(Gopher Sports) — Eight current and former Gopher women’s hockey players will take the ice at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea as six players with Gopher ties were named to the 2018 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team and two Minnesota alumnae are representing Finland.
Senior Kelly Pannek and Gopher alumnae Hannah Brandt (’16), Dani Cameranesi (’17), Amanda Kessel (’16), Gigi Marvin (’09), and Lee Stecklein (’17) will represent the Red, White, and Blue with Team USA. Fellow Gopher alumnae Mira Jalosuo and Noora Raty will represent their native Finland.
Raty is the most experienced of the Gopher Olympians, making her fourth Olympic appearance after representing Finland in 2006 (fourth place), 2010 (bronze), and 2014 (fifth place). Jalosuo is making her second appearance at the Winter Olympics after joining Raty on Finland’s 2014 team.
Marvin leads the USA Gopher Olympians in making her third Olympic Games appearance after earning silver at both the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., and the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Kessel and Stecklein also return to the line-up for the Red, White, and Blue after earning silver in 2014. Meanwhile, Brandt, Cameranesi, and Pannek are making their Olympic debuts.
MNN Sports Director Mike Grimm sat down with Golden Gopher head coach Brad Frost about all of the Minnesota connections in women’s hockey in the Olympics:
Including this year’s eight players, 15 Gophers have competed in the Winter Olympics, making 28 Olympic appearances for two different countries. Thirteen Gophers have represented the U.S. in the Olympics, and Raty and Jalosuo have now made six appearances for Finland. Raty (four) has the most Olympic appearances overall while Marvin joins Natalie Darwitz (2002, 2006, 2010) in being a three-time Olympian.
Gopher alums Robb Stauber (head coach) and Brett Strot (associate head coach) will lead the coaching staff of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team. In addition, Gopher women’s hockey equipment manager Brent Proulx will serve the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team in the same capacity.
The University of Minnesota is one of four schools (Boston College, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Vermont) that has student-athletes representing Team USA on both the U.S. Olympic Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Teams as Ryan Stoa will represent the Red, White, and Blue after playing for the Gophers from 2005-09.
The PyeongChang Games kick off in South Korea this Friday and will conclude Sunday, Feb. 25. Ice hockey competition will be held at the Kwandong Hockey Centre and the Gangneung Hockey Centre in the Gangneung Coastal Cluster.
Gopher Olympians’ Preliminary Round Schedule (TV)
Sunday, Feb. 11: USA vs. Finland, 1:40 a.m. CT (NBCSN)
Sunday, Feb. 11: Canada vs. Russia, 6:10 a.m. CT (USA Network)
Tuesday, Feb. 13: Finland vs. Canada, 1:40 a.m. CT (NBCSN)
Tuesday, Feb. 13: USA vs. Russia, 6:10 a.m. CT (NBCSN)
Wednesday, Feb. 14: USA vs. Canada, 9:10 p.m. CT (NBCSN)
Thursday, Feb. 15: Finland vs. Russia, 1:40 a.m. CT (USA Network)
Quarterfinal, classification, and semifinal round games are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 16 through Tuesday, Feb. 20. The medal-round games are set for Wednesday, Feb. 21 with the bronze medal game at 1:40 a.m. CT and the gold medal game at 10:10 p.m. CT.
Olympic Women’s Hockey Play-Off Schedule (TV)
Friday, Feb. 16: Quarterfinals, 9:10 p.m. CT (CNBC)
Saturday, Feb. 17: Quarterfinals, 1:40 a.m. CT (USA Network)
Saturday, Feb. 17: Classifications (5-8), 9:10 p.m. CT (None)
Sunday, Feb. 18: Classifications (5-8), 1:40 a.m. CT (None)
Sunday, Feb. 18: Semifinals, 9:10 p.m. CT (NBCSN)
Monday, Feb. 19: Semifinals, 6:10 a.m. CT (NBCSN)
Monday, Feb. 19: Classifications (7-8), 9:10 p.m. CT (None)
Tuesday, Feb. 20: Classifications (5-6), 1:40 a.m. CT (None)
Wednesday, Feb. 21: Bronze Medal, 1:40 a.m. CT (USA Network)
Wednesday, Feb. 21: Gold Medal, 10:10 p.m. CT (NBCSN)
Be sure to follow the Gopher Olympians on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on their activities in PyeongChang, and follow #GopherOlympians on social media for updates on all of the Olympians with ties to the University of Minnesota.