Meet The 2022 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team
by Scott Charles
For the previous four Olympics, the team has been chasing a gold medal, but this year, they will be tasked with defending their 2018 victory.
Leading the team of seasoned professionals will be head coach Joel Johnson. The roster consists of several returning players from the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 with eight new players eager to make their mark on the international stage.
Here’s a look at the squad.
Lee Stecklein poses for a portrait on Jan. 16, 2018 in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Barnes might not wear a letter on her sweater, but her leadership has been evident throughout her hockey career. She was just one of 10 players to be named captain as a junior at Boston College in program history and served as captain of the 2018 Under-22 Women’s Select Team. In addition, she helped the United States win three consecutive gold medals at the IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The Illinois native will be chomping at the bit to play in the Winter Olympics after missing the 2018 Games. In 2014, Bozek chipped in with one goal and four assists and was named one of two defensemen to the All-Star team.
Dunne’s first appearance with the United States varsity club was during the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship and the 24-year-old defenseman is still trying to earn the trust of the coaching staff. She averaged just under 10 minutes of ice time in that tournament but her history of being reliable on the blue line was obvious during her career at Ohio State University where she was twice named WCHA Defensive Player of the Year (2019, 2020).
Harmon’s reputation of being a dependable defender has followed her to the national program where she has quickly become an indispensable member of the blue line. In the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship, she was third among defenders in ice time per game and registered one assist in six games. As a member of Clarkson University, Harmon led her program to two national championships during her four-year career.
Along with Dunne and Harmon, Harvey will also be making her Olympic Debut in Beijing his February. Despite being the youngest player on the team, she will play an important role on the backend as a middle-pairing defenseman. Harvey will have an opportunity to gain valuable experience and share her knowledge with the next wave of players in future years.
Keller will remain a critical part of the defensive group as the team prepares for Beijing. She was relied upon heavily during the 2018 Olympics, averaging 21:44 TOI per game and was second in ice time among all players (108:40). Keller finished her collegiate career at Boston College as the program’s career leader in defenseman scoring (158), goals (45), and assists (113) and led all collegiate defensemen in scoring during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She also is a two-time winner of the Cammi Granato Award as Hockey East Player of the Year, the lone defenseman to ever win the award.
As the sole member of the United States blueline to have played in both 2014 and 2018, Stecklein will provide a calming influence for the defensive group. Stecklein is no stranger to the bright lights as she scored the game-winning goal when the Minnesota Whitecaps captured the 2019 Isobel Cup and helped the University of Minnesota win three national championships.
Kendall Coyne Schofield poses for a portrait during the Team USA Beijing 2022 Olympic shoot on Sept. 12, 2021 in Irvine, California.
In short tournaments such as the Olympics, a coach relies on versatility throughout the lineup to create favorable matchups in any given situation. Brandt’s ability to play center or on the wing and move up or down the lineup as needed is a wonderful resource during a tournament such as this.
The 26-year-old forward was tied for the team lead in points (3G, 2A) in 2018 and her production in the offensive zone will be important for Team USA. She will likely begin the tournament in a top-6 role and receive time on the power play to get herself going early in the tournament.
Along with Bozek, Carpenter did not make the roster in 2018 after representing the United States in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. One of her biggest international moments came when she scored the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat Canada in the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Carpenter finished her career at Boston College as the highest-scoring hockey player in school history, men or women. She finished the 2014 Olympics with a team-leading four goals and her ability to finish around the net will be a welcomed attribute to the roster.
Offensive production and leadership were two characteristics Katie Million and her staff prioritized during the selection process and Compher is a player that possesses both of those qualities. In her senior season at Boston University, she served as team captain and led the team in goals scored.
High-end speed is a neat characteristic to have but knowing how to utilize it as a weapon is one path to becoming an elite hockey player. Schofield’s ability to stretch the ice and attack open space is a joy to watch. In addition to her responsibilities on the ice, her role as team captain will be critical as she helps the team navigate ever-changing circumstances due to COVID-19.
As the undisputed top-line center, Decker’s playmaking ability will be essential if the U.S. plans to leave Beijing with a gold medal. Wingers cherish the opportunity to play with Decker as her vision on the ice rivals any woman in the tournament. Decker led the team in 2018 with three assists in five games.
In addition to Schofield, Kessel also possesses elite speed to help stretch the ice. But it’s her playmaking ability in the offensive zone coupled with a lethal shot that makes her a threat anytime the puck is on her stick. Kessel only registered one assist during the five games of the 2018 Olympics and will need more production to help the United States accomplish its goal.
The 2022 Winter Games might be the last time we see Knight compete in the Winter Olympics. As the lone three-time Olympian on the roster, Knight has represented her country since 2006 when she participated in the Under-22 Series vs. Canada. She was named one of Team USA’s three best players during the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
One of the biggest advantages for Team USA against most of the competition is roster depth. On almost any team, Pannek would probably be a first-line forward and receive tons of ice time on special teams. However, on the U.S. roster, she will be slotted into a middle-six role and her offensive production is a huge bonus. Team Canada benefits from a similar advantage but it’s players like Pannek that could be the difference in the eventual gold-medal showdown.
Roque is another forward that provided depth throughout the American lineup. After helping the University of Wisconsin capture the 2019 National Championship, Roque finished her senior season with a career high 58 points (26 Goals, 32 Assists)
Scamurra debuted with the national program during the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship. She played four years of collegiate hockey at Northeastern University and was named best defensive forward in Women’s Hockey East Association (WHEA) in her senior season.
Zumwinkle finished the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship tied with Knight for second on the team in goals scored (4) and total points (6). In addition to forwards Compher, Murphy, Roque and Scamurra, Zumwinkle will also be making her Olympic debut in 2022.
Maddie Rooney makes a save during the Women's Gold Medal Game at the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Cavallini has been a staple of the national program dating back to 2008 when she played in the Under-18 series against Canada. During the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championship, Cavallini set a tournament record with five wins and combined with Maddie Rooney for a 316:35-long shutout streak. Her leadership in the locker room and steady presence in net provides depth that many countries cannot match.
The goaltender position has stiff competition within the United States program, but Hensley’s play at the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship should be enough to earn her at least one start in Beijing. During the 2018 Games, Hensley had a 13-save shutout performance against the Olympic Athletes from Russia in her only appearance of the tournament.
Since backstopping the team in 2018 and leading all tournament goaltenders with a 1.16 goals against average and .945 save percentage, Rooney has been relatively quiet on the international stage. She missed the 2021 Women’s World Championship due to an injury suffered the day before the team departed for the tournament. However, she did make the most of her lone appearance on the My Why Tour, a 26-save shutout performance against Team Canada in November.