Olympic women's hockey team features 7 current or former Gophers


It is quite a scene at The Big House in Michigan today as the 2014 NHL Winter Classic pits Detroit against Toronto in front of over 100,000 people.

The crowd shatters the NHL attendance record, previously just over 71,000, and heavy snow has only made the atmosphere that much more incredible.

It is not only a special day for the two teams competing, but for the U.S. Olympic women's hockey team as well, as they were officially unveiled to the crowd during the second intermission.

Among the athletes are seven current or former Gophers; defenders Lee Stecklein, Anne Schleper, Megan Bozek, Gigi Marvin, forward Amanda Kessel, and sisters Monique and Jocelyn Lamoureux, who played for Minnesota for one season.

Kessel headlines the roster and is the reigning NCAA player of the year, though she has not been competing internationally the past few months with a lower-body injury. She is taking the year off from the Gophers to focus on the Olympics, and is expected to be ready for Sochi in February. She was voted the most dynamic athlete of 2013 two weeks ago in a USA Today fan poll, what the website then called the "upset of the year."

The U.S. finished second in the 2010 Olympics, and will attempt to unseat Canada as the three-time defending Olympic champions.

The United States has beaten Canada in four straight exhibitions, including the most recent tune-up earlier this week.

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