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Gopher Women's Hockey: Several Current and Future Gophers to Play for USA This Weekend!

Lee Stecklein will be one of four current Gophers playing for Team USA this weekend!
Lee Stecklein will be one of four current Gophers playing for Team USA this weekend!
Gopher Athletics/ Eric Miller

Four current Gopher Women's Hockey players, and four future Gophers will play for Team USA this weekend in Calgary in a three game series with Canada.  The four current Gophers were named to the Team USA Under-22 team, and the future Gophers were named to the Team USA Under-18 team.

The four players named to the Under-22 team are all players who will play a large role for the Gophers in the 2014-15 season.  They include one player who was on the 2014 US Olympic team that took the silver medal behind Canada in the Sochi Olympics.  That would be sophomore defenseman Lee Stecklein. She recorded one assist in five games for Team USA.  Also added to the roster was junior forward Hannah Brandt, who led the Gophers in scoring last season, and will once again make up one third of the best line in women's college hockey with the return of Amanda Kessel to the Gophers.  Junior defenseman Milica McMillen will be reunited with her defense partner from 2012-13 in Stecklein both on the USA and Gopher roster.  Finally, sophomore Dani Cameranesi was also rewarded with a spot.  Cameranesi was the Freshman of the Year in the WCHA last seaosn, and will be looked upon to be an even larger scoring threat for the Gophers this season.

An additional Gopher will also play a role with the team, as one of Team USA's assistant coaches is Robb Stauber.  Stauber, who is one of the best goaltenders in Gopher history,  will help coach the goaltenders in Calgary.A complete roster of the U-22 team can be found here.

Two other current Gophers, Rachel Bona and Cara Piazza did not make the cut to the final 22-player roster.

Four current Gopher commits will play for the Team USA Under-18 Team in Calgary.  Alex Wolken is a forward from Fargo, ND who currently plays for Shattuck St. Mary's.  Patricia Marshall is a defenseman from Thief River Falls and also currently plays at Shattuck St. Mary's. Sophie Skarzynski is a forward from Lake Forest, Illinois and currently plays for the Chicago Mission Club Team.  Finally, goalie Alex Gulstene is from Vancouver, Washington and currently plays for the North American Hockey Academy.  Gulstene is the youngest player on the roster as she just turned 15 in April.

Skarzynski is expected to begin playing for the Gophers in the 2015-16 season.  Both Marshall and Wolken will begin on the 2016-17 team, and Gulstene will not be a freshman until the 2016-17 campaign.

Two additional uncommitted Minnesotan sophomores also made the team.  They include forward Natalie Snodgrass from Eagan who plays for Eastview High School and defenseman Grace Bowlsby who is from Edina.  Both of these players will be playing Division I hockey in three years, just maybe not for Minnesota.

A complete Team USA Under-18 Roster can be found here.

Additionally, one more future Gopher will be paying in the series, but for Team Canada.  Forward Sarah Potomak is from Aldergrove,BC and plays for the Pursuit of Excellence Midget AAA team.  She will be expected to play for the Gophers beginning in 2015.

The four current Gophers and the rest of the current team will begin the 2014-15 season October 3rd in Ridder arena against Penn State.