Five Gophers on women's Olympic hockey team

MINNEAPOLIS -- Five members of the University of Minnesota's NCAA champion hockey team were named to the U.S. national team which will play in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.

The group named Thursday includes Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell, both three-time All-Americans who each scored a goal in Minnesota's 4-3 victory over Harvard in the 2005 NCAA championship game.

The three other University of Minnesota women to make the cut were two-time Olympian Jenny Potter, Winny Brodt and goaltender Megan Van Beusekom.

Shari Vogt, who played most recently for Minnesota State-Mankato, also made the team, as did former Gophers Courtney Kennedy and Kelly Stephens.

Four players who captured gold and silver medals with U.S. women's Olympic teams in 1998 and 2002 -- defenseman Angela Ruggiero and forwards Tricia Dunn, Katie King and Potter -- made the team.

Also returning from the 2002 U.S. Olympic team will be defenseman Kennedy and forwards Julie Chu, Darwitz and Wendell.

Joining the Olympians are 12 players with national team experience, including goaltenders Pam Dreyer, Chanda Gunn and Van Beusekom; defensemen Brodt, Molly Engstrom, Jamie Hagerman and Helen Resor; and forwards Kim Insalaco, Kathleen Kauth, Kristin King, Sarah Parsons and Stephens.

Rounding out the squad are two players who are making their first appearance on a U.S. Women's National Team: goaltender Vogt and defenseman Caitlin Cahow.

The team will play an exhibition game Sept. 30 at Xcel Energy Center. The roster will be trimmed to 20 from 22 for the Olympics.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.