Today we highlight Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, Kelly Pannek and Lee Stecklein, four of the six players from the University of Minnesota on the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team.
Forward Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) is making her Olympic debut this month in South Korea and could have the opportunity to play opposite her adopted older sister, Marissa Brandt, who will skate for the host nation South Korea. Marissa, adopted from South Korea at four months old, grew up playing hockey alongside sister Hannah. Hannah helped the U.S. earn titles at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship and 2017 Four Nations Cup, and played collegiately at the University of Minnesota, helping the Gophers win three NCAA National Championships in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
GET TO KNOW
First Hockey Memory
Going to Minnesota Wild games with her dad
Best Piece of Advice She's Received
Never take a minute for granted when you get to wear the USA across your chest
If She Wasn't Playing Hockey, She Would...
Working in the healthcare field as a nurse
Preparation is the key to success
Forward Dani Cameranesi (Plymouth, Minn.) is also making her first appearance on the Olympic stage this month. Cameranesi most recently helped Team USA win the 2017 Four Nations Cup, and was also a member of the U.S. squad that won the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship. She finished her collegiate career last season at the University of Minnesota, where she won two national championships in 2015 and 2016. In four years, Cameranesi totaled 93 goals and 108 assists with the Gophers as a two-time All-America Second Team selection.
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Earliest Memory of Hockey
Going to open ice at the Plymouth Ice Center with her dad, brother and sister
Olympic Role Model
f She Wasn't an Athlete, She Would Be...
Traveling the world and exploring different places
Favorite Hobbies Outside of Hockey
Hiking and reading
Forward Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn.) is on the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team for the first time after making her National Team debut last April at the IIHF Women’s World Championship. Pannek, who also helped the U.S. win the 2017 Four Nations Cup, has played three seasons of college hockey at the University of Minnesota. She led all freshmen with 44 points (14-30) in 2014-15, before helping the Gophers win a second consecutive national title the following season. A 2017 First-Team All-American, Pannek has scored 56 goals and collected 99 assists in 120 collegiate games.
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Best Advice for a Young Hockey Player
Play a lot of sports and have fun!
Pressure is a privilege
Music Choice When Training
Anything Beyonce or Adele
Defender Lee Stecklein (Roseville, Minn.) is skating in her second Olympic Winter Games after earning a gold medal with Team USA in 2014. Stecklein has been on the U.S. blue line as a member of four world championship squads (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017) as well as two Four Nations Cup championship teams (2016, 2017). She skated four seasons for the University of Minnesota, and captained the team as a senior in 2016-17. A three-time NCAA National Champion, Stecklein registered 20 goals and 73 assists throughout her college career.
GET TO KNOW
First Hockey Memory:
Going to the local park's rink with family friends to skate when she was four years old.
Go-To Indulgent Food:
Meal - pizza, snack - cereal, dessert - cinnamon roll
Non-Hockey Olympic Sport She'd Like to Try:
The Perfect Off-Day Would Consist Of:
A really delicious breakfast (her favorite meal of the day) with her sister, reading, hanging out with family, playing with her dog Laana.