As the United States national women’s team begins its evaluation camp, several members of the Clarkson Cup champion Boston Blades have been invited. Starting with Blades team captain Caitlin Cahow, other Blades participating include: Kacey Bellamy, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight, Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper, Jen Schoullis and Kelley Steadman.
Of the 28 players invited to the Team USA Evaluation Camp, Steadman enters the camp with great momentum. The Boston Blades rookie sensation and 2013 Clarkson Cup hero (she scored a natural hat trick, including the game-winning goal) is hoping to make the final roster.
A member of the US National Team in 2012, the visceral loss in the gold-medal game in Burlington, Vt. is one she would like to help avenge. “It would be amazing. Anytime you go into a world championship, you want to win it.”
“There has been a great rivalry with the Canadians for so long. The result in Burlington, Vermont, our home turf, was not a good result. We want to win the gold, whether it is against Canada or any other team,” Steadman added.
Meghan Duggan, a three-time IIHF World champion with the United States (2008, 2009 and 2011) did not compete in 2012 due to injury. Having also competed at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010, she is very excited about being invited to the US evaluation camp for 2013.
With the United States having lost the 2012 Worlds on home soil to Canada (in Burlington, Vt.), the possibility of beating Canada on their own turf is not lost on Duggan. “It would be huge. I have been fortunate enough to play in many World Championships, but I missed it last year. I am excited to get back in the mix and do what I can for my country.”
The United States head coach is one that is very familiar to the women’s hockey landscape in Boston; Katey Stone of the Harvard Crimson. Blades captain Caitlin Cahow competed for her. Ironically, Montreal Stars player (and Clarkson Cup rival) Julie Chu was a teammate of Cahow under Katey Stone’s tutelage at Harvard.
As captain of the US team at the 2012 IIHF Worlds, Chu speaks highly of Stone, “She is an incredibly experienced coach. Your college coach is always influential. It was four incredible years (at Harvard) with her as coach. Getting the chance to play with her again last year, I thought I knew what to expect. She evolves and changes and I have to evolve as well.”
The first US-born player to win the CWHL Most Valuable Player Award, Hilary Knight is very excited about competing in Canada. “I am looking forward to making this team. I am as hungry as anyone on our team to win back the gold medal. The taste of losing is never fun. We want to get back on the world stage and compete again.”
“I am excited for the venue. I am looking forward to the same atmosphere that we had when we played there on New Year’s Day 2010. Playing in front of 18,000 fans, it was a great game and I loved every second of it.”
All quotes obtained firsthand, unless otherwise indicated.