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USAH's Michele Amidon and Finland's Saara Niemi visit the Penguins Elite

11/11/2015, 12:00pm EST
By T. Cook

UPDATE: Trib live did an article on the FIHA's visit to Pittsburgh: 

Thanks to Michele Amidon from USA Hockey and Saara Niemi from the Finnish Ice Hockey Ice Hockey Association for visiting our club. Our girls teams got some great instruction and inspiration. Steel City also came and practiced with our teams. Growing girl's hockey in this region and the country at large is crucial and we were lucky to have Michele and Saara come and lend their expertise. Come back soon! 


Michele Amidon began her duties as USA Hockey's first-ever director of women's hockey in August 2006. She held this position until being named regional manager of the American Development Model in August 2010. In this role, Amidon helps provide a blueprint for optimal athlete development focusing on age-appropriate training utilizing long-term athlete development principles. A former U.S. Women's National Team player, Amidon spent eight seasons (1998-2006) as the highly successful head coach of the Bowdoin College women's ice hockey team. During her nine seasons at Bowdoin – eight as head coach and one as an assistant coach – Amidon led the Polar Bears to unrivaled success. She guided the team to a 140-52-12 overall record, which included four NCAA tournament appearances, two New England Small College Athletic Conference championships and four NESCAC championship-game appearances.

A 1994 graduate of St. Lawrence University, Amidon was a four-year letter winner and three-year captain of the SLU women's ice hockey team. In her first year with the team, she was voted ECAC Rookie and Division III Player of the Year. Named the ECAC Most Valuable Player as a junior and to the ECAC All-Star Team her senior campaign, Amidon was a three-time MVP of the St. Lawrence team and was inducted into the SLU Athletic Hall of Fame in fall of 2009.


Saara Niemi (Tuominen) (born January 1, 1986) is a female ice hockey player. At the 2006 Torino Olympics Tuominen competed for Finland, scoring one goal and four assists. She was an assistant captain for Finland's women's ice hockey team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where the Finns won the bronze medal.

She graduated in 2010 from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and was a three-year captain for the Bulldogs. UMD were NCAA Division I national champions in 2008 and 2010. She was a 2009 and 2010 WCHA All-Academic Team member, a 2008 All-WCHA Third Team selection and a member of the 2007 All-WCHA Rookie Team.


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