Nine Gophers Set for the Women’s World Cup

MINNEAPOLIS — Nine players linked to Golden Gopher’s women’s hockey program will compete in the 2022 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship, Aug. 25-Sept. 4 in Herning and Frederikshavn, Denmark. Six athletes will represent the United States while Canada, Finland and Sweden will each have one representative.

Fifth year players Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle and Gopher alumni Hannah Brandt (’16), Amanda Kessel (’16), Kelly Pannek (’19) and Lee Stecklein (’17) were selected to represent the Red, White and Blue. Zumwinkle and the four Minnesota alumni each won silver with Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.

Incoming Freshmen Josefin Bouveng (Sweden) and Nelli Laiten (Finland) have each been selected to their respective national team after competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics. The 2022 Women’s Worlds will be Laitinen’s third with Finland after winning silver in 2019 and bronze in 2021. Bouveng will participate in her first women’s world championship with Sweden.

Former Gopher Sarah Potomak will compete for the Canadian National Team for the second time in her career. Potomak’s older sister made her women’s world championship debut in 2017 as part of the silver medal-winning Canadian team.

At the 2022 IIHF World Women’s Championship, the United States Women’s National Team will compete in Group A alongside Canada, Finland, Japan and Switzerland. Sweden will compete in Group B along with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany and Hungary. The competition will start on Thursday March 25 and will continue until Sunday September 4. The United States and Japan will open the tournament at 8:00 a.m. CT on August 25. All Team USA games will be broadcast live in the United States on NHL Network.

Canada has won the gold medal a record 11 times after winning the event in 2021. The United States trails with nine gold medals, including five in a row from 2013 to 2019. Finland, which won its first silver in 2019, has finished third 13 times since the event’s inception in 1990. Sweden has won bronze twice, the last in 2007.

Lance B. Holton