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Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield lead world women’s hockey championship roster

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 10

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 14: Forward Hilary Knight #21 of Team United States celebrates her goal with forward Kendall Coyne Schofield #26 of Team United States and defender Megan Keller #5 of Team United States against Team Finland in the second period during the Women’s Ice Hockey Playoff Semifinal match between Team United States and Team Finland on Day 10 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 14, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Olympic champions Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Amanda Kessel and Maddie Rooney headline the U.S. roster for the world women’s hockey championship that starts Aug. 25 in Denmark.

It marks the first women’s worlds held in an Olympic year as the International Ice Hockey Federation made the tournament annual, as it has been for the men since 1989.

Canada beat the U.S. in the final of the Olympics in February and last August’s worlds, making this the U.S.’ longest gold-medal drought in more than a decade.

Knight, 33 and the lone player on the team born in the 1980s, gets her third chance to break her tie with retired defender Kacey Bellamy for the most gold medals in U.S. hockey history. Both have nine between the Olympics and world championships.

Knight already holds the U.S. record for world championship appearances at 11.

Notable absences: forward Brianna Decker, who broke her left fibula and suffered many torn ankle ligaments in a collision in an Olympic game.

Emily Matheson, a 2018 Olympic defender who did not make the team in her return from June 2021 childbirth.

And goalie Alex Cavallini, who is pregnant and plans to return to the national team after childbirth later this year or early next year. Cavallini played most of the Olympics, including the entire gold-medal game, after tearing an MCL on Jan. 14.

The new U.S. head coach is John Wroblewski, most recently an AHL coach, who succeeded Olympic coach Joel Johnson. USA Hockey did not provide a reason for Johnson’s departure in the May 31 announcement. None of the last five Olympic head coaches returned for the first world championship of the following Olympic cycle.

Wroblewski tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, USA Hockey spokeswoman Melissa Katz said, and will coach remotely while spending a 10-day stretch in self-isolation. Should he be cleared, Wroblewski would travel separately to join the team in Denmark, where the U.S. opens the 10-nation tournament against Japan on Aug. 25.

“The COVID news is unfortunate, but I’ll look at the positive side. I got a great look at the overall picture this week, and now I get to remove myself and process it while still making team decisions,” Wroblewski wrote in a text to The Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2022 U.S. Women’s Hockey World Championship Roster

Aerin Frankel
Nicole Hensley
Maddie Rooney

Cayla Barnes
Jincy Dunne
Rory Guilday
Savannah Harmon
Caroline Harvey
Megan Keller
Lee Stecklein

Hannah Bilka
Hannah Brandt
Alex Carpenter
Jesse Compher
Kendall Coyne Schofield
Lacey Eden
Taylor Heise
Amanda Kessel
Hilary Knight
Kelly Pannek
Abby Roque
Hayley Scamurra
Grace Zumwinkle