Minnesota has been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the X. At least one usually reliable media source is saying Gophers coach Don Lucia will be named the heade coach of the U.S. team for the 2014 World Junior Championships.
The U.S. team, led by South St. Paul High School coach Phil Housley, won the gold medal in Russia this year. Lucia helped with the national evaluation camp last summer, which was used to help determine the roster. His son, Mario, played on the U.S. team and Grant Potulny, one of Lucia's assistants, was one of Housley's assistants.
So Lucia has a pretty good idea how the team was put together and why it succeeded.
HONORS FOR U WOMEN'S TEAM
Megan Bozek, Amanda Kessel and Noora Raty of the Gophers' No. 1-rated women's hockey team were named to the American Hockey Coaches Association's Division I all-american first team on Thursday night. Brad Frost, their coach, was picked coach of the year for 2012-13.
Bozek is second among defenseman in scoring this season and is a repeat first team pick. The senior from Buffalo Grove, Ill., own nearly every season and career scoring record for a Gophers defenseman.
Kessel leads the nation in scoring with 97 points. She was a second team honoree last season. The junior forward is the 24th player in NCAA history to reach the 200-career point mark and the ninth for do so in three seasons. If Kessel tallies three more points this season, she will become only the fourth player in NCAA history to record 100 points in a single season.
Räty leads the nation in goals-against average and save percentage. She was a first team all-american in 2010 and a second team in 2011. The Finnish native is only the second player in Minnesota history to receive three all-america honors during her career. This season she has broken NCAA records for career wins and shutouts and shutouts in a season.
Minnesota has now had 27 players in program history named to an All-American team. This is only the second time that the Maroon & Gold have had three players receive the honor in a season.
This is Frost's first National Coach of the Year honor and the fourth in program history (Laura Halldorson – 1998, 2002 and 2004). The Gophers are 39-0-0 and play in the Frozen Four this weekend.
On Thursday, word came that all three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial award were Gophers: forward Amanda Kessel, defenseman Megan Bozek and goalie Noora Raty.
That is the first time in the 16-year of the Kazmaier -- the women's hockey equivalent of the Hobey Baker -- that one school had all finalists. A fourth Gopher, freshman Hannah Brandt was among the top 10 final candidates before that group was shrunk to three. The winner will be named during the Frozen Four later this month.
Then on Thursday night, more awards for the U of M at the league banquet at TCF Bank Stadium on the eve of the Final Face-off.
Brad Frost was named the WCHA's Coach of the Year. His team is 36-0-0 this season and has been ranked No. 1 from the start.
Junior forward Amanda Kessel was named the WCHA Player of the Year, senior Megan Bozek the Defensive Player of the Year and forward Hannah Brandt the Freshman of the Year. Of course, all three were picked for the all-WCHA first team. Joining them on the all-conference first team was teammate Noora Raty, the team's goalie. The senior is the Gophers' first three-time, first team pick.
Three teamnates were named to the All-WCHA third team: junior Kelly Terry, senior Mira Jalsouo and sophomore Rachel Ramsey.
Besied Brandt, the Gophers also had two other all-rookie team picks: Maryanne Menefee and Milica McMillen.
The complete list of WCHA award winners:
WCHA Player of the Year: Amanda Kessel, Jr., F, Minnesota
WCHA Outstanding Student Athlete of the Year: Jocelyne Lamoureux, Sr., F, North Dakota
WCHA Defensive Player of the Year: Megan Bozek, Sr., D, Minnesota
WCHA Rookie of the Year: Hannah Brandt, Fr., F, Minnesota
WCHA Scoring Champion: Amanda Kessel, Jr., F, Minnesota
WCHA Goaltending Champion: Noora Räty, Sr., Minnesota
WCHA Coach of the Year: Brad Frost, Minnesota
All-WCHA First Team
Forwards - Amanda Kessel, Jr., Minnesota, (34-41-75); Brianna Decker, Sr., Wisconsin (20-18-38); Hannah Brandt, Fr., Minnesota (18-38-56)
Defensemen - Megan Bozek, Sr., Minnesota (14-23-37); Monique Lamoureux, Sr., North Dakota (17-27-44)
Goaltender- Noora Räty, Sr., Minnesota (27-0-0, 1.05 GAA, .950 Sv%).
All-WCHA Second Team
Forwards - Jocelyne Lamoureux, Sr., North Dakota (22-32-54); Michelle Karvinen, Jr., North Dakota (14-21-35); Jenna McParland, So., Minnesota Duluth (10-15-25)
Defensemen - Brigette Lacquette, So., Minnesota Duluth (5-14-19); Jessica Wong, Sr., Minnesota Duluth (7-1522)
Goaltender - Alex Rigsby, Jr., Wisconsin (17-9-2, 1.60 GAA, .940 Sv%).
All-WCHA Third Team
Forward - Lauren Smith, Sr., Minnesota State (17-9-26); Josefine Jakobsen, So., North Dakota (11-15-26); Kelly Terry, Jr., Minnesota (5-19-24)
Defense - Mira Jalosuo, Sr., Minnesota (L6-13-19); Rachel Ramsey, So., Minnesota (8-15-23)
Goaltender - Kayla Black, Fr., Minnesota Duluth (12-12-2, 2.37 GAA, .916 Sv%).
All-WCHA Rookie Team
Forward - Hannah Brandt, Fr., Minnesota (18-38-56); Maryanne Menefee, Fr., Minnesota (11-14-25); Meghan Dufault, Fr., North Dakota (12-12-24)
Defense - Milica McMillen, Fr., Minnesota (8-6-14); Courtney Burke, Fr., Wisconsin (3-14-17)
Goaltender - Kayla Black, Fr., Minnesota Duluth (12-12-2, 2.37 GAA, .916 Sv%).
