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U.S. women's national hockey team named

August 24, 2009 |  1:40 pm
Angela Ruggiero, a former Simi Valley resident and three-time Olympic medalist, led the list of 23 players named to the U.S. women's national hockey team in preparation for the Winter Olympics next February at Vancouver.

Ruggiero, a defenseman and Harvard graduate, was joined by another three-time medalist, forward Jenny Potter. Potter brings two additional distinctions: she's the oldest player on the team at 30 and she's the mother of an 8-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

The U.S. women won gold in 1998, silver in 2002 and bronze in 2006. Since the Turin Games the program has undergone a number of changes, including hiring Wisconsin women's coach Mark Johnson as the national team's coach.

Johnson, a member of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" men's team at Lake Placid, said during a conference call Monday that he hopes the members of this team will create the same kind of special memories he has cherished since his Olympic experience.

"I was fortunate enough back in 1980 to do that," he said, "and I still take them with me some 30 years later. I'm looking forward to giving these young ladies an opportunity to realize their dreams."

The team will train in Blaine, Minn., and will scrimmage against boys' high school teams. Next week, the team will participate in a test event in Vancouver against Sweden, Finland and Canada. On Sept. 14 the team will begin a 10-game pre-Olympic tour that will include four games in Canada against its archrival. In December, the roster will be cut to the required 21-player Olympic limit.

"We're not in the miracle business anymore. we're in the expectation business," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey.

Here's the full roster, courtesy of USAhockey.com

-- Helene Elliott