The group of five freshmen joining the University of Wisconsin women's hockey team for the 2020-21 season includes three players who have enjoyed major roles at the international level.

Forwards Casey O'Brien, Makenna Webster and Maddi Wheeler all helped their country win a gold medal at the Under-18 World Championship.

They're joined in the class by goaltender Jane Gervais and defenseman Mayson Toft. Goaltender Kennedy Blair is also due to join the team as a graduate transfer from Mercyhurst.

Teammates at Shattuck St. Mary's prep school in Minnesota, O'Brien and Webster won gold with the U.S. at the 2018 U18 tournament. Webster, from St. Louis, led the team with nine points and was an all-tournament selection in 2018. She also won gold in 2020.

O'Brien, a center from Milton, Massachusetts, had five points in the 2018 tournament. She was the USA Today High School Player of the Year in 2018-19.

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Wheeler scored in overtime of the championship game against the U.S. to give Canada the 2019 U18 gold medal. From Erinsville, Ontario, she had three points in the 2020 tournament, where Canada took silver.

Gervais won't turn 18 until March, so the Valcourt, Quebec, native is still eligible for Canada's under-18 program this season. She played with Team Quebec's under-18 team in 2018 and 2019.

From Lowry, Minnesota, Toft was defensive player of the year all four years she played for Alexandria High School.


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