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Little League World Series Alumni Chris Drury and Krissy Wendell Lead U.S. Hockey Teams into Torino Winter Olympics

Chris Drury

Krissy Wendell
photos courtesy USA Hockey
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Feb. 22, 2006) - Chris Drury and Krissy Wendell, who received their first exposure to international sports at the Little League Baseball World Series, and helped the U.S. men’s and women’s hockey teams to 2002 Olympics silver medals in Salt Lake City, once again led their Olympic squads in the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

Mr. Drury played for Trumbull National Little League of Trumbull, Conn., in the 1989 Series, leading his team to the world championship. He pitched in the final game, scattering five hits, as Trumbull defeated Kang-Tu Little League of Chinese Taipei, 5-2. In Torino, the men’s team bowed out in the quarterfinal round.

Ms. Wendell, captain of the 2006 USA Women’s Hockey Team, played for Brooklyn Center Little League of Brooklyn Center, Minn., in the 1994 Series. Ms. Wendell was the fifth girl to play in the Little League Baseball World Series, and the first to start at the catcher position, leading her team to a tie for third place in the U.S. She played 18 innings as a catcher, committing only two errors, and batted third. In 2004, Ms. Wendell was enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence. In Torino, she was the team captain and led the women to a Bronze Medal.

In Salt Lake City, Mr. Drury and Ms. Wendell each played in all six games for their teams. Both U.S. teams were defeated in the gold medal games by Canada.

“We’re proud that Chris and Krissy have once again represented the Untied States at the Olympics,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “We’re also proud that the teamwork that was essential in leading them to the pinnacle of international youth sports competition has led them to the pinnacle of Olympic sport. We wish them both the very best in the future.”

Mr. Drury, a center on the 2006 U.S. Men’s Olympic Hockey Team, won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player in 1998 after his senior year at Boston University. He went on to play for the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche, and win the 1998-99 Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Mr. Drury was a member of Colorado’s 2000-01 Stanley Cup championship team. He is currently a member of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

Ms. Wendell, a forward on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, has become one of the best women’s ice hockey players in U.S. history since being named Ms. Hockey for Minnesota after her senior year at Park Center High School (scoring 110 goals in 27 games during the 1999-00 season). She received the Bob Johnson Award for excellence in international competition at the 2000 USA Hockey Annual Congress, and was honored with the USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year Award at the 2001 USA Hockey Annual Congress. In 2004, she won the most outstanding player award in the NCAA Division I Women’s Hockey Tournament as a member of the national champion University of Minnesota team.

The Little League Baseball World Series for 11-12-year-olds, which was first played in 1947, is played annually in Williamsport, Pa. The 60th Little League Baseball World Series will be played Aug. 18-27, 2006. Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with approximately 2.6 million children and 1 million volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.