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National Women's Hockey League adds expansion team in Minnesota

The Minnesota Whitecaps will begin play right away.

The State of Hockey is the newest member of the up-and-coming National Women's Hockey League.

The NWHL announced Tuesday that it has acquired the Minnesota Whitecaps, which will become the 5th team in the three-year-old league. 

The Whitecaps, a semi-pro team that's been around since 2004, will join the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and Metropolitan Riveters beginning with the 2018-19 season. 

Gigi Marvin, a Warroad, Minnesota native who starred for Team USA at the Olympics and plays for Boston in the NWHL, said "it's awesome" that Whitecaps players can now compete as pros in a state that "produces many outstanding players." 

“We are ecstatic to welcome Minnesota to the NWHL,” said League Founder and Commissioner Dani Rylan. "Minnesota is an essential part of women’s hockey in North America.

"When you consider all of the talented players in this area and the passion this community has for the game, the Whitecaps are going to be incredible on and off the ice. "

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Rylan added that "the young girls of this state should be able to dream as big as their brothers," which is exactly what the NWHL aimed to do when it debuted in 2015. 

There's no reason the Whitecaps can't compete immediately in the NWHL considering they have a very talented roster, highlighted by six players who won medals at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics: 

  • Mira Jalosuo won bronze with Finland
  • Hannah Brandt, Kendall Coyne, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Alex Rigby won gold with the U.S.

It was Lamoureux-Davidson who electrified the world with her multi-deke shootout goal to help the U.S. beat Canada in the gold-medal game. 

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