U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team begins pre-Olympic residency in Blaine

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The U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team has set up shop at the Super Rink in Blaine for a residency program ahead of Februrary’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The 24-player U.S. Olympic roster will be selected from 28 players living and training at the residency that will include practices and a series of pre-Olympic scrimmages on the "My Why Tour". One exhibition will be on December 20th against Canada at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the team’s final tune-up before heading to the Games.

Click the video box on this page to watch interviews with Maddie Rooney, Lee Stecklein, Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, Kelly Pannek, Grace Zumwinkle, Amanda Kessel and Joel Johnson – as well as USA Hockeys’ residency-opening ceremony which included Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold and 1988 gold medalist Karyn Bye-Dietz

Naturally, Minnesota is well-represented on the residency roster by goalie Maddie Rooney (Andover / UMD), defense and alternate captain Lee Stecklein (Roseville / Gophers) and forwards Hannah Brandt (Hill-Murray / Gophers), Dani Cameranesi (Breck / Gophers), Kelly Pannek (Benilde-St Margaret’s / Gophers) and Grace Zumwinkle (Breck / Gophers). Zumwinkle is expected to return to the Gophers for the 2022-23 season, having earned a Covid-19 year expemption for an extra year of eligibility.

Former Gophers Amanda Kessel (Madison, WI) and Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, IL) as well as current Gopher forward Abbey Murphy (Evergreen Park, IL) and current Minnesota State-Mankato defender Anna Wilgren (Hudson, WI) are also in camp.

The team is coached by current St. Thomas women’s hockey coach Joel Johnson.