The National Sports Center is again hosting the best women’s hockey players in the U.S. this month.
USA Hockey announced July 31 the 79 players selected to participate in the Aug. 5-19 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival, which is taking place at the National Sports Center’s Schwan Super Rink.
The training camp festival features a combination of scrimmages, practices, on- and off-ice testing and classroom sessions and culminates with the selection of players to represent the United States in a U18 series versus Canada at the Schwan Super Rink, Aug. 16, 17 and 19.
Rachael Bona, a resident of Coon Rapids and University of Minnesota women’s hockey player, is included among the 51 players on the O18 (players over 18 years old) roster for the festival.
Meanwhile, Steve Guider of Blaine serves as an assistant coach for the U18 (players under 18 years old) team.
Among this year’s USA Hockey Women’s National Festival attendees are 21 of the 23 members of the U.S. Women’s National Team that captured the silver medal at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
In addition, 14 of the players were on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team that trained at the Schwan Super Rink for the year leading up to the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
The Olympic veterans returning to the NSC include four-time Olympian Jenny Potter of Edina, and former Gopher star Gigi Marvin of Warroad.
The complete list of returning members of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team that trained at the Schwan Super Rink in 2009-2010 and who will be playing in the Women’s National Festival include Kacey Bellamy, Westfield, Mass.; Lisa Chesson, Plainsfield, Ill.; Julie Chu, Fairfield, Conn.; Molly Engstrom, Siren, Wis.; Jocelyne Lamoureaux, Grand Forks, N.D.; Monique Lamoureaux-Kolls, Grand Forks, N.D.; Gigi Marvin, Warroad, Minn.; Briane McLaughlin, Sheffield Village, Ohio; Jenny Potter, Edina, Minn.; Molly Schaus, Natick, Mass.; Kelli Stack, Brooklyn Heights, Ohio; Karen Thatcher, Blaine, Wash.; and Jessie Vetter, Cottage Grove, Wis.
Festival participants will be divided into teams for daily practices and games. All practices and games are free and open to the public.
While goaltender practice and full roster skating session have already taken place, the remaining 2012 Women’s National Festival game and practice schedule is as follows. (All practice sessions and games will be held at Schwan Super Rink, rinks 5 and 6.)
• Friday, Aug. 10: Morning skating sessions at 8:30 and 10 a.m. U18 Team intra-squad scrimmage at 5:25 p.m., Blue Team versus White Team at 7 p.m.
• Saturday, Aug. 11: Morning skating sessions at 8:30, 9 and 10 a.m., U18 Team intra-squad scrimmage at 5:25 p.m., Blue Team versus Red Team at 7 p.m.
• Sunday, Aug. 12: Rosters get restructured. Practice sessions at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
• Monday, Aug. 13: Morning skating sessions at 9 and 10 a.m. U18 versus Team 1 at 4 p.m. and Team 2 versus Team 3 at 7 p.m.
• Tuesday, Aug. 14: No ice sessions.
• Wednesday, Aug. 15: USA U18 Team practices at 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Canada U18 Team practice at 10:45 a.m.
• Thursday, Aug. 16: Canada and USA U18 team morning skates at 9 and 10 a.m., USA versus Canada U18 series game 1, Schwan Super Rink 5, 7 p.m.
• Friday, Aug. 17: Canada and USA U18 team morning skates at 9 and 10 a.m., USA versus Canada U18 series game 2, Schwan Super Rink 5, 7 p.m.
• Saturday, Aug. 18: Canada U18 Team practice at 9:30 a.m., USA U18 Team practice at 3 p.m.
• Sunday, Aug. 19: USA versus Canada U18 series game 3, Schwan Super Rink 5, 10 a.m.
Sue Austreng is at email@example.com