Marvin on U.S. team at Four Nations Cup

Brian Deutsch

Almost as soon as this weekend’s series against Minnesota-Duluth is over, Minnesota women’s hockey sophomore forward Gigi Marvin will take her game to a global level.

Earlier this season, Marvin was selected to play on the U.S. Four Nations Cup team – a process that began quite some time ago for Marvin.

“When you’re young, you go to development camps in the summer out in Lake Placid, from there you get chosen to the U.S. under-22 team to go play in Canada,” Marvin said. “They scout you throughout the season, just keeping tabs on how you are playing.”

The team is part of USA Hockey and is a building process for the World Championships and later the Olympics.

The U.S. Four Nations Cup team is made up of the best high school, college and semi-pro players in the country.

“It’s my first time wearing the red, white and blue in a national tournament,” Marvin said. “It’s a huge event. I’m sure it will be exciting.”

Along with the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden will participate in the tournament.

The Four Nations Cup kicks off Nov. 7 in Kitchener, Ont., Canada and lasts until Nov. 11.

The U.S. team begins tournament play against Canada on Nov. 7.

In last year’s Four Nations Cup, the U.S. team took home a silver medal after losing to Canada in the championship game 2-1.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, Marvin will possibly be in Canada when the Gophers take on Niagara in two weeks.

Marvin’s absence means that Minnesota will lose its leader of several offensive categories.

“It’s not ideal for our team to have her leave, but it’s a great opportunity for Gigi,” Minnesota coach Laura Halldorson said. “We’re not going to stand in her way of representing her country.”

Marvin, last year’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Year after scoring 46 points, leads the team with 11 points and is tied for the lead with five goals and six assists.

The native of Warroad was named the 2005 recipient of the Let’s Play Hockey Ms. Hockey Award and earned all-state honors three times in her high school career.

“She’s just a great player. It’s going to be different not having her here,” junior forward Erica McKenzie said. “We’ll miss her and we’ll be glad when she gets back.”

Marvin will be joined by former Gophers Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell on the U.S. team.

Darwitz and Wendell have experience playing at the international level. The duo played on both the 2002 and 2006 U.S. Olympic teams – Wendell serving as team captain on the latter.

The three Minnesotans will join 16 other skaters already selected for the team.

“The fact that Gigi was identified early on in that first group was a real positive,” Halldorson said. “It is a big step for her to play at that level, but I think she is ready for it.”

Another three players will be named to the team later this week after training camp ends in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Presently, Minnesota junior defenseman Rachael Drazan – who is sitting out this season after transferring from Minnesota-Duluth – is still in the running for one of the remaining spots.

“It’s definitely a positive thing for our program to have people on their roster,” Halldorson said. “It means they’re some of the best players in the country.”