The U.S. women’s Ice-Hockey team that will compete at Winter Universiade 2019 includes four players who were part of the bronze medal winning team in Almaty 2017. Forwards Kathleen Ash, Britt Levasseur, Maddie Wolsmann and blueliner Kelsey Jaeckle – who happens to be the reigning American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) ‘Player of the Year’ – will lead the field.
Picture courtesy: Team USA “We can’t wait to travel to Russia and get to work with this group of players,” said Shelley Looney, head coach of the women’s team. “We see a lot of positives with this team and we’re very excited to get on the ice and represent our country.”
The team includes two goaltenders, seven defenders and 13 forwards, all of whom compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association and American Collegiate Hockey Association. Nine different states are represented on the U.S. roster. Michigan leads the way with seven representatives, while Illinois and Minnesota each have three each.
The last two editions of Ice-Hockey at the Universiade have been won by Russia, which is the home team this time round. Other strong contenders are Canada, Kazakhstan and Japan – all of whom have been on the podium in the last few editions.
Team USA opens the tournament in Krasnoyarsk against Japan on Friday, March 1.
Picture courtesy: Team USAWhile the United States is fielding a women’s Ice-Hockey team at the Winter Universiade for a fifth straight time, the men’s team will be competing for the 10thtime. The squad includes two who have the experience of Almaty 2017 under their belt – defensemen Tyler Opilka (University of Illinois) and Austin Wilk (Lindenwood University). Among the newcomers is forward Anthony Cusanelli (University of Arizona), the reigning ACHA Rookie of the Year, who finished his freshman season with 51 points (31 goals, 20 assists) in 28 games.
“This group has a lot of talent and character,” said head coach Roger Grillo. “We’re really excited to get over to Russia and represent the United States with pride at the Universiade.”
Fourteen different states are represented on the US roster, led by Illinois and Michigan, each with three representatives, while Alaska, California, Missouri and New Jersey have two. Team USA will open their campaign against the Czech Republic on Friday, March 1.
Ice-Hockey has been part of the Winter Universiade sports programme since Villars 1962, the second edition. The women’s event though, made its appearance much later – in 2009 in Harbin, China. During more recent editions of the Winter Universiade its been Russia, Canada and Kazakhstan who have been the top Ice Hockey contenders, with Russia taking the top spots on the podium for both the women’s and men’s tournaments in 2015 and 2017.
Find the entire competition schedule here and have a look at the Crystal Ice Arena that will host the Ice-Hockey competition in Krasnoyarsk.