2018 Four Nations Cup Preview: USA
The US looks for their fourth straight Four Nations Cup
Four Nations is the first time we’ll see Team USA on the ice after winning gold at the Olympics. A few notable changes have happened since then, but more on that later.
- Tuesday, Nov. 6 | USA vs Finland - 12 p.m. CST
- Wednesday, Nov. 7 | USA vs Canada - 7 p.m. CST
- Friday, Nov. 9 | USA vs Sweden - 3:30 p.m. CST/
- Saturday, Nov. 10 | Bronze and Gold Medal Games - 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. CST/
On Sunday, Oct. 28th, USA Hockey announced Reagan Carey was stepping down from her post as director of women’s hockey. At the time, no coaching staff had been announced for USA for Four Nations. The next morning, USAH announced their coaching staff: Bob Corkum as the head coach with Joel Johnston and Brian Pothier as the assistant coaches.
Corkum was announced as the head coach for the ‘18-’19 season, meaning he’ll be with the team through April’s Worlds in Finland.
Of the three, Johnston has by far the most experience coaching women, as he is in his 14th season as the assistant coach at Minnesota. He was also the head coach of U18 team from 2014 to 2017, leading the team to four gold medals at Worlds.
Corkum, who was a coach at the evaluation camp alongside Johnson and Pothier, has never coached a women’s team before. He was an assistant coach under Johnston during this year’s U22 series. That was his first USAH coaching appointment in five years, dating back to a 2012 coaching spot with a men’s team. Corkum played for 12 years in the NHL and also was the assistant coach for the New York Islanders from 2014-17.
This roster is super interesting. Keep in mind, it’s the start of a quad. USA went with an extremely young team with 11 current NCAA players. Those players were not at the pre-tournament camp because they were still playing with their collegiate teams. Of those players, five are brand new to the senior team, so how they integrate and work into the systems in an extremely short tournament should be interesting to watch.
Sixteen players are returning from the Olympic squad with another two who were cut during the centralization period.
There are a few interesting omissions from this roster. Amanda Pelkey and Haley Skarupa aren’t back. Nicole Hensley did not make the roster, with Emma Polusny instead getting the third goalie spot. Meghan Duggan has not been at camps yet, though NBC Sports reported she is injured but has plans to rejoin the team. Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson are both expecting.
|Hannah Brandt||Forward||Cayla Barnes||Defence|
|Sydney Brodt||Forward||Kacey Bellamy||Defence|
|Dani Cameranesi||Forward||Megan Bozek||Defence|
|Kendall Coyne||Forward||Kali Flanagan||Defence|
|Brianna Decker||Forward||Mikaela Gardner||Defence|
|Amanda Kessel||Forward||Megan Keller||Defence|
|Hilary Knight||Forward||Sidney Morin||Defence|
|Caitrin Lonergan||Forward||Emily Pfalzer||Defence|
|Annie Pankowski||Forward||Emma Polusny||Goaltender|
|Kelly Pannek||Forward||Alex Rigsby||Goaltender|
|Melissa Samoskevich||Forward||Maddie Rooney||Goaltender|
Players to watch
This is Lonergan’s first Four Nations Cup and first time with the senior team. She has plenty of experience with Team USA from numerous U18 Worlds and the last U22 series, though, and is one of four Boston College players on Team USA. The junior forward has tallied 11 points in nine NCAA games this season, seven of which have been assists, including this nasty toe drag to set up a goal.
👀🎥 the 🔥 🚨 to open the scoring tonight!#WeAreBC | #HockeyEast pic.twitter.com/0jKbPLHC1O— BC Women's Hockey (@BC_WHockey) November 2, 2018
Bozek was a late cut from the Olympic squad, and she joined the Markham Thunder after the holidays in early 2018. An offensive defender, she put up nine points in 10 regular season games, helping the team en route to victory in the Clarkson Cup. With a solid mix of defenders, Bozek should fit in well.
With 11 of the 23 players not at camp, it will be interesting to see how the team comes together. Add in the late (and questionable) coaching staff decisions, and the youthful approach could mean silver for USA, especially looking at Canada’s veteran-laden team. We’ll get to see a glimpse of the future of USA Hockey, though, which is bound to be fun.