Today, the NHL announced the 20 US and Canadian National Team players who will participate in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in St. Louis and the two events they’ll be in. It will be broadcast on NBCSN and Sportsnet starting at 8 p.m. eastern on Jan. 24.
From Canada is Meghan Agosta, Mélodie Daoust, Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Nurse, Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner, Blayre Turnbull, Renata Fast, Laura Fortinto, and Ann-Renée Desbiens. Jayna Hefford will be the coach.
The US is represented by Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brianna Decker, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Annie Pankowski, Kacey Bellamy, Lee Stecklein, and Alex Cavallini. They will be coached by Cammi Granto.
The two countries will face off in a 3-on-3 game during the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 24 in St. Louis. They’ll play two 10-minute halves with a running clock. Penalties will be “served” with a penalty shot by the player who drew the call.
The officials will also be all females. The referees will be Kelly Cooke and Katie Guay with Kendall Hanley and Kirsten Welsh as linespeople.
In addition, one player from each country will also participate in the Gatorade Shooting Stars competition as well. This is the NHL other new event this year, which was described as “Hockey meets Topgolf.”
The two players will join eight NHL players to shoot at targets on the ice from a position about 30 feet above the ice. The players will have seven shots to score as many points as they can by landing on the targets, with each having different point values.
The two players will be voted in via Twitter with only four options per country. Fans can vote between Kacey Bellamy, Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Nurse, Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner.
The Penguins have done something similar, but at the All-Star Skills competition they’ll be shooting from a section behind the goal.
This is notably different from past years when four National Team players have been asked to demonstrate skills, a nominal role in the weekend’s events. It is also markedly different from last year when Kendall Coyne Schofield became the first woman to compete in the Skills Competition when she skated amongst the men in the Fastest Skater event.