Team USA announced their 2018 Winter Training Camp roster today, and there is a lot to talk about. The most notable missing player is Meghan Duggan, who is supposedly out with injury but planning to return later in the cycle. The real story this time around is the additions and returners to the camp roster after a dominant Four Nations display.
At this point, I think it’s fair to say that Megan Keller, Kali Flanagan, Cayla Barnes, Maddie Rooney, and Kelly Pannek are veterans, of sorts. All five are back in training camp after being a part of the gold-medal winning Four Nations team earlier this month. Annie Pankowski (Wisconsin), Melissa Samoskevich (Quinnipiac), Emma Polusny (St. Cloud State), Caitrin Lonergan (BC) and Sydney Brodt (UMD) are also returning after their 4 Nations debuts. Jincy Dunne (tOSU) is returning, having been in and out of the system for years, narrowly missing out on the 2014 Olympics and making her way back after a concussion.
Sydney Brodt ended her first senior national team tournament with 5 points (3 goals and 2 assists), so it’s no surprise to see her back. Emma Polusny only got one game at 4 Nations, but she posted up a win and played well. Melissa Samoskevich made an impact especially in the later portion of the tournament, ending up with 2 goals. While Caitrin Lonergan and Annie Pankowski flew under the radar, it’s clear that the coaching staff wants to see more of them, which makes sense: both have 15 points in 14 games played with their respective college teams.
This roster carries a huge influx of NCAA talent. Attending from Minnesota are Emily Brown (D), Taylor Heise (F), and Grace Zumwinkle (F). From Wisconsin, Britta Curl (F), Maddie Rolfes (D) and Abby Roque (F). There are a smattering of other schools represented as well: Jesse Compher (F) out of BU, Clair DeGeorge (F) out of Bemidji State, Maureen Murphy (F) out of Providence, and Lindsay Reed (G) out of Harvard.
Jesse Compher has put up an incredible 19 points in 12 games played at BU in what is shaping up to be a monster of a sophomore season. Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise are third and fourth in points on a stacked Minnesota team with 15 and 12 respectively. Maureen Murphy is joint-fifth in the NCAA in scoring with 24 points in 14 games, and is the highest-scoring American player in the league.
One of the biggest gripes that people had about the 2018 Olympic roster was the conspicuous absence of Alex Carpenter, who was with the team when they took silver in 2014. She has 13 points in 13 games played with Shenzhen this year, and will be returning to the mix for Team USA this winter.
Also making her return is Zoe Hickel, who has been noticeably impressive on a very good Inferno team, dishing out 8 assists so far. Hickel has been with the team for 2 World Championship campaigns.
Three NWHL players will be returning to Team USA’s full camp: the Beauts’ Savannah Harmon, the Riveters’ Shelly Picard, and the Pride’s Dana Trivigno.
Shelly Picard won silver with the 2014 Olympic team and she, along with Savannah Harmon, were late adds to the pre-Four-Nations camp in a “developmental” capacity. It seems that whatever they did there worked, as both are regular rostered players this time around. Dana Trivigno has been with the team before for 2 World Championship runs, but, like Hickel, missed the boat for centralization last year and was not on the pre-Four-Nations or Four Nations roster. She has a goal and two assists for 3 points in 5 games played with the Pride this year.