BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The USA girls’s nationwide hockey group, which can function 18 returning Olympians, took the ice for the primary time Sunday to arrange for the world championships with out new coach John Wroblewski, who examined constructive for COVID-19.
Wroblewski examined constructive Saturday, USA Hockey spokeswoman Melissa Katz stated, and can coach remotely whereas spending a 10-day stretch in self-isolation. Ought to he be cleared, Wroblewski would journey individually to hitch the group in Denmark, the place the U.S. opens the 10-nation match towards Japan on Aug. 25.
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“The COVID information is unlucky, however I’ll take a look at the constructive facet. I obtained a fantastic take a look at the general image this week, and now I get to take away myself and course of it whereas nonetheless making group choices,” Wroblewski wrote in a textual content to The Related Press.
Earlier than testing constructive, Wroblewski had an opportunity to fulfill the gamers at a sequence of practices final week involving Underneath-18, school and nationwide group members.
“I’m excited to take this window to create improvement plans for a few of our gamers that they will begin to work on even in the course of the match,” he added.
He stated one other profit is by having assistant coaches Josh Sciba and Shelley Looney run apply, it would enable them to grow to be extra accustomed to the techniques Wroblewski has launched, and assist additional develop their rapport with gamers.
Wroblewski was employed Could 31 to exchange Joel Johnson, who coached the group to a silver medal on the Beijing Winter Video games in February. Johnson stepped down after one yr as a part of his dedication to educate the College of St. Thomas girls’s program.
The group is scheduled to journey to Denmark on Thursday following a pre-tournament camp in Buffalo, New York.
“It’s enterprise as traditional. I believe everyone is aware of their job,” stated ahead Hilary Knight, who might be competing in her twelfth world championship.
“Clearly, it’s an enormous miss. He’s a brand new coach and he’s not right here for the primary week or so. However he does his finest to Zoom in and simply make it work,” she added. “That’s simply the identify the sport on this match. If one thing occurs, you could have to have the ability to alter and adapt and maintain transferring ahead.”
The U.S. roster is led by Knight, whose 47 objectives and 80 factors are world championship group data, and Kendall Coyne Schofield, who might be making her ninth match look.
There are solely 5 gamers who didn’t compete in Beijing, the place the Individuals misplaced 3-2 to Canada. However ahead Lacey Eden and goalie Aerin Frankel had been members of the U.S. group that obtained silver following a 3-2 extra time loss to Canada in final yr’s world championships.
The one true newcomers named to the roster are forwards Taylor Heise (College of Minnesota) and Hannah Bilka (Boston School), and Cornell College defender Rory Guilday.
Wroblewski spent two seasons teaching the Los Angeles Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Ontario Reign, earlier than stepping down for private causes. The 41-year-old is finest recognized for his 4 years on the Nationwide Crew Improvement Program, the place he oversaw groups which produced 29 NHL draft picks.