SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The U.S. women's national hockey team pulled out of a major pre-Olympic competition in Finland next month, citing security concerns in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
Players were split on whether they wanted to go to the team's only foreign event before the Olympics, team officials said. USA Hockey, the governing body of the men's and women's national hockey teams, made the decision to cancel the trip.
``The team is like most Americans who have a certain amount of apprehension about traveling overseas,'' USA Hockey spokesman Chuck Menke said. ``Our feeling was why take unnecessary risks right now.''
Players had another reason to reconsider the trip: Forward Kathleen Kauth's father is presumed dead in the Sept. 11 trade center attacks.
The women's team, a favorite to win its second straight Olympic gold medal, was to have traveled to Finland Nov. 3-10 to play in the Four Nations Cup. The team had two games each scheduled with Canada, Finland and Sweden.
The 2002 Winter Olympics begin Feb. 8 in Salt Lake City.