U.S. Olympian Anne Schleper joins Tampa Bay Lightning for morning skate (Video)

Jen Neale
Puck Daddy
<a href="http://lightning.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=47889%20&navid=DL|TBL|home" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning</a>
Courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning

Following the skating strides of her Team USA teammate Hilary Knight, Olympic silver-medalist Anne Schleper took to the ice with the Tampa Bay Lightning for their morning skate on Monday.

As a part of the IIHF's Girls Play Hockey Weekend, Schleper partnered with the Lightning to help spread the message by participating in several events including: "... a multi-panel discussion for local girl scouts, a pair of street hockey clinics and a post-game scrimmage between members of the Lady Vipers ice hockey team out of The Ice Factory in Kissimmee on Saturday."

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To cap it all off, Schleper joined the Lightning for the morning skate prior to their tilt this evening against the Canadiens.

(Scrub to about the 1:00 minute mark)

One person you can count as very impressed is Tampa Bay head coach, Jon Cooper. Cooper, the father of twin girls, celebrated Schleper embracing the opportunity to take this step in her career:

“I was really impressed with her…She spoke a lot on the ice. You could really distinguish her voice. She was really active, saying all the right things, calling for the puck. I think she got better as the practice went on.

"We’re about the sport of hockey. It’s not about men’s hockey or women’s hockey. It is hockey, sled hockey, we’re all in this together ... For her to come out here and be with our guys, I’m sure, it was fun for our guys and I’m sure it was a ton of fun for her. But if we can build the sport in any way and if that helps ten little girls to play hockey…then it’s paid off.”

Hopefully teams continue to invite women's players to skate with their teams in the future, especially those with CWHL sides in their cities, in order to provide even more promotion for the game.

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