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College women's hockey: UMD's Crowell named head coach of USA U18s

Minnesota Duluth's Maura Crowell is taking over as head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Women's National Team in 2018-19, USA Hockey announced Wednesday.

Crowell, who just finished her third season as head coach of the Bulldogs, was an assistant coach for Team USA's U18s in 2015-16 and the associate head coach in 2017-18. Both times the Americans finished with a gold medal at the IIHF Under-18 Women's World Championship with incoming freshmen Maggie Flaherty and Lizi Norton playing for Crowell on the 2018 team and current Bulldogs captain Sydney Brodt playing for Crowell in 2016.

Crowell will coach Team USA at the 2019 U18 Women's World Championship in early January, with Union coach Josh Sciba and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Brianna Decker as assistant coaches. The staff will also coach the U18s in a series against Canada Aug. 14-19 in Calgary, Alberta.

The Bulldogs have the inaugural Minnesota Cup at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis scheduled for the first weekend of January, followed by a WCHA series at Bemidji State the following weekend. Like she did in 2016 and 2018, assistant coach Laura Bellamy would serve as head coach in Crowell's absence.

Bellamy, a Duluth native, recently served as a coach at the U.S. Women's National Team Goaltending Development Camp for a second consecutive season.