2002 Sports Illustrated for Kids card #127 – Maria Rooth
While sifting through a stack of cards from Sports Illustrated for Kids recently, I found this odd little piece of cardboard. It is unusual I n that it is a card of a collegiate hockey player. No wait – a collegiate woman hockey player. Hold the phone – a Swedish woman collegiate hockey player who is also an Olympic hero: Maria Rooth.
Rooth starred for the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) Bulldogs from 1999 to 2003. In her first season, she scored 68 points and was named the WCHA’s Rookie of the Year. In 124 games over 4 seasons, she scored 119 goals and 113 assists for a total of 232 points – about 1.87 points per game! In 2001, Rooth was the MVP of the Women’s “Frozen Four” tournament. She was also named to the NCAA All-American First Team twice and Second Team once. Her jersey number 27 has since been retired by UMD.
Her Olympic career has been just as impressive. At age 18, Rooth was a member of Sweden’s Olympic team in 1998, when Women’s Ice Hockey first became a medal sport. In the 2002 games, Rooth scored 2 goals, and the Swedes won the Bronze medal.
But in the 2006 Olympics, Rooth single-handedly destroyed the United States women’s team in the semi-final game. She scored twice in regulation, and again in the shootout, thus accounting for all of Sweden’s goals in a 3-2 win. And though the Swedes lost the Gold Medal game to Canada, Rooth was named as one of the tournament’s top forwards.
The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver will be Rooth’s fourth time representing her country. And since she’s only 31, it probably won’t be her last time either. With Rooth on the roster, Sweden has a legitimate chance to win the Gold this year.