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December 2, 2008

Three CA women invited to Team USA camp

Forward Jessica Koizumi of Simi Valley has skated for the Minnesota Whitecaps of the Western Women's Hockey League and the U.S. Women's Select Team this season. (Photo courtesy of Minnesota Whitecaps)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Three Californians are among the nation’s top 58 women’s ice hockey players who will convene in Blaine, Minn., for USA Hockey’s Women’s Holiday Camp from Dec. 26-31.

The training camp serves as a tryout and training session for the U.S. Women's National Team and U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team, both of which participate in world championships in the early part of 2009.

Californians in the camp include:

  • Goaltender Chanda Gunn (Huntington Beach), who played on the 2006 bronze-medal-winning Olympic team and has been part of the U.S. Women’s Select Team this season. Gunn played collegiately at Wisconsin and Northeastern.
  • Defenseman Angela Ruggiero (Simi Valley), who has played on all three U.S. Women’s Olympic teams (1998, 2002, 2006) and recently passed Cammi Granato to become the all-time leader in games played for Team USA. Ruggiero also is on the Select Team and plays for the Minnesota Whitecaps in the Western Women’s Hockey League. She played collegiately at Harvard.
  • Forward Jessica Koizumi (Simi Valley), who also is a member of the Select Team and the Whitecaps. She played collegiately at Minnesota Duluth.

With a 10-member coaching staff on hand, the athletes will be split into three teams for daily practices, strength training and scrimmages. In addition, 21 players will be vying for 20 spots on the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team that will be defending its world title at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Fussen, Germany, from Jan. 5-10.

Included on the camp roster are all 22 players who captured the 2008 Women's Four Nations Cup championship earlier this month, as well as the group of 20 that earned the 2008 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Championship. In addition, nine have competed in at least one Olympic Winter Games, including Gunn, Ruggiero, Caitlin Cahow, Julie Chu, Natalie Darwitz, Molly Engstrom, Sarah Parsons, Jenny Potter and Helen Resor.

The coaching staff for Women's Holiday Camp includes Jackie Barto, Mark Johnson and Katey Stone, who are all serving as head coaches. The assistant coaches include Jeff Giesen, Katie King, Jodi McKenna and Erin Whitten Hamlen. In addition, Dave Flint will be the goaltending coach, and Teena Murray and Dawn Strout will serve as strength & conditioning coaches.

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