Rivalry Series 2019: Shelly Picard poised to return to USA Hockey’s blueline | NHL

On Feb. 12, the very best rivalry in staff sports activities will start a brand new chapter as USA Hockey and Hockey Canada will cross sticks within the first of three conferences for the 2019 Rivalry Sequence.

For one participant, the match marks a return to the world stage.

It has been almost 5 years to the day since Shelly Picard had a silver medal positioned over her head on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. As destiny would have it, the stalwart defender was on the ice when Canada famous person Marie-Philip Poulin scored the power-play goal in overtime that broke the hearts of the People. 

Whereas she suited up for the USWNT for the 2015 and 2016 IIHF Girls’s World Championships, the place she earned her second and third profession gold medals, respectively, she has not worn a USA jersey since.

Now, she is again.

“Oh my gosh, it’s an honor,” Picard beamed when requested by the Sporting Information about being named to the roster. “I’m really excited to get again on the market and pull that USA jersey on. The staff we’re going on the market with is wonderful, so I’m actually excited to play with these ladies once more and have some nice video games in opposition to Workforce Canada.”

Following the Sochi Olympics, Picard returned to Harvard College’s blueline and emerged as a pacesetter. As co-captain, she helped lead the Crimson to the 2015 NCAA Championship Ultimate and was a finalist for the ECAC’s 2016 Defender of the 12 months her senior 12 months.

After commencement, she started her NWHL profession with the Metropolitan Riveters, profitable the Isobel Cup in 2018.

“Taking part in within the NWHL has been a good way to maintain taking part in the sport, to remain aggressive, and to present me a purpose to coach,” Picard mirrored. “With the ability to be part of a staff – completely, the NWHL has been an enormous a part of this. It’s additionally simply helped me hold my love for the sport.”

Picard, 25, saved coaching and pushing her abilities ahead. Main as much as the 2018 Olympics, the Taunton, Mass. native, helped put together her former teammates and buddies in a two-game sequence pitting the USWNT in opposition to Workforce NWHL. Serving as captain, her poise within the defensive zone and energy across the web stood out — and garnered her nationwide staff consideration.

This previous November, Picard was invited to hitch Workforce USA as a member of its apply squad for the 4 Nations Cup. She and fellow Sochi silver medalists Megan Bozek and Alex Carpenter have been then invited to USA Hockey’s Girls’s Winter Coaching Camp. On Jan. 25, all three gamers have been introduced as members of the Rivalry Sequence roster.

Earlier than the three-game sequence wraps up Feb. 17 at Little Caesars Area in Detroit, Picard shall be among the many gamers seeking to make a press release. The 2019 IIHF Girls’s World Championship begins April four in Finland, and there are solely so many roster spots up for grabs. With a powerful sequence in opposition to Canada, Picard might quickly discover herself taking part in for a fifth medal on the Girls’s Worlds.

However first, she shall be in search of redemption for what occurred in Russia 5 years in the past.

“Completely, the Workforce USA and Workforce Canada rivalry doesn’t go away it doesn’t matter what,” stated Picard, who shall be skating with 9 teammates from Sochi. “It’s out of respect. Each groups have the utmost respect for one another, figuring out every proficient all sides is. It needs to be an ideal battle.”

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