Last weekend I did a post featuring a number of Olympic custom cards, largely of the USA and Canada women’s hockey teams. In researching the post and the growing set of customs I’m making, it struck me how many of these players come from hockey families.
…Not that I’m encouraging anyone to watch women’s hockey solely because former Capital Bill Mikkelson’s daughter plays for Team Canada; nevertheless, the stories add a bit of interest (and give me an excuse to feature more customs).
Canadian forward Sarah Nurse is a cousin to Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse, and another cousin is Kia Nurse, who plays for the UConn Huskies… And to add one more I found out about while watching the game this morning, her uncle is former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Nurse just turned 23 and is in her first Olympics, but has experience in high-pressure situations; in all four of her years at the U. of Wisconsin she played in the NCAA Frozen Four.
Amanda Kessel is the highest-paid player in the National Women’s Hockey League, was on the team which won Silver in the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has two hockey-playing brothers. Her brother Phil is a right winger with the Penguins, and her brother Blake was drafted by the Islanders and is currently playing in Europe.
In 2013 Kessel won the Patty Kazmaier Award given to the top player in NCAA women’s hockey. That year she was on a U. of Minnesota team which went 41-0-0 and, of course, won the NCAA championship. I’ll have more about that 2013 Minnesota team in a minute.
Laura Stacey is the great granddaughter of Hockey HOFer “King” Clancy, who has been named one of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time.
Stacey is in her first Olympics, but was on Team Canada for the 2017 Women’s World Championship.
There are at least two pairs of sisters who are playing in the Olympics. Most obvious of those two pairs are twins Monique Lamoureux-Morando…
…and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, both of whom have played for Team USA for a number of years and are in their third Olympic games.
The thought of putting the two of them together on a custom hockey card made me think of Ed & John O’Brien who shared a 1954 Topps baseball card, so I attempted to do something along those lines; their two hyphenated names take up a lot more space than “Ed & John O’Brien”
My favorite sister story involves Hannah and Marissa Brandt. Marissa was born in South Korea and was adopted by American parents when she was 4 months old. Hannah was born after Marissa was adopted, and the two of them grew up together and played hockey together.
Hannah made Team USA; She was a teammate of Amanda Kessel on that 2013 Minnesota team, which also included several other women playing in PyeongChang: Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin (who got a custom in the last post) and Finland’s Mira Jalosuo and Noora Raty.
Marissa played Division III hockey and thought her competitive hockey days were over once she graduated; until people with the South Korean team found out about Marissa and recruited her to join them.
Marissa is playing under her birth name, Park Yoon Jung, but I’ve noticed that the NBC announcers covering the Switzerland – Korea game referred to her as Marissa Brandt.