By Gary R. Blockus | Jan. 01, 2018, 3:18 p.m. (ET)

 

Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, Kacey Bellamy and twins Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson are literally hoping the third time is the charm.

The five women’s ice hockey players are among the 23 names on the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team that will compete at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. The announcement came on Monday during second intermission ceremonies of the NHL Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field in New York City.

PyeongChang will mark the third straight Olympic Winter Games for all five players, who hope to lead a strong team to an improvement on silver-medal finishes to Canada at the last two editions of the Games.

Team USA won the first women’s ice hockey Olympic gold medal ever awarded in 1998, and has reached the podium at each Games since, claiming silver in 2002, 2012 and 2014, and bronze in 2006, while Canada has won gold at each of those Games.

After claiming the last four world titles, the U.S. women are poised to return to the top of the podium 20 years later.

Three of the players headed to their third Games are forwards, with Bellamy and Lamoureux-Morando listed as defensemen.

Lamoureux-Morando, whose 10 points in 2010 is tied for second place among U.S. players for a single Olympic tournament, is listed as a forward for PyeongChang but has played as both a forward and a defenseman during Team USA’s current pre-Olympic schedule.

Knight is fifth among U.S. players for all-time Olympic assists with 10, followed by Lamoureux-Davidson with nine.

The five veterans lead a roster that includes five other 2014 Olympians with defenseman Lee Stecklein and forwards Brianna Decker, Kendall Coyne, Amanda Kessel and Gigi Marvin.

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Two notable 2014 Olympians not on the roster are forward Alex Carpenter and defenseman Megan Bozek. They were part of the final national team roster cuts.

This year’s roster includes three goalies new to the U.S. Olympic Team, led by Alex Rigsby, the final goalie cut from the 2014 team pool, who has played for Team USA in the last three world championships. Nicole Hensley has played on the last two world championship teams, and Maddie Rooney picked up a game of experience at the 2017 world championships.

Team USA also features 18-year-old newcomer Cayla Barnes, a 5-foot-1, 145-pound defenseman and freshman at Boston College who helped lead Team USA’s under-18 women to the past three under-18 world championships titles.

Other newcomers to the Olympic team include defensemen Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller, Emily Pfalzer and Sidney Morin, along with forwards Hannah Brandt, Dani Camaranesi, Kelly Pannek, Haley Skarupa and Amanda Pelkey.

Team USA began pre-Olympic play on Oct. 22, going 5-1 out of the gate before losing four straight games —two decided in overtime — to perennial rival Canada, the four-time defending Olympic champion. Three of the five wins in this stretch have been over the Canadians, including in the final of the Four Nations Cup in November.

The team is led by general manager Reagan Carey with head coach Robb Stauber, associate head coach Brett Strot and assistant coach Paul Mara.

Team USA opens Olympic play at 2:40 a.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 11 against Finland, followed by a 7:10 a.m. game against Olympic Athletes from Russia on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and concludes round-robin play 10:10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14 against Canada. The playoff rounds run Feb. 17-22.

Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.