Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images

U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team announced

Leave a comment

After a grueling weeklong U.S. women’s hockey Team Selection Camp up in Lake Placid, the 41 invitees have been whittled to 25, with another four set to be cut in December, just ahead of Sochi.

“One of the guiding principles of what we were doing to pick the team was to look at four essential elements: the technical, tactical, mental, and physical aspects that we were getting from each player,” GM Reagan Carey told reporters Monday.

“That was the priority. Going from there we selected the right 25 to be in this group, and everything else we’ll figure out along the way.”

Three-time Olympian Julie Chu leads a team that includes eleven additional former Olympians, as well as defenseman Jincy Dunne, who at only 16 is the squad’s youngest member. She called it an “honor” to be selected for the team.

“There are a lot of veterans here to show me what to do and how to do it,” Dunne added. “I can’t complain.”

The women’s team has already had an impressive 2013 by beating Canada 3-2 on their home ice in the finals of IIHF World Championships back in April. That was the U.S. team’s fifth title in the last seven quasi-annual world tournaments dating back to 2005. But the U.S. women have failed to earn gold at the Olympics since taking the title at the sport’s inaugural Games in 1998, finishing second to Canada in 2002 and 2010.

Here’s a look at the full squad:

Goaltenders: Brianne McLaughlin, Molly Schaus, Jessie Vetter

Defense: Kacey Bellamy, Megan Bozek, Lisa Chesson, Jincy Dunne, Gigi Marvin, Michelle Picard, Josephine Pucci, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein

Forwards: Kate Buesser, Alex Carpenter, Kendall Coyne, Julie Chu, Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Lyndsey Fry, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux, Anne Pankowski, Kelli Stack

Mikaela Shiffrin wrestles with doubt in seconds before World Cup downhill debut

Mikaela Shiffrin, of the United States, skis during the third training run for the World Cup women's downhill ski race in Lake Louise, Alberta, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)
AP
Leave a comment

After a momentary panic in the start house, Mikaela Shiffrin raced to a tie for 18th in the first downhill of her World Cup career in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Shiffrin, the youngest Olympic slalom champion who has also won a World Cup giant slalom, has been slowly adding the speed events of super-G and downhill to her repertoire the last two seasons.

“It wasn’t bad,” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com. “I certainly didn’t risk anything crazy.”

Her result Friday, 1.99 seconds behind Slovenian winner Ilka Stuhec, came after Shiffrin was 18th, 24th and 30th fastest in downhill training runs the previous three days. Shiffrin also had to wait several minutes in the start house as the racer before her crashed (video here).

“That was just a bummer,” Shiffrin said, according to the Denver Post. “I was like, ‘Just don’t let it affect you,’ but being up there for 10 minutes, like, ‘What happened? What’s taking them so long? What’s going on? Is she hurt?’

“Then I started doubting myself, like my technique going off the jumps, which is actually pretty good. I was going back and forth between, ‘Should I even be doing this? Maybe I just should pull out because I don’t want to kill myself.’ Then I’m like, ‘You’re absolutely fine, you haven’t felt sketched out a single time on this track in the past three days, so stick with that. You don’t have to go crazy.'”

“To be fast in speed there certainly needs to be a certain level of risk, and I know that, but now, if [giant slalom] and slalom are my main priority this season, I don’t need to be going crazy in a downhill with flat light and after I got iced [waiting so long],” Shiffrin said, according to SkiRacing.com.

Stuhec won Friday’s race by .22 of a second over Italian Sofia Goggia. Swede Kajsa Kling was third.

A race replay can be seen here. Full results are here.

Lindsey Vonn, owner of a record 18 wins at Lake Louise, is missing the annual World Cup stop in Alberta due to a broken arm from a November crash. Vonn had raced at Lake Louise each of the previous 15 seasons.

Last season, Shiffrin made her World Cup debut in the super-G at Lake Louise and finished 15th.

The women have another downhill Saturday and a super-G on Sunday in Lake Louise, both streaming live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app (schedule here).

MORE: Vonn eyes January return from her most painful injury

High-speed crash at World Cup downhill in Lake Louise (video)

Leave a comment

Swiss Joana Haehlen crashed into netting at high speed during a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise, Alberta, on Friday.

Haehlen, 24, lost her right ski after landing from a jump and sped uncontrollably off course. She braced for impact, slammed into red netting and was turned around before landing with neither of her skis still attached.

She lay on the snow while being attended to and eventually skied down the mountain on her own.

It caused a 10-minute delay before the next skier, American Mikaela Shiffrin, could take her run.

VIDEO: Vonn details the most painful injury of her career