News Wrap: U.S., Canadian rosters announced for three-game series in Lake Placid

The United States and Canada will face off this week in an Under-18 Series and an Under-22 Series, each three games. Both series will take place at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Hockey Canada announced the U18 Team roster and the Development Team roster on Sunday. The USA Hockey roster announcements came yesterday, with the U18 Team roster listed here and the U22 Team roster listed here. The two U18 teams will go against each other for the U18 Series, Aug. 20-23. The Canadian Development Team and the U.S. U22 Team will take the ice for the U22 Series, Aug. 19-22.

A full schedule for the U18 Series (via USAHockey.com):

Aug. 20 – 6 p.m. ET
Aug. 21 – 6 p.m. ET
Aug. 23 – 10 a.m. ET

And a full schedule for the U22 Series (also via USAHockey.com):

Aug. 19 – 6 p.m. ET
Aug. 20 – 3 p.m. ET
Aug. 22 – 6 p.m. ET

All U18 Series and U22 Series games will be streamed live at usahockey.fasthockey.com (FASTHockey subscription required).

News Wrap: U.S. Olympian Molly Schaus retires, national camps under way

Two-time Olympic silver medalist Molly Schaus announced her retirement from the U.S. Women’s National Team yesterday after a nine-year career with the program. She won those silver medals at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, and also helped Team USA to four gold medals at the World Championships and three Four Nations Cup titles.

In 48 games with the national team, Schaus recorded a .923 save percentage, 1.64 goals-against average, and posted a 26-1-3-11 record.

From the USA Hockey release:

“Molly has been an extremely dedicated and determined player for our Women’s National Team Program since 2007 and will always be recognized for her effort and integrity,” said Reagan Carey, director of women’s hockey for USA Hockey. “She was a tremendous teammate who always represented the United States with dignity and class. Her contributions on and off the ice will be missed.”

“I’d like to thank USA Hockey and all of the coaches and staff who played such a major role in my development, both on and off the ice,” said Schaus. “Thank you to my family and friends and to everyone who supported me throughout this incredible journey. Most importantly, thank you to my teammates for making the last nine years, day in and day out, truly amazing. I am incredibly proud to have been part of this program and will take with me a lifetime of memories and friendships.”

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News Wrap: IIHF High Performance Camps head to North America

It was noted earlier this week from a USA Hockey release that at least one team of Under-18 players from several different countries would be training with the U.S. U18s in Lake Placid, as part of the IIHF’s High Performance Camp. Today the IIHF announced the full details of this year’s High Performance Camp, which will see one team of international players train with the U.S. U18s and another head to Calgary to train with the Canadian U18s.

While the High Performance Camp has taken place since 2011, this type of training-directly with the North American U18 squads at their own national team camps-has never taken place before. As the IIHF article notes, the IIHF has taken action with several initiatives to improve competitiveness in the women’s game, and decided to focus on development at the U18 level in 2012. In previous years, the High Performance Camps brought in the top players from several nations, including the U.S. and Canada, and split them up evenly into different teams to practice and play against each other.

But now the Canadian and U.S. squads will remain intact and train with these two teams of IIHF all-stars. Hockey Canada general manager Melody Davidson addressed the change in format in the IIHF article:

“Coming out of last year, we realized that the countries had really bought in and they were sending their best players,” says Davidson. “Their best players were as good as any of our players on a small scale. We just had more depth than most of them.

“What we were starting to see was the challenge to the other countries’ players wasn’t quite as high because they were fitting in and, at times, they were challenging our players. So our next step was, how do we continue to grow them and get them to understand there is still another level out there yet? These are five of our best players but there’s still a whole team. So we were looking for a bit of a change.”

This new structure for the High Performance Camp marks a big step forward in the development of women’s hockey internationally. It feels like the game is constantly being criticized because of a lack of parity; the United States and Canada have dominated the world stage. The gap is closing, but other countries lack the same infrastructure, resources, and focus from their own governing bodies to jump up to that same level overnight. Bringing in the IIHF all-star teams to the North American national team camps, and integrating them into their training programs, is undoubtedly huge for those players’ development.

Not only will they be training on the ice with the U.S. and Canadian squads, they’ll also take part in off-ice training, fitness testing, and classroom sessions in order to become better athletes in every aspect. And this is happening at the U18 level, too, which means that the changes we’ll see will be for the long-term and at the foundation of their own national team programs.

Full rosters for the IIHF all-star squads, as well as the Canadian and U.S. U18 camp squads, can also be seen in that IIHF release here.

News Wrap: USA Hockey Women’s National Festival Roster Announced

Earlier this week, USA Hockey announced an 83-player roster for its Women’s National Festival, taking place Aug. 11-16 at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid. Following the annual camp, rosters will be selected for the Under-18 Team and the Under-22 Team. Each will compete in a three-game series vs. their Canadian counterparts, taking place Aug. 19-23, also in Lake Placid.

One interesting note on the USA Hockey release that should not be overlooked: New this year to the IIHF High Performance Camp, an Under-18 select roster made up of players and staff from Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Russia, Slovakia, and Sweden will train with and compete against the U.S. U18s in camp.

The full festival roster can be seen here. A schedule for the festival is listed here.

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