Things are heating up as the 2018 Olympic Games creep ever closer.
After they made waves announcing the addition of 18-year-old Cayla Barnes to the USA centralization roster, USA Hockey announced two more new players to their roster today. Forward Haley Skarupa and defender Sidney Morin will both leave their current professional teams and join the centralization roster, increasing the current number of USA players to 26.
The cut-off for the Olympics is 23 roster spots, which means that USA, who started off the centralization cycle with exactly 23 players, will now have to make three cuts before the team travels to Pyeongchang.
Both additions will hurt the Boston Pride and MODO, the professional teams that Skarupa and Morin, respectively, were playing for this year. The Pride are struggling to find their identity this year and the loss of an offensive talent like Skarupa won’t help. Meanwhile, Morin has been a boost on the blue line for Modo, leading the team’s defense in scoring.
Morin is a 22-year-old defender who played her college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In her first post-NCAA season Morin has been dominating the SDHL. Through her first 21 games with MODO Morin had 32 points and was a +40 before getting the call to join the national team.
Skarupa led the Connecticut Whale in scoring as a rookie last season and was a standout with the Boston Pride this year before answering her nation’s call. The former Boston College star has represented the United States in the last three Women’s World Championships. To date Skarupa has 27 points in 20 NWHL regular season games including five in her first four games with Boston this season.