Several familiar faces will be on display at Ale Arena next week, when the Minneapolis Bandolier women’s club team arrives to compete in the 2016 Women’s World Cup of Bandy, as the roster includes 14 players with USA National Team experience.
Leading the way for the North American squad in terms of experience is goalie, Sarah Ahlquist-Schneider, who has represented the United States in three Women’s Bandy World Championships, (2012, 2014, 2016). Joining Ahlquist-Schneider is a skilled core of veteran players, including Jaclyn Daggit, Kelly McGinty, Briana Jentner-Carlson, Amy Stech, Jenna Christensen, and Kelsey Kennedy, who have all competed in two World Championships, (2014, 2016). Veteran player Allie Thunstrom is on the team as well, but unfortunately will not be able to make the trip to Sweden.
The roster also boasts a large contingent of relatively new players. Mollie Carroll, Maddie Bergh, and Meagan Wanecke first appeared for the US in a three-game series against Canada in 2015, and Margot Fleming, Kari McClintick-Roden, and Tara Rueping made their international bandy debuts this past winter when they participated in the 2016 Women’s Bandy World Championship in Roseville, MN. Rounding out the roster is Finn Larson, who competed for the US in the 2015 U17 Girls’ Bandy World Championship, and newcomers Allie Johnson and Marah Sobczak.
The team is led by Coach Mikael Sandberg of Sweden, a former professional bandy player, as well as Assistant Coach Andi Schoephoerster, who competed for the US in the 2012 and 2014 Women’s World Championships. Team Manager Katie Lundquist-Swor and General Manager Magnus Skold will also be along with the Bandolier team on this exciting journey.
Not on the roster, but a very noteworthy addition to the North American contingent is Ellie Cardinal, who will be making her debut as an FIB official in this year’s World Cup. Cardinal was an alternate for the 2016 US National Team and continues to play bandy recreationally. The American Bandy Association is very proud to not only have a team involved in the World Cup for the first time ever, but also to have a female official in the mix as well!
The Minneapolis ladies have been training hard all summer on hockey rinks in the Twin Cities metro area, and they look to be very competitive against the club teams from the traditional bandy nations. And with the wealth of international experience that they are bringing to the table, the Bandolier is understandably optimistic that they will represent North America well in this tournament.