The two National Women’s Hockey League all-star captains, Amanda Kessel of the New York Riveters and Kelley Steadman of the Buffalo Beauts, made their selections to finalize their squads on Tuesday afternoon.
Kessel won the Rock, Paper, Scissors competition, that decided which captain would have the honor to draft first. With the first pick in the NWHL All-Star Fantasy draft, Kessel chose from the Connecticut Whale, Kelli Stack. Steadman then chose Brianna Decker from the Boston Pride, with the number two pick.
Team Kessel which will be coached by Riveters head coach, Chad Wiseman will be rounded out by Megan Bozek and Harrison Browne of the Beauts, Hilary Knight, Meghan Dugan, Kacey Bellamy, Zoe Hickel, Gigi Marvin and Brittany Ott of the Pride. Dana Trivigno and Nicole Stock will represent the Whale as part of Team Kessel.
Two of Kessel’s Riveters teammates, Rebecca Russo and Courtney Burke, will represent her side during the all-star festivities. Russo, Browne and Marvin were named to the all-star team after receiving three of the four top votes from the fans. Both of Team Kessel’s netminders, Ott and Stock, were named to the team as part of the coaches’ selections.
Team Steadman will be joined by four of her Beauts teammates, Shiann Darkangelo, Emily Pfalzer, Brianne McLaughlin and Corinne Buie on her side of the ice. Four of Kessel’s Riveters teammates, Madison Packer, Kaleigh Fratkin, Ashley Johnston and Katie Fitzgerald will faceoff on the opposite of the ice during the weekend.
The Pride will have the NWHL’s first ever overall selection, Alex Carpenter as well as Blake Bolden lacing them up for Team Steadman. Kelly Babstock and Haley Skarupa of the Whale will round out Team Steadman.
Packer was also voted into the all-star game by the fans. Babstock and Johnston were the two players that the NWHL media felt deserving of an all-star bid. Riveters goaltender, Fitgerald, and Pride forward, Buie were named to the squad by the coaches.
Team Steadman will be led behind the bench by Riveters assistant coach, Sis Paulson.
Eleven members of Team Kessel represented the United States National Team. Goaltenders Ott, and Stock. Defensemen, Bellamy, Bozek and Marvin as well as forwards, Duggan, Hickel, Kessel, Knight, Stack and Trivgno. Burke also participated with the U.S. Development System.
Five of Steadman’s squad, Skarupa, Darkangelo, Carpenter, Pfalzer and Decker, also have experience with the national team.
The 2017 NWHL All Star Skills Competition will take place on Saturday February 11, at 4:00 PM with the 2017 NWHL All Star Game facing off on Sunday February 12 at 3:00 PM.
Both events will be held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. The facility is the state of the art practice home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.