Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield lead world women’s hockey championship roster

Ice Hockey - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 10

Olympic champions Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Amanda Kessel and Maddie Rooney headline the U.S. roster for the world women’s hockey championship that starts Aug. 25 in Denmark.

It marks the first women’s worlds held in an Olympic year as the International Ice Hockey Federation made the tournament annual, as it has been for the men since 1989.

Canada beat the U.S. in the final of the Olympics in February and last August’s worlds, making this the U.S.’ longest gold-medal drought in more than a decade.

Knight, 33 and the lone player on the team born in the 1980s, gets her third chance to break her tie with retired defender Kacey Bellamy for the most gold medals in U.S. hockey history. Both have nine between the Olympics and world championships.

Knight already holds the U.S. record for world championship appearances at 11.

Notable absences: forward Brianna Decker, who broke her left fibula and suffered many torn ankle ligaments in a collision in an Olympic game.

Emily Matheson, a 2018 Olympic defender who did not make the team in her return from June 2021 childbirth.

And goalie Alex Cavallini, who is pregnant and plans to return to the national team after childbirth later this year or early next year. Cavallini played most of the Olympics, including the entire gold-medal game, after tearing an MCL on Jan. 14.

The new U.S. head coach is John Wroblewski, most recently an AHL coach, who succeeded Olympic coach Joel Johnson. USA Hockey did not provide a reason for Johnson’s departure in the May 31 announcement. None of the last five Olympic head coaches returned for the first world championship of the following Olympic cycle.

Wroblewski tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, USA Hockey spokeswoman Melissa Katz said, and will coach remotely while spending a 10-day stretch in self-isolation. Should he be cleared, Wroblewski would travel separately to join the team in Denmark, where the U.S. opens the 10-nation tournament against Japan on Aug. 25.

“The COVID news is unfortunate, but I’ll look at the positive side. I got a great look at the overall picture this week, and now I get to remove myself and process it while still making team decisions,” Wroblewski wrote in a text to The Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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2022 U.S. Women’s Hockey World Championship Roster

Aerin Frankel
Nicole Hensley
Maddie Rooney

Cayla Barnes
Jincy Dunne
Rory Guilday
Savannah Harmon
Caroline Harvey
Megan Keller
Lee Stecklein

Hannah Bilka
Hannah Brandt
Alex Carpenter
Jesse Compher
Kendall Coyne Schofield
Lacey Eden
Taylor Heise
Amanda Kessel
Hilary Knight
Kelly Pannek
Abby Roque
Hayley Scamurra
Grace Zumwinkle

Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever

Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi

Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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