HAMDEN, Conn. – On Monday, USA Hockey announced the names of 28 players invited to its U.S. Women's National Team training camp and Quinnipiac junior forward Kelly Babstock was listed as one of the 15 forwards selected. The training camp is set to take place at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. from March 25-31 and will culminate with a final 23-player roster that will be selected on March 30.
Team USA is led by current Harvard head coach Katey Stone who is the winningest coach in NCAA women's hockey history with 399 career victories. She has spent all 19 of her coaching seasons at Harvard and has been involved with the USA National Team since 1996. Stone was named head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team in the summer of 2010 and has since led them to a gold medal at the 2011 IIHF World Women's Championship and silver at the 2010 Four Nations Cup.
Included in the group alongside Babstock are three current ECAC Hockey standouts as well as seven of the top-10 scorers in the nation. Some of the other forwards on the preliminary roster include the nation's leading scorer in Minnesota's Amanda Kessel (43 goals, 50 assists in 2012-13), North Dakota's Lamoureux twin sisters Monique (20 goals, 38 assists) and Jocelyne (32 goals, 39 assists), the Boston College duo of Alex Carpenter (31 goals, 36 assists) and Haley Skarupa (22 goals, 27 assists) and even more firepower in Northeastern's Kendall Coyne (34 goals, 27 assists) and Wisconsin's Brianna Decker (27 goals, 23 assists). All seven of these players are ranked in the top-10 in the nation in points per-game average and will be supplemented by three-time Olympic medalist and former Harvard forward Julie Chu. She is the all-time NCAA scoring leader after amassing 284 points (87 goals, NCAA-record 197 assists) playing for the Crimson and has also recorded 40 goals and 83 assists in 150 games with Team USA. Chu's leadership will certainly be needed for Team USA as 14 members on the roster are currently playing in the college ranks.
The crop of potential Team USA defensemen includes only four of the 10 selected currently play college hockey in Minnesota's Megan Bozek (15 goals, 32 assists this season) and Lee Stecklein (three goals, eight assists), Harvard's Michelle Picard (four goals, 10 assists) and Cornell's Alyssa Gagliardi (five goals, 13 assists). This group also includes the youngest player selected in Jincy Dunne out of Plainfield, Ill. Dunne was born on May 15, 1997 and will be only 17 years old when the camp starts in late March.
The goaltending unit is backed by current Wisconsin star Alex Rigsby. She is currently 21-9-2 this season with a 1.53 goals-against average. Her .941 save percentage ranks as the third-highest in the nation and she also boots 81 career victories with the Badgers. The roster will also Robert Morris star Brianne McLaughlin who finished her four-year career with an NCAA-record 3,809 career saves and another former Wisconsin great in Jessica Vetter who won 91 career games and also posted an NCAA-record 39 career shutouts.
Babstock was born in Mississauga, Ontario but gained her US citizenship in December, 2012. She owns every Quinnipiac scoring record and is in the running for her second ECAC Player of the Year award this season. Babstock currently has posted 55 points (28 goals, 27 assists) and ranks 10th in the nation in points per-game average (1.67). After nearly three seasons with the Bobcats, Babstock has generated an incredible 154 career points (76 goals, 78 assists) in 107 games played. Her value to the team cannot be understated as she has either scored or assisted on 55 percent (55-of-100) of the goals scored for Quinnipiac, tops in the nation for an individual player. Babstock's ability to come through in the clutch this season has shined through on multiple occasions as her seven combined game-winning goals (four) and game-tying goals (three) is tied for the highest mark in the nation. She has tallied seven multi-goal games this year to push her career total to 17. Her plus/minus rating (+34) is the second-highest in the ECAC Hockey and she is one of just eight players in the nation to hold a spot in the top-10 points per-game (1.67), goals per-game (0.85) and top-20 assists per-game (0.82) averages.
The 23-player roster selected at the end of the camp will depart for Ottawa on March 31 for the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship which will take place April 2-9. The camp will consist of daily practices, testing and off-ice training.
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