Yale women’s hockey defenseman Helen Resor ’09 and head coach Hilary Witt will be representing the United States at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships on April 3 through 10.
Resor, a member of the 2006 Olympic squad at Torino, was one of the 24 women to be named on the roster, as well one of only 13 already guaranteed a spot as one of the final 20 players. Witt, who has been the architect of the resurgence of the Yale program in her six seasons in New Haven, will serve as the assistant coach under Mark Johnson.
Both women put in big contributions as part of the Team USA’s run to a silver medal at the Four Nations Cup last fall. The Cup — held in Kitchener, Ontario, in November — pitted the United States against the three other top finishers in the Olympics: Canada, Finland and Sweden. The pair will head back to the great white north for the IIHW Championships, with venues in Winnipeg and Selkirk, Manitoba, and this time will have to knock off eight other teams, including reigning Olympic and Four Nations gold medalist Canada, in order bring the top prize back below the 49th parallel.
Resor looks forward not only to the possibility of another chance to go head to head with the familiar powerhouse to the north, but also to reuniting with the team.
“I’m excited to get back and play with the girls again. It’s a lot of fun,” Resor said. “I’m excited to hopefully have another shot to play Canada.”
Witt, who missed two Yale games in November because of her Team USA obligations, will be coaching at Worlds for the first time in her career. Players said they feel that Witt kept her duties as Yale coach a priority and feel the opportunity for her to be active on a national level can only serve to help the Yale program as a whole.
“It’s a great step for the program. She definitely has a great opportunity to pick up some new knowledge,” forward Christina Sharun ’07 said. “She definitely brought some stuff back with her from the USA hockey camps that’s been very beneficial for us as a team.”
Forward Shelia Zingler ’07 echoed this sentiment and said that she thinks it is a great honor for both women to be chosen.
Resor and Witt will debut at Worlds on April 3 in a game against Kazakhstan and then will meet China on the ice the following day. Qualifying games begin on the 7th, followed by medal games beginning on the 10th.
Resor remains humble about the experience, admitting that she hoped she would be on the team, but did not necessarily expect to be.
“I just hope I can perform.” Resor said.