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United States, Canada name rosters for hockey worlds

Kendall Coyne Schofield and Team USA finished second to Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics. (Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

The United States and Canada have named their rosters for the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship, which is set to take place in Denmark beginning Aug. 25.

The tournament comes just six months after the bitter rivals met in the gold-medal game at the Beijing Olympics. This marks the first time a world championship and the Olympics have been held in the same year, and Canada could double its gold medal total for 2022 after besting the United States 3-2 in Beijing.

U.S. Roster

For United States, a total of 18 players from the Olympics will take the ice in Denmark.

Lacey Eden and Aerin Frankel, who were part of the 2021 national team but not named to the Olympic roster, are also included, as well three newcomers to round out the 23-player roster: Hannah Bilka, Taylor Heise and Rory Guilday.

Forward Hilary Knight will make her 12th world championship appearance, while Kendall Coyne Schofield will make her ninth.

John Wroblewski will lead the team as head coach.

“We had an incredibly competitive week at this year’s national festival,” said Katie Million, USA Hockey ‘s Director of Women’s National Programs. “Choosing a team is never easy, but these 23 players earned the right to put on the U.S. jersey. We’re excited to bring this team to Denmark, as we look to take home a women’s world championship title.”

Goaltenders: 

  • Aerin Frankel
  • Maddie Rooney
  • Nicole Hensley

Defense:

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

Forwards

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

Canada roster

Canada also will have 18 members from their gold-medal winning Olympic team returning for worlds. The reigning champions will attempt to win back-to-back world titles for the first time since they won three straight from 1999 to 2001.

“We had a great year, we had the world championship, we had the Olympics, we had a moment where we celebrated, but now we’re back to work,” captain Marie-Philip Poulin said. Poulin factored heavily in the last two tournaments, scoring the overtime winner at last summer’s worlds to beat the U.S. and scoring twice in the Olympic final to help Canada to gold.

Among the other returning veterans are forwards Blayre Turnbull and Brianne Jenner, who was named MVP of the Olympic tournament. Goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens will return to the net for Canada.

“We want to keep building on that and see how far we can push ourselves and push our team,” Turnbull said. “Although it was a pretty quick turnaround, I don’t think there was much hesitation with the older girls on the team to get back here and to get back to this environment.”

Rebecca Johnston, Melodie Daoust, Natalie Spooner and Claire Thompson – all members of the Olympic team – did not report to camp for various personal reasons and have not been named to the team.

Goaltenders

  • Ann-Renée Desbiens
  • Emerance Maschmeyer
  • Kristen Campbell

Defense

  • Jocelyne Larocque
  • Meaghan Mikkelson
  • Renata Fast
  • Ella Shelton
  • Ashton Bell
  • Erin Ambrose
  • Micah Zandee-Hart

Forwards

  • Laura Stacey
  • Jessie Eldridge 
  • Sarah Fillier 
  • Brianne Jenner 
  • Sarah Nurse
  • Emily Clark 
  • Emma Maltais 
  • Marie-Philip Poulin 
  • Blayre Turnbull 
  • Kristin O’Neill 
  • Sarah Potomak 
  • Jamie Lee Rattray 
  • Victoria Bach

Caitlin Clark dunks on Michael Che in surprise SNL appearance

(Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Caitlin Clark made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, which quickly went viral.

The Iowa star showed up on the show’s Weekend Update segment to playfully call out Michael Che’s history of making jabs at women’s sports.

It started when Che joked that Iowa should replace Clark’s retired No. 22 “with an apron.” 

When Clark entered, Che said that he was a fan. But Clark wasn’t convinced – especially not when co-host Colin Jost brought the receipts of Che’s jabs.

“Really, Michael? Because I heard that little apron joke you did,” she said, before making him read some jokes of her own in retaliation. Clark finished her segment by shouting out the WNBA greats that came before her. She then got in one final dig – bringing Che a signed apron as a souvenir. 

When Che promised to give it to his girlfriend, Clark delivered her last playful dig of the night.

“You don’t have a girlfriend, Michael,” she said.

Afterward, SNL castmember Bowen Yang told People that the 22-year-old and teammates Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin and Jada Gyamfi – who joined her at Studio 8H – “were so cool.”

“She's so charming and witty,” Yang said. “They were just the most stunning, noble people.

“Athletes just have this air about them. They know they're amazing. I mean, these are people who have numeric attachments and values to their performance. That's something that comedians never have.”

Portland Thorns, in uncharted territory, start NWSL season winless

Portland has started the season winless through four games for the first time. (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)

The Portland Thorns continue to struggle to start the NWSL season, falling 2-0 to the North Carolina Courage over the weekend to remain winless through their first four games. 

