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2014 U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team Named For Three-Game Series vs. Canada

08/17/2014, 11:45am MDT
By USAHockey.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Twenty-two players who participated at the 2014 USA Hockey Women's National Festival have been chosen for the 2014 U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team that will compete in a three-game series against Canada Aug. 21-24 in Calgary, Alberta, at Canada Olympic Park.

The USA Hockey Women's National Festival took place Aug. 12-16 at the Lake Placid Olympic Center in Lake Placid, New York.

The roster features eight players who helped the 2014 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team earn a silver medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women's World Championship in Budapest, Hungary. They are Grace Bizal (Minnetonka, Minn.), Jincy Dunne (O'Fallon, Mo.), Rebecca Gilmore (Wayland, Mass.), Caitrin Lonergan (Roslindale, Mass.), Patricia Marshall (Thief River Falls, Minn.), Abby Roque (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.), Melissa Samoskevich (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Sophie Skarzynski (Wilmette, Ill.).

The 22 players represent 13 different states. Minnesota leads the pack with seven representatives, Massachusetts has three and Illinois has two. California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin each have one.

All games from the series are being streamed live and are available at usahockey.fasthockey.com.

NOTES: The 2014 U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team will practice in Lake Placid on Aug. 17-18 prior to heading to Canada. The three-game series vs. Canada is an annual event between the two countries and has been held each August since 2007. Reagan Carey (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey's director of women's hockey, is the general manager of the 2014 U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team ... Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), associate head coach of the University of Minnesota women's ice hockey team, was named head coach of the U.S. Women's Under-18 Team for the 2014-15 seasons on May 20, 2014 ... Joining him as assistant coaches are Katie Lachapelle (Winthrop, Mass.), assistant women's ice hockey coach at Boston University, and Brent Hill (Troy, N.Y.), assistant women's ice hockey coach at Merrimack College.

2014 Women's Under-18 Series Schedule

Date Event Location Time (MT/ET)
Aug. 21 vs. Canada Rink A 3 p.m. / 5 p.m.
Aug. 22 vs. Canada Rink A 6:30 p.m. / 8:30 p.m.
Aug. 24 vs. Canada Rink B 1:30 p.m. / 3:30 p.m.

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March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.

This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.

“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”

The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.

Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.

“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.

“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.

“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”

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