USA Hockey announced on Tuesday the 66 girls that will compete this summer in Biddeford, Maine at the USA Hockey U18 Select 66 Camp.
The weeklong camp is used to help determine the make-up of next winter’s World U18 Championships, where the US women will compete for an unprecedented fourth consecutive gold medal.
-Four defenseman: Gracie Ostertag(MN), Madeline Wethington(MN), Lizi Norton(UMD), and Ally Simpson(Colgate), two forwards: Taylor Heise(MN), and Dominique Petrie, and one goalie: Lindsay Reed(Harvard) are returning members from last year’s gold medal-winning team.
-Of that group, Ostertag, Wethington, and Heise will all have the opportunity to win a third gold medal at the World U18s. Cayla Barnes(BC) became the first player to ever do that when the US won gold last year.
-In addition to the Maine camp, USA Hockey also holds at U18 development camp for girls not selected to this roster. It’s rare, but not impossible for a girl invited to the U18 camp held in St. Cloud, Minn. to make the national team roster, such as Ally Simpson last year.
-2002 birthdates are the youngest age group eligible for the tournament, and five players from that group were selected: D Maggie Nicholson(MN), F Makenna Webster(UW), D Brooke Becker(PC), D Sidney Fess(BC), and F Abbey Murphy(MN). The rest of the top 2002 birthdates in the nation will compete at the national Girls 15 development camp this summer in St. Cloud.
-Of the six goalies invited, only Mikayla Pahl(MN) is eligible to return the following year, as a 2001-birthdate. Lindsay Reed is likely the presumptive starter as a returning player. Olivia Bizal(UMD) is the strongest goalie of the four from Minnesota. Pahl is a big goalie that is still a bit raw, but has lots of potential that might make a good back-up to get experience for future tournaments.
-As expected, the Minnesota district led the way with 31 players invited to the camp. Add in a pair of Minnesota high school players that qualified through other districts, and a handful of players that play at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, and over half the camp roster played in Minnesota last winter.