NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The South Carolina Stingrays, alongside USA Hockey, have announced that Jacqui Gutierrez has been selected as the athletic trainer for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s Select Team at this year’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup. The tournament will take place from August 1-6 in Břeclav, Czechia, and Piešťany, Slovakia and is largely recognized as a prominent pre-draft showcase for top NHL prospects.
“I am excited to represent the US and honored to be selected as the athletic trainer for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup Team,” said Gutierrez. “It has been a dream of mine to be a part of the US national team, and I cannot wait to experience hockey on an international level.”
Gutierrez recently completed her first season as the Stingrays’ head athletic trainer following a three-year stint in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers where she served as the team’s Director of Athletic Training and Recovery. While with Sioux City, Gutierrez became the first female to win the USHL’s Clark Cup as a part of the Musketeers' 2022 Clark Cup Championship. Jacqui will reunite with former Sioux City head coach, Luke Strand, who will lead the U.S. team in the competition.
“Jacqui is one of the best athletic trainers I have seen in pro hockey,” said Stingrays head coach Brenden Kotyk. “She works extremely hard and is incredibly knowledgeable in her field. She utilizes her experience to take terrific care of our players, making sure they’re gameday ready both on and off the ice. This is just the beginning for her pro hockey career.”
The Hlinka Gretzky Cup is an annual under-18 tournament held each August. The competition began in 1991 as the Phoenix Cup and was renamed the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in 2007. Ivan Hlinka was considered one of the most important figures in Czech hockey history, coaching Czechoslovakia to a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics and 1999 World Championships before his sudden death in 2004. The name shifted again in 2018, becoming the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup to additionally honor Wayne Gretzky.
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