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McLaughlin Named to U.S. World Championship Roster

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pittsburgh. - Robert Morris University women's ice hockey volunteer assistant coach Brianne McLaughlin was recently selected to the 23-player U.S. Women's National Team roster for the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Championship.

McLaughlin, a former Colonial netminder and the NCAA's all-time leader in saves, will compete with Team USA April 7-14 as the Americans look to claim their fourth-consecutive world championship. McLaughlin and her teammates will have the benefit of playing on home ice as the U.S. hosts the world championships for the first time since 2001.

The U.S. squad was chosen following a selection camp that began March 25 in Lake Placid, N.Y., and included 27 players. The U.S. Women's National Team has continued to train in Lake Placid and will depart Wednesday for Burlington, Vt., the site of the tournament.

"We had some extremely difficult decisions to make after a great week of training and competition in Lake Placid," director of women's hockey for USA Hockey Reagan Carey said in an organizational release. "Each player was challenged to become better, and each player rose to the occasion. I look forward to this team having the opportunity to defend our world title on home ice."

This is the third major international tournament in which McLaughlin has been selected to compete with Team USA. Less than one year after she completed her collegiate career, McLaughlin traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia for the 2010 Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. National Team. She appeared in the team's first game of the tournament, becoming the first Colonial student-athlete to compete in the Olympics, and went on to help the U.S. earn a silver medal.

McLaughlin then added another item to her award collection as she won a gold medal a year ago with the Red, White & Blue at the 2011 IIHF World Women's Championship in Switzerland. McLaughlin got the start between the pipes in the opening tournament game for the U.S. against Slovakia and certainly rose to the occasion in her first-career world championship appearance. She stopped every shot she faced to record her first-career shutout in a U.S. uniform despite having to face the Slovakian power-play unit on five occasions. McLaughlin's effort would prove to be America's only shutout of the tournament as the U.S. squad would go on to win its third-consecutive world championship with a thrilling, 3-2, overtime victory over Canada.

This selection for McLaughlin comes on the heels of her first season as a coach with the Colonials, a 2011-12 campaign that was the most successful season in the history of RMU women's hockey. McLaughlin helped Robert Morris to the largest year-to-year win improvement in Division I women's hockey this past season before the squad completed the year with a storybook ending as RMU captured the program's first-ever conference championship. She helped Robert Morris to a program-record 19 victories, an amazing 13-win improvement from the prior season, as the squad also broke all-time records for longest winning streak and longest unbeaten streak.

McLaughlin played a role in the Colonials' great progress on the defensive end as RMU was one of eight squads nationally to allow fewer than two goals per game. McLaughlin also helped netminder Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres) to a turnaround junior season in which she won multiple major awards. DiCiocco led College Hockey America (CHA) in both goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.928) to win the league's Regular-Season Goaltending Trophy. DiCiocco then posted a career-high 45 saves in the CHA Championship against nationally-ranked Mercyhurst and was subsequently named as the Tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Before coaching the Colonials, McLaughlin had a storied collegiate career for RMU. In 120 career games for Robert Morris, McLaughlin stopped a NCAA-record 3,809 shots, a figure that is more than 200 clear of the closest netminder. McLaughlin was a four-time All-CHA award winner and also earned national defensive player of the week honors on three occasions in her career. She led RMU to one of the biggest wins in school history Oct. 3, 2008 when she made a single-game school record 63 saves to lead the Colonials to a stunning road upset of No. 3 Minnesota. McLaughlin recorded at least 40 saves in 27 contests in her RMU career and stopped at least 50 shots on eight occasions.

McLaughlin graduated from Robert Morris in the spring of 2011 with a degree in nursing.

After playing a pre-tournament exhibition game against Finland Tuesday evening, the United States will open the 2012 World Championship with a matchup against arch-rival Canada Saturday, April 7, at 7:00 p.m. The Americans will then meet Russia the following evening at 7:00 p.m. before closing group play by taking on Finland Tuesday, April 10, at 7:00 p.m.

Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.