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U.S. Olympic women’s hockey roster named: 13 gold medalists, last 2 players cut from 2018


TOPSHOT - USA’s Kendall Coyne (L) and Hilary Knight hold their gold medals and the US flag after the medal ceremony after the women’s ice hockey event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 22, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Hilary Knight leads the U.S. Olympic women’s hockey roster looking for repeat gold with 13 players returning from 2018, plus the last two cuts from four years ago.

Headliners also include goalie Maddie Rooney, a star in the PyeongChang Olympic final shootout win over Canada, and Knight’s fellow forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brianna Decker and Amanda Kessel, each going to a third Olympics.

Two more players, defender Megan Bozek and forward Alex Carpenter, are 2014 Olympians who were the last two cuts from the 2018 roster. It’s the first time any U.S. women’s player made it back to the Olympics after missing a team.

The roster (*2018 Olympian):

Goalies: Alex Cavallini*, Nicole Hensley*, Maddie Rooney*

Defenders: Cayla Barnes*, Megan Bozek, Jincy Dunne, Savannah Harmon, Caroline Harvey, Megan Keller*, Lee Stecklein*

Forwards: Hannah Brandt*, Dani Cameranesi*, Alex Carpenter, Jesse Compher, Kendall Coyne Schofield (captain)*, Brianna Decker*, Amanda Kessel*, Hilary Knight*, Abbey Murphy, Kelly Pannek*, Abby Roque, Hayley Scamurra, Grace Zumwinkle

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Knight, at 32, is set to become the oldest U.S. Olympic female hockey player, breaking Julie Chu‘s record from 2014. Knight will tie the U.S. record of four Olympic hockey appearances, shared by five others, including Chu.

The U.S. Olympic title in 2018 marked the nation’s first since the first Olympic women’s hockey tournament in 1998. All 13 returnees will try to become the first American hockey players to win multiple golds.

In the last 15 months, five players with a combined 15 Olympic medals announced retirements: captain Meghan Duggan, 2018 Olympic final scoring heroes and twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, stalwart defender Kacey Bellamy and Gigi Marvin, who played both forward and defense.

In August, rival Canada beat the U.S. in a major final for the first time in seven years, taking the world championship (which Rooney missed due to injury). Canada, yet to name its Olympic roster, also won a pre-Olympic exhibition series between the two nations 4-2. The last three games were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Olympic tournament includes two more teams than in 2018, but the primary plot is expected to be the same: the U.S. and Canada face off in group play and, if each wins the rest of their games, again in the final.

The U.S., coached by retired NHL goalie Robb Stauber in 2018, changed coaches again in April. Bob Corkum stepped down and was replaced by assistant Joel Johnson, who was familiar with many of the players having spent 16 seasons on the University of Minnesota staff and coaching U.S. junior teams.

The roster has two players born in the 2000s -- defender Caroline Harvey and forward Abbey Murphy, both 19.

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for 2022 Winter Olympics

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