Yesterday, Team USA announced its roster for the 2020 Women’s World Championships. Several notable names were missing, and several young players were added. It seems clear from this roster that Team USA is committed to getting younger and faster, testing out NCAA standouts as we enter the final two years of the Olympic cycle.
FORWARDS: Brianna Decker, Hannah Brandt, Hilary Knight, Kelly Pannek, Dani Cameranesi, Kendall Coyne-Schofield, Amanda Kessel, Hayley Scamurra, Jesse Compher (BU), Alex Carpenter, Britta Curl (Wisconsin), Grace Zumwinkle (Minnesota), Abby Roque (Wisconsin)
DEFENDERS: Lee Stecklein, Cayla Barnes (BC), Megan Keller, Emily Matheson, Megan Bozek, Kacey Bellamy, Savannah Harmon
GOALIES: Alex Cavallini, Maddie Rooney (Minnesota-Duluth), Aerin Frankel (Northeastern)
Next Woman Up
Aerin Frankel, Britta Curl, and Abby Roque made their senior team debuts during the first half of this season’s Rivalry Series. Savannah Harmon has been on and off of rosters for some time now, earning her first call-up, like Hayley Scamurra, during her Buffalo Beauts tenure.
Both Frankel and Roque are top-ten finalists for the 2020 Patty Kaz. Frankel leads the NCAA with a .959 SV% through 29 games. In her senior season, Wisconsin’s Abby Roque has 57 points in 35 games (25g 32a).
Grace Zumwinkle will make her senior national team debut during this World Championships. The twenty-year-old junior out of Minnesota has 41 points in 33 games (22g 19a) and will hit a new career high with her next NCAA point.
A handful of players from last year’s World Championship roster didn’t make the cut this year. Those players include Sydney Brodt (Minnesota-Duluth), Melissa Samoskevich, Michelle Picard, Emma Polusny (St. Cloud State), and, perhaps most notably, Annie Pankowski.
The omission of Pankowski seems most glaring, given her stat line from last year’s tournament, where she had 4 goals and 3 assists for a total of 7 points, 5 of which were primary points at even strength—or, when the game is at its most open. She had a very strong 2019 campaign overall. But she did take a knock during the Rivalry Series that kept her out for a game. It’s possible that played into this omission, but we have no real indication yet that she was injured rather than simply bumped.
Both Lamoureux twins made their return after pregnancy and have played in PWHPA showcases and several Team USA games in November and during the Rivalry Series. That they aren’t on this roster probably speaks more to Team USA’s desire for youth and speed, looking forward to the 2022 Olympics.
Nicole Hensley and Katie Burt, goaltenders who returned to the Team USA roster for the second half of the Rivalry Series, have been replaced by NCAA goaltenders Maddie Rooney and Aerin Frankel. Given Frankel’s 2019-2020 season with Northeastern, it’s hard to say that it’s surprising to see her name, and Rooney has a ways to go before she outlives the clout brought to her in the 2018 Olympic gold medal game.
The 2020 World Championships start on March 31 in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia.