The United States Women’s hockey team is considered a favorite to win gold in South Korea, and the team features five from the Minnesota Whitecaps.
Female hockey leagues have been around for decades, mostly dominated by Canadian teams. It wasn’t until 1992 when the International Olympic Committee voted to incorporate the sport into their events. Twenty-six years later, the United States Woman’s team is looking to medal in their sixth consecutive Olympic games. To do so, they will rely heavily on players from the Minnesota Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps are a professional women’s ice hockey team with no league affiliation at this time. Their former league, the Western Women’s Hockey League, folded in 2011 and the Whitecaps are the lone active team remaining. While the league was active, the Whitecaps participated in six championships, winning the last three.
Currently, the Whitecaps play most of their games against college teams. Even though their record is not great, the team features five players on the 2018 U.S. Olympic team. The forward lines will include Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Hannah Brandt, and Kendall Coyne. The quartet of players accounted six points in two warm-up games last month, including four goals. Lamoureux-Morando is tied for the team lead with two goals.
Brandt may provide the biggest spark on the team. During the 2017 Four Nation’s Cup, Brandt notched 3 goals, including two against Team Canada, another favorite for Olympic gold.
Additionally, Alex Rigsby will help defend the net in-goal for the United States. In five games on the U.S. National Team, Rigsby allowed seven goals, finishing with a .911 save percentage.
The rest of USWNT is filled with players from the National Women’s Hockey League and NCAA teams. The Boston Pride feature seven players on the USWNT roster. But, for a team with no league home, having five players on the national roster is a massive win for the Whitecaps.