Today Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reported that the United States Women’s National Team has made its final cuts before the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. Star forward Alex Carpenter and decorated veteran defender Megan Bozek are expected to be the final two cuts.
Needless to say, the news is shocking. Carpenter is one of the most gifted forwards in women’s hockey, and she has proven as much in the NCAA, in the NWHL, and at the international level.
Bozek is regarded as one of the best defenders in the game. Both players won silver at the Sochi Games and have won a combined seven gold medals with the United States at the Women’s World Championships, including April’s tournament in Plymouth.
It appears now that recent USWNT additions Sidney Morin and Haley Skarupa have effectively replaced Bozek and Carpenter. From Schlossman’s piece:
But come October, the Americans decided to add one more player to the mix, picking up Boston College rookie defenseman Cayla Barnes. After Thanksgiving, USA Hockey added two more: former Boston College forward Haley Skarupa, who played for the U.S. at the World Championships this year, and former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Sidney Morin, who has minimal experience on a world stage.
The official announcement from the national team is expected on Jan. 1, during the second intermission of the NHL Winter Classic.
It’s worth mentioning that CWHL club Kunlun Red Star drafted Carpenter in this year’s draft, so we should not be surprised to see her on the ice in China sometime in the near future. And Bozek could soon return to the Buffalo Beauts, her NWHL team for the previous two seasons. However, there’s been no official word on what the future holds for either player.
The projected Pyeongchang roster for the USWNT:
Forwards: Meghan Duggan, Kelly Pannek, Brianna Decker, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Hannah Brandt, Hilary Knight, Dani Cameranesi, Kendall Coyne, Amanda Kessel, Amanda Pelkey, Haley Skarupa
Defenders: Lee Stecklein, Cayla Barnes, Megan Keller, Kali Flanagan, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Emily Pfalzer, Sidney Morin, Gigi Marvin, Kacey Bellamy
Goaltenders: Nicole Hensley, Maddie Rooney, Alex Rigsby