Conference member-team head coaches, assistant coaches and team captains vote for the WCHA individual award winners. The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year Award is chosen by the head coaches.
One reason the Gophers are so dominant in women's hockey this season -- 28-0-0 and ranked No. 1 -- is that coach Brad Frost has recruited well.
He has two amazing forwards in junior Amanda Kessel and freshman Hannah Brandt, linemates who are 1-2 in scoring nationally.
Kessel has 37 goals and 46 assists for 83 points. Brandt, the center on the Gophers' top line, has 26 goals and 41 assists for 67 points.
On the blue line is senior Megan Bozek, second in scoring among defensemen with 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points.
In the nets is senior Noora Raty. She is second in the nation with a 0.91 goals-against average, first in save percentage at .958 and first in shutouts with 11.
That's a lot of star power. And Frost goes all over to collect it. Kessel is from Madison, Wis., Brandt from Vadnais Heights, Bozek from Buffalo Grove, Ill., and Raty from Espoo, Finland.
Next season's class, which signed in November, is more Minnesota-focused. Six players from the state, including five who are among the 10 semifinals for the Ms. Hockey Award, and one from Illinois, are in the Class of 2013.
The Gophers have signed 13 Ms. Hockeys and have three on the team at the present time: Brandt in 2012, Bethany Brauser in 2010 and Becky Kortum in 2009. ... The only Minnesotan not a Ms. Hockey finalist the Gophers signed fort next season is defenseman Kelsey Cline of Bloomington Jefferson.
Here is a look at the incoming recruiting class:
Dani Cameranesi, 5-5 forward, senior at Blake, lives in Plymouth
* member of the U.S. Under-18 team
* second-leading scorer in metro area with 49 goals and 32 assists for 81 points. .... Bears were 17-5-3 coming into this week
* on varsity since eighth grade, three times all-state
* scored 35 goals as sophomore, 48 last season
* earnedilver medal with Team USA in U18 Women's World Championships in Czech Republic last year
* Brother Tony is a freshman forward for Minnesota Duluth, sister Sam is a member of the Gophers’ dance team
Frost says: "Dani is an incredible player and leader. She has tremendous speed and is relentless on the puck. Dani is very responsible in all three zones and is a complete hockey player.”
Kelsey Cline, 5-6 defenseman, senior at Bloomington Jefferson
* Has played five seasons at the varsity level for Jaguars
* 25 points as sophomore, 33 as junior, 41 so far this season on 20 goals, 21 assists for Jaguars who were 15-9-1 coming into this week
* Played on the Minnesota Junior Whitecaps during the summer
* Four-time All-South Suburban pick
* Attended two USA Hockey Development Camps.
* Frost says: “Kelsey is a very intelligent defenseman. She moves the puck extremely well and will also generate some offense for us.”
Kate Flug, 5-8 forward, senior at Roseville
* Has 28 goals and 52 points this season for Raiders who were 17-7-1 coming into this week
*. As a junior she had 42 goals and 70 points as Raiders finished second in Class 2A state tournament, won state title as freshman
* Five-year varsity player, all-state and all-metro as junior and played for Minnesota Junior Whitecaps
* Earned a silver medal at the 2012 IIHF U-18 women’s world championships in Czech Republic
* Frost says: “Kate continues the Roseville tradition with Gopher Women's Hockey. She has very quick hands and creates scoring opportunities for herself and her line mates. Kate is shifty and has great speed.”
Paige Haley, 5-9 defenseman, senior at Red Wing
* Has 18 goals and a whopping 42 assists for 60 points for Wingers, who were 21-2 coming into this week
* As junior had 33 goals and 71 points, was all-state honorable mention
* Helped Wingers reach the Class 1A state tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2012 and was named to all-tournament team last two times
*. Participated in USA Hockey development camps and played for the Minnesota Junior Whitecaps
* Frost says: “Paige is a strong defenseman with a big shot. She sees the ice well and makes a great first pass. Paige is strong on the puck and will be a very good offensive presence for us on the blueline.”
Sidney Peters, 5-10 goalie, plays for North American Hockey Academy, from Geneva, Ill.
* Competing for five USA National Championships, getting two silver and two bronze nedals
* Earned silver medal with U.S. team at the IIHF U-18 women’s world championships in Czech Republic last year
* Frost says: “Sidney is a nice, big, athletic goaltender. She moves well and anticipates the play. Her experience with the U-18 team will be invaluable as she plays at the next level.”
Kate Schipper, 5-4 forward, senior at Breck, lives in Brooklyn Park
* Has 21 goals and 48 points for Mustangs who were 13-11-1 coming into this week
* Member of the U.S. U18 team the past two years
* .In past four seasons, helped Breck reach three Class 1A state tournament, won state title in 2012
* As junior had Schipper had 33 goals and 57 points, and was all-state
* Earned silver medal with U.S. team at IIHF U-18 women’s world championships in Czech Republic in 2012
* Frost says: “Kate is a smooth skating forward. She sees the ice well and has a very good top speed. Her experience with the U-18 team will be very beneficial to her.”
Megan Wolfe, 5-8 forward, senior at Eagan
* Has 24 goals and 45 points for the Wildcats, who were 15-9-1 coming into this week
* Her Wildcats finished fourth in the 2012 Class 2A state tournament when she had 44 goals and 70 points and was all-state honorable mention
* Has played for Minnesota Junior Whitecaps
* Frost says:“Megan is a big, strong forward who has great skills. She has good vision and a very good release. She is an effortless skater who will do excellent things.”
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