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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: What is USA Hockey thinking?

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Plus, the Pegulas buy the Beauts, Canada finalizes their roster and two major tournaments begin this week.

Canada v United States
#25 Alex Carpenter makes a diving play against #44 Sarah Potomak during a pre-Olympic game between the US and Canada. Both players have since been cut.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Story of the Week

Canada and USA have reversed course on the road to the Olympics - The Ice Garden
One team was supposed to be set. The other was dealing with uncertainty. A lot has changed in the last two months.

Team USA announces final Olympic roster, cut Alex Carpenter and Megan Bozek from final squad - The Ice Garden
Why did you cut Alex Carpenter and Megan Bozek @ Robb Stauber @ hockey gods

While the cuts to the US women’s Olympic team were leaked a couple weeks ago, they weren’t official until USA Hockey released the roster this Monday, and took away any hope that the rumors weren’t true. Forward Alex Carpenter and defender Megan Bozek, two stalwarts who’d both been with the senior team since before Sochi, will not be going to the Olympics. I can’t fathom why.

Seriously. Nafio told me that I wasn’t allowed to make Story of the Week two paragraphs of “??????” (ed: this is a lie I told her she could but she has too much integrity) but really, I think it would have been merited. After starting off centralization with a set roster of 23 and the understanding that there would be no competition for spots, Team USA yanked Cayla Barnes off Boston College’s team halfway through the semester (killing a year of her NCAA eligibility in the process, which they could have avoided by centralizing her in the first place), and followed that up by adding Haley Skarupa and Sidney Morin after Four Nations. Then they almost immediately cut Annie Pankowski, and ended this circus by cutting Carpenter and Bozek, who no one would have called as marginal players before the cuts were leaked. Leaving Carpenter at home is especially egregious—she led Team USA in goals at Sochi as a 19-year-old, came in second in points in the NWHL last year (only two points behind league MVP Brianna Decker), and is only 23.

Oh, also, Monique Lamoureux and Gigi Marvin might be playing forward or defense, depending if you look at the roster from the USA Hockey twitter or the one from the main Team USA Olympic account. I can’t blame this inconsistency on Robb Stauber, directly, but it’s a bad, messy look. I can blame him for bumping Monique Lamoureux to forward, if that’s his plan, because it’s a bad one.

Either Stauber is some kind of tragically misunderstood genius, or Team USA women’s hockey is finally succumbing to the Miracle On Ice lunchpails-role-players-and-hard-work fetishization that has plagued its senior men’s team since time immemorial. I suppose we’ll find out in February. Until then, I’ll be here, quietly seething.

ed note: after some research and consultation with the NCAA by-laws it seems that while Barnes’ NCAA clock has started she can make use of a “Season of Competition” waiver and/or an “Athletic Activities” waiver to extend her time. Still, if USA Hockey had its act together in the first place it would have been a lot less work for everyone involved.

International hockey

Olympics

Canada announces final roster for 2018 Olympic Games - The Ice Garden
Final cuts were forward Sarah Potomak and defenders Halli Krzyzaniak and Micah Zandee-Hart.

Canadian players reflect on their journeys to PyeongChang - The Ice Garden
For Olympic rookies and veterans alike, the path to the 2018 Games hasn't always been smooth.

Indigenous hockey firsts?: Who counts and who doesn’t | Hockey in Society
Hockey Canada recently announced the women's roster that will be playing at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. On that roster is Brigette Lacquette, a Cote First Nations woman from Mallard, Manitoba.

Team NWHL Named to Face USWNT in January
The National Women's Hockey League announced its roster for Team NWHL, which will face the United States women's national team in exhibition games in January.

Quinnipiac & Team Korea Meet – DFP Sports
In an exhibition contest Thursday afternoon, the Team Korea (South Korea) Women's Hockey Team visited the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The eventual Olympic host team fell to the Bobcats 3-2 in an exciting game for those on hand. The Bobcats put 55 shots on Team Korea and former New York…

Team Korea and Whale Meet at Yale – DFP Sports
In exhibition play Saturday afternoon, the Connecticut Whale defeated Team Korea, the South Korean Olympic Team, 4-1.

South Korea's National Team Continues Its Learning Curve In The USA - Hartford Courant
South Korea's national women's hockey team continued its tour of United States college campuses on Saturday when they played the Connecticut Whale at Yale's Ingalls Rink

Nations Cup (January 3 - 6)

Schedule | Live feeds (per Hockey Canada)

Roster set for the Nations Cup in Füssen - swisshockeynews.ch
Women's national team coach Daniela Diaz has called upon three goaltenders, seven defenders and 13 forwards for the Nations Cup in Füssen, which will take place from January 2 to January 6.

Double the Fun - International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF
Justin Sigrist and his twin sister Shannon are both prominent members of their national teams, but Justin still has some catching up to do.

