If, like me, you're concerned about how you'll get your women's hockey fix once the NWHL season is over - have no fear, the Women's Worlds are almost here!
USA Hockey announced the 23-player roster on Wednesday for the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. The list includes 18 members from the 2015 Women's Worlds gold medal team and 13 Sochi Olympic silver medalists. The squad also features four names you know and love: Kacey Bellamy, Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight, and Amanda Pelkey.
This is Pelkey's first time being named to the senior World Championship roster and previously participated in the U18 World Championships. For the Pride this season, Pelkey has a total of 11 points (7 goals, 4 assists), the sixth most on the team. While it's easy to overlook this comparatively modest point total while Decker and Knight have combined for 57, Pelkey's speed and stickhandling skill are outstanding and the Team USA coaching staff has obviously noticed. Her inclusion on the roster for the Women's Worlds bodes well for her 2018 Olympic hopes, an honor she has yet to receive.
Another name you may recognize is Northeastern's own Kendall Coyne, who was drafted by the Pride in June and will join the team next season. During her senior season with the Huskies, Coyne has tallied 75 points (44 goals, 31 assists). Yes, you read that right, 44 goals. You're not hallucinating. If you missed seeing her play during the Four Nations Cup, be sure to pay close attention and dream of how the Pride offense will be even more lethal next season.
Several other NWHL players also made the team: Megan Bozek, Meghan Duggan, and Emily Pflazer of the Buffalo Beauts and Shiann Darkangelo and Kelli Stack of the Connecticut Whale. Check out the rest of the roster here.
Team USA will participate in a pre-tournament training camp March 18-24 at the XFINITY Arena in Everett, Washington. The defending champs will kick off the tournament against Canada on March 28. Here's the full USA schedule:
Monday March 28 – U.S. vs. Canada – 10:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday March 29 – U.S. vs. Finland – 6:30 p.m. ET
Thursday March 31 – U.S. vs. Russia – 6:30 p.m. ET
Friday April 1 – Quarterfinals – 6:30 p.m., 10:30 p.m. ET
Sunday April 3 – Semifinals – 6:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. ET
Monday April 4 – Bronze medal game 6:00 p.m. ET, Gold medal game 10:30 p.m. ET
Hopefully there will be a way to watch this. We'll keep you posted.