According to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald, Team USA has made its last two cuts to trim the USA Olympic squad down to its final 23-player roster. And the cuts are... let’s be real here, kind of baffling:
The Americans cut 2014 Olympic silver medalists Alex Carpenter and Megan Bozek, according to three college hockey sources, to get down to the 23-player roster it will take to Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Megan Bozek is a big surprise, as her booming slapshot from the blue line and strong defensive ability made her roster spot appear secure, but the cutting of BC’s Alex Carpenter is (even aside from out Boston College biases) incredibly baffling. Carpenter was the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award winner as a junior and is just a year and a half out of college. She scored the game winning goal in overtime in the 2016 IIHF World Championships, and is one of the team’s strongest two-way players.
USA cutting Bozek and Carpenter is particularly surprising giving the Americans’ struggles offensively in the last several exhibitions against Canada.
The good news for BC fans is that all five other former Eagles — including all three players who are currently students on the Heights — all made the final roster and will be headed to PyeongChang to try and win the first American gold medal in women’s hockey since the inaugural tournament in 1998:
#3 Cayla Barnes — D — Class of ‘22*
#5 Megan Keller — D — Class of ‘19
#6 Kali Flanagan — D — Class of ‘19
#8 Emily Pfalzer — D — Class of ‘15
#11 Haley Skarupa — F — Class of ‘16
*Cayla Barnes is not technically a BC student yet, because she started this season and then withdrew after being selected to the national team roster. She also may end up graduating in 2023, if she is selected for the 2022 Olympics
The final roster is due to be officially announced during the second intermission of the Winter Classic.
Congratulations to all five Eagles who made the roster, and hopefully we can bring some Olympic gold back to the Heights!