MADISON, WI (PRESS RELEASE) - Eleven former and current Badgers have been selected as part of the 41-player roster for the 2009 USA Hockey Women's National Festival, including six Badgers from the 2009 national championship squad. The Festival will take place August 18-24 in Blaine, Minn. and will serve as the selection camp for the 2009-10 U.S. Women's National Team that will compete in the Qwest Tour, a 10-game domestic tour that begins Sept. 25 and ends just prior to the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
Current UW student-athletes include Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan and Brooke Ammerman and will join last year's teammates, Erika Lawler, Angie Keseley and the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Award winner, Jessie Vetter. USA Hockey veterans Kerry Weiland and Molly Engstrom made the cut, and join former Badgers Jinelle Zaugg and Chanda Gunn. The newest Badger to make the roster is incoming freshman Brianna Decker, who was a member on the 2008 U-18 U.S. Select Team that beat Canada at the Four Nations Cup.
Engstrom and Gunn return as the only Badger Olympians to skate for Team USA. Both earned bronze with Team USA in the 2006 Olympics. Gunn, a goaltender for only one season in Wisconsin's inaugural season transferred to Northeastern to finish her eligibility. Engstrom skated for UW from 2001-05 before becoming a bronze medalist.
Weiland, Engstrom, Knight, Duggan, Vetter and Lawler were members of the U.S. Women's National Team that captured back-to-back gold medals at the 2008 and 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship.
"The selection process for this camp has been ongoing for years," said Michele Amidon, director of women's hockey for USA Hockey, as well as the general manager of the 2010 Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team. "Our staff has thoroughly evaluated the talent pool in the U.S. and has put together the absolute top crop of candidates to represent our country for the upcoming season."
The Festival participants will be divided into two teams for daily practices and games at the Schwan Super Rink, part of the National Sports Center. The Super Rink, which served as the home for the women's residency program set up by USA Hockey for post-collegiate members of its U.S. Women's National Program last season, will be the base for the 2009-10 U.S. Women's National Team from September until the Olympic Games.
On Aug. 24, USA Hockey will announce the roster for the 2009-10 U.S. Women's National Team which will be led by UW head coach Mark Johnson. In mid-December, the 21 players who will compete in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be announced.
ABOUT THE QWEST TOUR
The Qwest Tour, sponsored by Qwest Commuunications, will feature the 2009-10 U.S. Women's National Team playing a 10-game domestic tour that begins Sept. 25 and ends just prior to the start of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. During that time, the U.S. squad will face off with Canada; Finland; all-star teams from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Hockey East and ECAC Hockey; and various other NCAA Division I women's ice hockey teams. For a full schedule, tickets and more information, visit QwestTour.com.
Festival Roster (PDF)
Athletic Communications Assistant
University of Wisconsin