COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced Monday the roster for the 2002 United States Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, which will compete in the XIX Olympic Winter Games from Feb. 8-24, 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Three alums of the University of New Hampshire - Karyn Bye (River Falls, Wisc.; '93), Tricia Dunn (Derry, N.H.; '96) and Sue Merz (Greenwich, Conn.; '94) - were named to the 20-player roster. All three players were on the 1998 U.S. Olympic Team that won the gold medal.
"This team has an amazing blend of skill from both newcomers and veterans," said Karyn Bye (River Falls, Wis.), assistant captain of the 2001-02 USA Hockey Women's National Team, in a USA Hockey release. "Every member of the team has proven she belongs here. I know we are all extremely excited to wear the USA jersey in February."
Bye became the second player in the history of the New Hampshire women's ice hockey program to score 100 career goals and left the program ranked fourth on the all-time scoring list at 100-64-164; her 164 points currently ranks eighth. Bye has made the transition to defenseman with the U.S. Team. Merz capped her four-year career with 55 goals and 57 assists for 112 points. Dunn finished her Wildcat career with 117 points on 60 goals and 57 assists.
Carisa Zaban (Glenview, Ill.; '00), who is the school's all-time leading scorer with 263 points (118 goals, 145 assists), was one of the two players released Monday as the team made its final changes from the original 25-player roster on the U.S. National Team.
The announcement was made by the 2002 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team Selection Committee, U.S. Women's National and Olympic Team Head Coach Ben Smith, USA Hockey President Walter L. Bush, Jr., International Council Chairman Ron DeGregorio, Executive Director Doug Palazzari and Senior Director of International Administration Art Berglund.
The 20 players were selected from the 2001-02 USA Hockey Women's National Team, which is currently competing on The Visa Skate To Salt Lake Tour. The tour schedule is comprised of both national and international games in preparation for the Olympic Winter Games. Team USA currently boasts a 21-0-0 overall record, including a 14-0-0 mark on the tour, and has 10 games remaining before departing for Salt Lake City.
"After four months of training we feel we have selected a team that is going to give us the best chance to go into Salt Lake City and make a run for the gold medal," Smith said in a USA Hockey release. "We have experience and skill on both sides of the puck, and after the holidays we look forward to gearing up for the next two months."
In addition to the UNH Wildcat contingent, 11 other members of the '98 U.S. Olympic Team are returning for their second Olympics: goaltenders Sara DeCosta (Warwick, R.l.) and Sarah Tueting (Winnetka, Ill.); defensemen Chris Bailey (Marietta, N.Y.), A.J. Mleczko (Nantucket, Mass.), Tara Mounsey (Concord, N.H.), and Angela Ruggiero (Harper Woods, Mich.); and forwards Laurie Baker (Concord, Mass.), Cammi Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.), Katie King (Salem, N.H.), Shelley Looney (Brownstown Township, Mich.) and Jenny Potter (Eagan, Minn.).
Joining the 1998 Olympians are three players who have in International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championships, including forwards Julie Chu (Fairfield, Conn.), Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn) and Krissy Wendell (Brooklyn Park, Minn.).
Rounding out the squad are three skaters who are making their first appearance on a U.S. Women's National Team as members of the 2001-02 USA Hockey Women's National Team: defensemen Courtney Kennedy (Woburn, Mass.) and Lyndsay Wall (Churchville, N.Y.); and forward Andrea Kilbourne (Saranac Lake, N.Y.).
Forward Annamarie Holmes (Apple Valley, Minn.) was the other player released on Monday. Three players had been released earlier in December.
The roster of the 2002 United States Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team is subject to approval of the United States Olympic Committee's International Games Preparation Division.