First Women's Beantown Classic showcases elite players

The first ever Women's Beantown Summer Classic kicked off today and for a tournament in its infancy, it features some serious talent; including 12 current or former UW women's hockey players. In the mix of players include current U.S. and Canadian Olympians, former and current WCHA players, and other Division I women's hockey players.

The Beantown Classic is normally a series of tournaments designed to showcase the talents of future male hockey prospects. This year they added a women's component for the summer and fielded five divisions: a futures division (birthyears ranging from '91-'97), a 1998 Division ('98 birth years only), a 1996/1997 Division ('96 & '97 birth years only), a college division and a senior division.

The college division fielded 14 teams and, by far, showcases the greatest talent out of the five divisions. A vast majority of the players in the division come from a mix of from Division I Division III programs. Unsurprisingly most of the players come from East Coast universities, as the tournament is in Boston.

Of those 14 teams in the college division, two stand out as heavyweight contenders for winning the whole thing. Two guesses for what teams the 12 Badgers are playing on...

The roster for Cheli's Chili Chicks (not sure if they're sponsored by Chris Chelios' restaurant, considering the only two are both in Michigan) features seven Badgers: Hillary Knight, Madison Packer, Meghan Duggan, Brianna Decker, Geena Prough, Carla Pentimone and Erika Lawler. Also on the roster are Caitlyn Cahow and Kacey Bellamy, both Olympic medalists for Team USA.

Brittany Ammerman, Kelly Nash, Carolyne Prévost, Stefanie McKeough and Brittany Haverstock are the remaining five Badgers and play for Team Sexy Back (aptly named for Justin Timberlake's ever-so-amazing single "SexyBack"). Looking to ride the same success as the triple platinum song, the roster for Team Sexy Back features three-time Olympians Julie Chu (Team USA) and Caroline Ouellette (Team Canada).

All 14 teams will play four games today and tomorrow, leading up to the top six teams making a single-elimination playoff bracket on Sunday. However, Cheli's Chili Chicks and Team Sexy Back cannot both go undefeated as they have to play each other in the preliminary stage in what could be a warm-up for the championship game.

Here are the complete rosters for the two "power-house" teams:

Cheli's Chili Chicks
F - Hillary Knight - Returning for her senior season, 2010 Vancouver Olympics for Team USA
F - Madison Packer - Returning for her sophomore season
F - Meghan Duggan - Just concluded her UW career winning the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Award, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
F - Brianna Decker - Returning for her junior season
F - Geena Prough - Just concluded her UW career
F - Carla Pentimone - Just concluded her UW career
F - Erika Lawler - Concluded UW career in 2009, 2010 Vancouver Olympics for Team USA.
F - Ashley Cottrell - Plays for Providence College
D - Caitlyn Cahow - Two-time Olympian for Team USA
D - Kacey Bellamy - 2010 Vancouver Olympics for Team USA
D - Josephine Pucci - Plays for Harvard, 2011 World Championships for Team USA
G - Geneveive LaCasse - Plays for Providence and had the fifth-best save percentage in the nation in 2010-11, 2011 Team Canada U-22.

Team Sexy Back
F - Brittany Ammerman - Returning for her sophomore season
F - Kelly Nash - Just concluded her UW career
F - Carolyne Prévost - Returning for her senior season, 2011 Team Canada U-22
D - Stefanie McKeough - Returning for her junior season , 2011 Team Canada U-22
D - Brittany Haverstock - Returning for her senior season, 2011 Team Canada U-22
F - Jess Koizumi - Assistant coach at Yale, former Minnesota Duluth player
F - Julie Chu - Three-time Olympian for Team USA
F - Emmanuelle Blais - Former Minnesota Duluth player, led Bulldogs in scoring in 2009-10
F - Caroline Ouellette - Three-time Olympian for Team Canada
F - Jess Tyra - Former Bemidji State player, currently at UW-Superior
F - Kelley Steadman - plays for Mercyhurst, 2011 IIHF World Championships for Team USA
F - Abby Gauthier - Plays for Providence
D - Gabie Figuroa - Plays for Princeton
D - Jody Holland - Former North Dakota player, currently at UW-Superior
D - Liz Keady - Plays for Princeton
D - Erica Kromm - Plays for Brown
G - Laura Chamberlain - Plays for RIT

Links
Tournament homepage - Schedule and Results (.xls) - Rosters (.xls)