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Games begin at 2018 Girls 16/17 PDC

By Tom Nelson, 07/16/18, 9:00AM EDT


144 skaters taking part in camp in St. Cloud, Minnesota

The 2018 USA Hockey Girls 16/17 Player Development Camp opened play with games at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn., on Sunday, July 15. The camp features two teams of 2001-born players and six teams of 2002-born players. A total of 144 players representing all 12 of USA Hockey’s geographical districts are participating in the camp this week in St. Cloud.

Games at the camp began July 15 and the final round of games will take place July 20, with practice days slated for July 16 and July 18.  Fans can watch the games live here.

GOLD MEDALIST: Team Gold’s coach at the camp this year is Brianna Decker. A 2012 Patty Kazmaier Award winner for her play at the University of Wisconsin, Decker helped Team USA win a gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and a silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She currently plays for the Boston Pride of the NWHL.

UNION LEADER: Union College women’s hockey coach Josh Sciba is serving as the coach for Team White at this year’s camp. A standout collegiate hockey player at the University of Notre Dame, Sciba scored 72 points in 141 career games for the Fighting Irish. Prior to playing at Notre Dame, Sciba was an assistant captain with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program teams. He also played one season of professional hockey in the ECHL before embarking on his coaching career with stops at Niagara and Colgate before joining the staff at Union in 2016.

NHL CONNECTION: Team Red’s Hannah Chorske (Edina, Minn.), who scored in her opening game of camp, is the daughter of former NHLer and Stanley Cup champion Tom Chorske. In almost 600 NHL games played during his career, the elder Chorske scored 115 goals and added 122 assists. He also represented the United States during the 1986 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the IIHF Men's World Championship in 1989, 1996, 1998 and 1999.

STOP FORCE: At last year’s Girls 15 Camp, Team Navy’s Olivia Rinzel (Chanhassen, Minn.) was the top goalie with a 1.000 percent save rate and a perfect 0.00 GAA. She remained in top form Sunday at the Girls 16/17 Camp, making 13 saves on 13 shots in Team Navy’s 2-1 win over Team Light Blue.

HOFF HIGHLIGHT:  Team Gold goalie McKinley Hoff (Anchorage, Alaska) made six saves in her team’s 3-2 win over Team Black on July 15. She ranked fourth at last year’s Girls 15 Camp with a 1.66 GAA and a .921 save percentage. Hoff is a Level 2-certified USA Hockey referee and has been working games as an official for the past two years.

FIRST-DAY HIGHLIGHTS: In the first day of games (July 15), the Team Red goalie tandem of Amanda Busky (Ellington, Conn.) and Grace Kedziora (Oak Park, Ill.) combined for a 3-0 shutout against Team Gray.  The pair tallied a total of 18 saves in the game … Team Royal’s Gabbie Smith (Brainerd, Minn.) was the camp’s top assist producer in the first day of play with three helpers in her team’s 5-1 win over Team White. Smith's teammate, Celine Pietraszek (Colorado Springs, Colo.), is the other early camp points leader with one goal and two assists after Day 1.

EXTRA-CURRICULARS: Grace Emineth (Fargo, N.D.) won her first state long jump title at the North Dakota state high school meet in seventh grade. She has since gone on to win three more state long jump crowns in eighth, ninth and 10th grades. Emineth added an assist in Team Royal Blue’s 5-1 win over Team White on July 15 … Team Light Blue’s Abbey Marohn (St. Joseph, Mich.) designs, builds and flies quadcopter drones …Team Red’s Kiley Mastel (Wallingford, Conn.) is the sister of Briana Mastel, who was a team captain for the Harvard Crimson during her senior season in 2016-17. The girls' father, Jake Mastel, captained the 1994 NCAA Division III ice hockey championship team at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

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