It’s uncharted territory for Portland, who has never started the NWSL regular season without a win in four games before.

Following the loss, defender Becky Sauerbrunn voiced her frustrations with the start. 

“It’s hard to find a lot of encouraging things, but what I find encouraging is that people are frustrated,” she said. “People are pissed off that we’re not doing well. We care, and I think that’s really important.” 

She also added that while the team will reflect individually, “there’s going to be no finger pointing.”

“We’re going to look at ourselves and figure out what we should have done, or I should have done better,” she said. “There is a list of things that I could have done better, and I’m going to make sure I know every single thing and watch this game back.”

The Thorns currently sit at the bottom of the league table with just one point, having allowed 10 goals – tied for the worst in the league. They’ve yet to lead in a match. And as questions grow, attention turns to head coach Mike Norris. 

Norris is in his second year as head coach of the club after leading the team to a second-place finish in the regular season last year. When asked about the possibility of pressure growing after the unprecedented start, Norris said that the pressure has been there “from day one.”

“I cannot be driven by my day-to-day and the longer vision of the pressure of the job,” he said. “We’ve got a belief in how we want to play, how we operate. We’ve got to stick with the process of that. While we do it, we have to review and see what is working, what’s not working.

“I’ll be showing up for the team and being there for what they need from me as we approach getting back together as a group next week.”

Maria Sanchez reportedly requests trade from Houston Dash

Mar 23, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Dash forward Maria Sanchez (7) warms up before the match between Racing Louisville and Houston Dash at Shell Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sanchez, who signed one of the biggest deals in NWSL history just four months ago, has reportedly requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

ESPN was the first to report the news, which was confirmed by multiple sources.

In a statement to ESPN, the team said: “​​Maria Sanchez is under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the Dash worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. At the time, it was the largest contract in NWSL history – something that was eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

The winger was a restricted free agent in the offseason, meaning that Houston could match any offer from another team and retain her rights. Should the team trade Sanchez, her contract would remain as it has been signed with the league. That limits the number of teams that could take on her contract. 

In three starts with the Dash this season, Sanchez has zero goals and an assist. The Dash are 1-2-1 through four games and have allowed a league-worst 10 goals.

The team hired a new coach, Fran Alonso, in December. Earlier this year, former goalkeeper coach Matt Lampson was fired for violating the league’s Coach Code of Conduct and Anti-Fraternization policy. 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close at midnight ET on Friday.

Canada beats U.S. Hockey 6-5 in thrilling World Championship win

UTICA, NEW YORK - APRIL 14: Team Canada raises the Championship Trophy after winning The Gold by defeating The United States in OT during the 2024 IIHF Women's World Championship Gold Medal game at Adirondack Bank Center on April 14, 2024 in Utica, New York. (Photo by Troy Parla/Getty Images)

Canada got its revenge on Sunday, winning the 2024 IIHF Women’s World Championship and taking down the U.S. in a 6-5 overtime classic.

Marie-Philip Poulin, a longtime star for Canada, got her first two goals of the tournament, while Danielle Serdachny had the game-winner. 

"I hate to say you're not trying to rely on it, expect it, but I know I've grown to expect it," Canada coach Troy Ryan said of Philip-Poulin. "Tonight was just a whole other level. I could see in her eyes every time we called her name that she was ready to go. It's just special."

The win came after Canada lost 1-0 to the U.S. in the group stage of the tournament. On Sunday, the two teams met for the 22nd time in 23 tournaments in the gold medal game – and the action between the two teams delivered. 

Among those scoring for the U.S. were Megan Keller, Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Laila Edwards and Caroline Harvey. Julia Gosling, Emily Clark and Erin Ambrose had the other three goals for Canada, giving them their 13th World title after falling to the U.S. in last year’s title game in Toronto. 

This year’s game was held in New York, and it was the second-highest scoring final between the two teams. The U.S. won a world championship 7-5 in 2015. 

"Oh man, that feels good to win it on U.S. soil," Canada goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens said after the game. "We owed it to them and owed it to ourselves to win that one."

Canada also denied Knight a record 10th World Championship win, although she did become the most decorated player in women’s world championship history with 14 medals. After the game, Poulin gave Knight a hug on the ice. 

"We just said 'that was unbelievable,'" Poulin said.

U.S. coach John Wroblewski echoed the sentiment that it was an outstanding game after being asked about ending the game on a power-play after leaving too many players on the ice. 

"Instead of talking about the isolated events of tonight's game, I think that normally that's an interesting storyline,” he said. “But I think the entity of an amazing 6-5 game is an amazing hockey game that took place."

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