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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Jessie Vetter returns to the ice

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Plus other developments with USA Hockey, the start of NWHL free agency, a new team in Hockey East, and hockey around the world.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 13 - Canada v United States Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Article of the Week

This is the article that got us talking the most this week.

Goalie Jessie Vetter tries out for Olympic team 2 months after baby | OlympicTalk

Annie: I had two major reactions to the news of Jessie Vetter attending Olympic camp two months after giving birth to her son Brady. The first was in line with fellow Team USA goalie Alex Rigsby’s reaction—“I was like, literally, you’re goals”—and the second was to re-evaluate the US’s goaltending depth chart. The Olympic roster allows three goalies, and because Jessie Vetter is still, well, herself, one has to think that the most likely lineup for Team USA is Rigsby, Vetter, and Nicole Hensley. Maddie Rooney had a great showing at Worlds this spring as the third goalie, but she’s also nineteen, and will have many more chances.

That being said, Vetter gave birth two months ago (it does not get less impressive, turns out!), and originally announced her retirement last August. Olympic camp is going to be a test of whether or not she’s still at the top of her game after nearly a year off the ice.

Nafio: Nick Zaccardi's article, part of the NBC Sports pre-Olympic coverage, demonstrates perfectly how a sports reporter should cover an athlete's return to her sport postpartum. (Tennis reporters, take notes because Serena Williams isn't going to let you get away with anything else.) As Annie notes, Jessie Vetter's return to hockey only two months after giving birth is remarkable and worth a story. At the same time, there's no doubt this is a sports story, not an article in Women's Health.

The lede is that a highly decorated athlete is attempting to make the Olympic team one more time. The reason for her absence comes next, with her husband mentioned in passing. Usually I'd suggest leaving out her husband as irrelevant to a sports article, but Vetter's married to another athlete.

From there on, Zaccardi treats Vetter's return from pregnancy like any other athlete coming back from a medical procedure. Timelines, the support from her teammates and coaches, her concerns about fitness, and the challenge ahead are all touched on. The only thing he leaves out that might have been interesting from a sports point of view is whether the new USWNT contract had any effect on Vetter's decision to return.

It's a short article but nicely done and well worth reading.

IIHF

Predicting the 2017-18 USA women’s national team - The Ice Garden
Hannah Bevis has some opinions about who at camp might make the team. What do you think?

Megan Bozek revels in 'paving the way' for future of women's sports - Libertyville Review
Stevenson graduate Megan Bozek won two championships and helped negotiate a contract dispute in a span of three weeks.

USA Hockey names Executive Director
Kelleher will take over for retiring Ogrean Can't help but note this guy seems to be just another member of the old guard who has had little if any experience with women's hockey

Robb Stauber named head coach for Team USA’s 2018 Olympic team - The Ice Garden
The head coach was most recently behind the bench during the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships, where he led USA to a gold medal.

Austrian Women's Hockey Team Confident Despite Setbacks
It's been a big year for the Austrian women's hockey team. For the first time ever the European nation has earned a top ten IIHF ranking.

Women’s World Ranking
Top-6 remain same; Germans, Czechs improve

NWHL

Another Offseason Of Uncertainty In Net For Riveters
For the second straight offseason, the New York Riveters are on the verge of what looks like another significant roster shakeup.

Katie Fitzgerald re-signs with New York Riveters for 2017-18 season - The Ice Garden
The goaltender becomes the first RFA to re-sign with an NWHL team this year.

'Warm California Sun' - Beauts' Kourtney Kunichika
After learning a bit about Kourtney Kunichika‘s hockey history, I am reminded of that scene from D2: The Mighty Ducks when the Ducks take their game to the schoolyard for some roller hockey.

NCAA

Two-Sport Star: Kenzie Kent Balances BC Hockey and Lacrosse | US Lacrosse Magazine
Before Kenzie Kent ever arrived at Boston College, she probably knew she’d have to deal with some ice in February.

Colgate forward Meghan Brennan thinking globally
Meghan Brennan followed her fascinations with hockey and economics to college. She now prepares to explore new fields with ample international knowhow.

Holy Cross Joining Women’s Hockey East For 2018-19 Season - BC Interruption
The former D-I Independent will add a new conference rival for the Eagles

Para hockey

Women's sledge hockey players are taking their game to the next level - The Ice Garden
The U.S. and Canadian women's sledge hockey teams are at the top of their sport, but they're doing it without resources from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada

SDHL

Jenni Asserholt taking next step in hockey journey - The Ice Garden
A year after leaving the Swedish National Team, former Damkronorna captain focuses on the SDHL

Kazakhstan Women’s Ice Hockey League

Ice Hockey: Almaty's Aisulu claims gold of Kazakhstan Women's Championship
Almaty's Aisulu claims gold of Kazakhstan Women's Championship

What do you think? Is Jessie Vetter’s comeback the article of the week or did something else catch your attention?