Kessel, Bozek to compete at 4 Nations Cup

They will represent the U.S. along with ex-Gophers players in November.

Betsy Helfand

Gophers forward Amanda Kessel and defender Megan Bozek will have the opportunity to represent the U.S. this November.

USA Hockey announced Sept. 27 that Kessel and Bozek, along with former Gophers players Gigi Marvin, Anne Schleper and Sarah Erickson, were named to the 23-player 2012 Four Nations Cup roster.

The Four Nations Cup is an annual tournament between the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Finland.

Schleper and Erickson played with Kessel and Bozek on the 2011-12 national championship team. Marvin played for the Gophers from 2005-09.

“Any time I’m able to play for my country and get an opportunity to, I try to take full advantage of it,” Kessel said. “Putting on that jersey every time, it’s special, no matter what.”

Bozek said it is a huge honor to make the team.

“You work really hard to get to that level, but I’m just excited to be named to the Four Nations team, and I’m excited to play for the Gophers until then,” she said.

Bozek said playing with former Gophers players is an added bonus since “all the girls get along great.”

“It’s a home away from home,” she said.

Both current Gophers players have represented the U.S. in international play before, and Kessel was a member of the 2011 Four Nations Cup squad that won gold.

Kessel also made the 2010 Four Nations cup team, but she backed out because of an injury.The pair will miss training camp to play in Minnesota’s Nov. 2-3 series against Minnesota-Duluth, but they will meet up with the national team in Finland.

The tournament runs from Nov. 5-10, and the U.S. national team begins play against Sweden on Nov. 6.

It is a single round-robin, and the top two teams advance to the gold medal game.

The Gophers do not play from Nov. 4-15, so the pair will not miss any games.