U-18 Worlds, Top Level (January 6 - 13)

Schedule

Kamloops goaltender heading to Russia with Hockey Canada | CFJC Today
KAMLOOPS — When most boys start their hockey careers, it’s with dreams of the NHL dancing through their minds; for young women, the opportunities to play pro hockey aren’t as numerous, or lucrative.

Veteran Trio Hoping for Third U18 Women’s Worlds Title Together
U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team led by three two-time medalists

(Division I Group B) Dewar-Beecroft headed for Poland | Sault Star
Today, as a Level 5 referee – the highest standing females are able to attain within Hockey Canada's officiating program – Dewar-Beecroft is preparing for her third international assignment.

NWHL

NWHL: Pegula Family Acquires Buffalo Beauts
The Pegulas and their management company, Pegula Sports & Entertainment, have acquired the NWHL's Buffalo Beauts in an unprecedented move for women's hockey.

Pegulas Acquiring the Beauts Is A "One Buffalo" Christmas Gift
Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula have acquired the Buffalo Beauts and have brought them into the "One Buffalo" family.

Buffalo Sabres owners buy NWHL franchise
Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula add NWHL franchise to their portfolio

Terry And Kim Pegula Add NWHL's Buffalo Beauts To Their Sports Empire
Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula have added a women's hockey franchise to their portfolio with the acquisition of the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL.

NWHL: Recapping the 2017 Portion of Season Three
Can the Metropolitan Riveters do what the Pride couldn’t last season and complete an undefeated season? Can the Beauts accomplish what Boston couldn’t when they failed to win back-to-back championships?

Alyssa Gagliardi is stepping up this season for the Boston Pride - The Ice Garden
At the time of the NWHL’s Holiday Break Gagliardi has emerged as one of the Pride’s most valuable players.

Metropolitan Riveters: Q & A with Defender Kelsey Koelzer
Michelle Picard on Kelsey Koelzer: “It has been great getting to play alongside Kelsey for the first part of our season. I feel like we’ve really started to gel as defensive partners, and we work well together to move the puck up the ice,”

CWHL

Erin Ambrose Making Herself at Home with Les Canadiennes After First Weekend Series | Sports – The Link
With many of the Canadian Women’s Hockey league players out for Olympic preparation, the league became a test of each team’s depth.

Calgary Inferno Alternate Captain Jacquie Pierri Is Excited About The Growth Of The CWHL - Matchsticks and Gasoline
With the CWHL giving the players compensation for the first time, Calgary Inferno’s Jacquie Pierri is excited about the future of the game.

NCAA

Top Moments of 2017: NCAA - The Ice Garden
Eagles and Badgers and Catamounts, oh my!

GOAL BY GOAL: BC Women’s Hockey Returns From Break With 7-3 Win Over Merrimack - BC Interruption
ALL OF THE GOALS

Hockey East trio on torrid pace | USCHO.com
Much ado was made over the first half about the scoring prowess of Boston College’s Daryl Watts and Caitrin Lonergan and Boston University’s Victoria Bach. It has been a particularly productive, high-volume first half of the season, but how does their output compare, historically?

Eyes on the Independents—Midseason Stats - Hockey Wilderness
Checking in with the independent DI women’s hockey teams as of the midseason break.

Take A Look at the ECAC Midseason Standings - Hockey Wilderness
An overview of how the ECAC DI women’s hockey teams stack up as of the midseason break.

Checking the Women’s Hockey East Midseason Standings - Hockey Wilderness
As the midseason break continues it’s time to examine the WHEA standings.

CHA Midseason Check In - Hockey Wilderness
A brief look at the CHA teams to see how they’re doing midway through the season.

Midseason Check In with the WCHA - Hockey Wilderness
A brief look at the WCHA standings halfway through the 2017-18 season.

European league hockey

WHL (Russia) Women’s Hockey Update: December 27th, 2017 | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
Slightly delayed, but here is this week's Russian women's hockey update! This edition includes recaps of some international games this past weekend, Russia's preliminary roster for the Under-18 Women's Worlds, and more -- including, unfortunately, some further sad Olympic news. Read on... Last week saw further bad news from the IOC's Oswald Commission, investigating allegations…

GIrls hockey

Women’s Hockey Night in Arizona set to highlight tremendous growth of the game - Mile High Hockey
The five women set to be featured at Colorado’s game against Arizona Saturday night are a shining example of where the women’s game is headed

Photography

Gallery: Top Shots of 2017: Pat McCarthy - The Ice Garden
Buffalo-based photographer picks his favorite photos of 2017

Gallery: Top Shots of 2017: Al Saniuk - The Ice Garden
Boston-based photographer picks his favorite photos of 2017

Gallery: Top Shots of 2017: Michelle Jay - The Ice Garden
Boston-based photographer picks her favorite photos of 2017