USA Hockey announced today the 22-player roster for its U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team, which includes Illinois’ Jesse Compher (Northbrook), Alex Gulstene (Evanston) and Nicole LaMantia (Wayne). The team will compete at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship, set for January 7-14 at PSG Arena in Zlin, Czech Republic.
The roster features 11 players who helped the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team earn a gold medal at the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship in St. Catharines, Ontario. They are Cayla Barnes (Corona, Calif.), Jesse Compher (Northbrook, Ill.), Alex Gulstene (Evanston, Ill.), Taylor Heise (Lake City, Minn.), Natalie Heising (Maple Grove, Minn.), Emily Oden (Edina, Minn.), Gracie Ostertag (Shakopee, Minn.), Catherine Skaja (New Prauge, Minn.), Taylor Wente (Plymouth, Minn.), Madeline Wethington (Edina, Minn.) and Grace Zumwinkle (Excelsior, Minn.). Twenty players on the roster also participated in the 2016 Under-18 Series vs. Canada in August.
The complete roster (seven defensemen, 13 forwards and two goaltenders) and staff listing is available here. The 22 players represent eight different states. Minnesota leads the pack with 11 representatives, followed by Illinois with three players. California and New York have two players each and Alaska, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas all had one.
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NOTES: All games from the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship are being streamed live and details will be available prior to the tournament at teamusa.usahockey.com. Follow @USAHockeyScores on Twitter for live scoring updates with the #U18WWC hashtag. Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey’s director of women’s hockey, is the general manager of the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team … Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), associate head coach of the University of Minnesota women’s ice hockey team, was named head coach of the U.S. Women’s Under-18 Team for the 2016-17 season on May 23, 2016 … Joining him as assistant coaches are Katie Lachapelle (Winthrop, Mass.), assistant women’s ice hockey coach at Boston University and Courtney Kennedy (Somerville, Mass.), associate head women’s ice hockey coach at Boston College. Molly Schaus (Natick, Mass.), Fan Development Coordinator at the Anaheim Ducks, is the goaltending coach. Team USA has played in the gold medal game in all nine of the previous IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championships, capturing the event’s top prize five times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016). The U.S. is 37-4-2-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) in 45 career games at this event. The 2017 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team will begin practicing at Barnabas Health Hockey House at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 30. A complete on-ice schedule can be found here.