The 2016 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival is taking place from August 8-14 in Lake Placid, NY. Ninety-five players were invited, including 54 forwards, 32 defensemen, and 9 goaltenders. Eight of those players and one of the coaches at the Festival will be playing for the Whitecaps this year.
Of those nine Whitecaps, five are returners from 2015-16, while four others will be first-time Whitecaps in 2016-17. Forwards Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Allie Thunstrom, defenseman Monique Lamoureux-Morando, and goaltender Alex Rigsby, played for the Whitecaps last year; each of them will be placed on one of the five Festival teams. In addition, goaltender Alli Altmann will serve as the goaltending coach for the U-18 Team at the event.
These Whitecaps veterans will be joined in Lake Placid by four recent college grads, including forwards Hannah Brandt, Kendall Coyne, and Stephanie Anderson, as well as goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie. The newcomers shared their thoughts on why they decided to join the Minnesota Whitecaps for the upcoming season.
Hannah Brandt (University of Minnesota):
"I am extremely excited to be joining the Minnesota Whitecaps this fall because of the strong tradition they have for providing a competitive option for players out of college. I look forward to having the opportunity to play alongside some of the best players in the country while being able to stay and train in my home state of Minnesota."
Kendall Coyne (Northeastern):
"The opportunity to play for the Whitecaps provided the perfect balance I was looking for after college hockey. Being in Boston the last five years, the Whitecaps offered me the ability to be closer to home and play against colleges I didn't have the opportunity to play against at Northeastern. Being a part of the Whitecaps is going to provide support in the journey to compete for a spot on the 2018 Olympic Team. I am extremely excited to join the Minnesota Whitecaps and look forward to a great year."
Stephanie Anderson (Bemidji State University):
"I knew right away I wanted to play for the Whitecaps! Because it provides the opportunity to continue playing hockey after college and working towards my goal of the Olympics, the Whitecaps is the perfect place for me. It's close to family, and I couldn't be happier with my decision to be a part of this program. I am very excited to start playing this season!"
Shelby Amsley-Benzie (University of North Dakota):
"I am really looking forward to be playing with some of the top post-graduate talent in the Midwest. The Whitecaps will allow me to stay in Grand Forks and finish out my Master's degree, while still playing games at a very high level. This is hard to find for those of us who are still trying to play after college. I am also looking forward to getting to play more often with several of the National Team members. Usually, we only get together a few times a year. However, with the Whitecaps, we will get to play together more often and build even more memories together, even though we aren't on a college team anymore."
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson - USA Today Sports