August 11, 2007 08:00 PM

Swapping her hockey pads and helmet for a wedding gown and veil, Krissy Wendell, star of the U.S. women’s Olympic ice hockey team, married NHL player John Pohl Saturday in a West Roseville, Minnesota church before 200 friends and family.

In a traditional ceremony, the couple shared vows at the Rose Hill Alliance Church, the very setting where Wendell’s parents were married. The afternoon wedding was presided over by Pastor Tom Johnson. Wendell’s sister Kara, served as maid of honor while sister-in-law Julie was matron of honor. Pohl’s brother, Mark, assisted as best man

A reception was held at a nearby hotel in Brooklyn Park, Wendell’s hometown. As guests dined on chicken, fish and steak, Wendell, 25, resplendent in a white Mori Lee gown with a 4-foot train, and Pohl, 28, sporting a black Ralph Lauren tux with a white vest, shared their first dance as husband and wife to the Clint Black song, “Easy for Me to Say.”

The couple got engaged last Christmas Eve in Toronto, where Pohl plays forward for the Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League. As part of his marriage proposal, Pohl made a collage of pictures documenting their seven-year relationship, which began with a July 4, 2000 date of dinner and fireworks. They had been introduced by Wendell’s brother, Erik, who was Pohl’s roommate at the University of Minnesota.

“We were hanging out as friends but when I had to leave to go to training camp that September, we agreed we were friends with potential. We never really dated anyone else after that,” says Wendell.

Wendell went on to start for both the 2002 and 2006 U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey teams. She also won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial award in 2005 for being the best female collegiate hockey player.

Next, the couple will head to a Minnesota resort to play golf and relax for a few days before Pohl, a Rochester, Minn., native, returns to his training regimen. Pohl, a forward, is due in training camp in September for the Leafs.

“We did a pre-honeymoon,” explains Wendell. “We went to Maui for 10 days at the end of April and had a great time.”

Wendell is taking a year off from competitive hockey but has not ruled out to playing in a third Olympic winter games in 2010 in Vancouver. The couple will settle in Toronto.

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