While the NHL remains steadfast about not allowing its players to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, Canada announced Thursday the 28 players who will be vying for spots on the national women's team over the next year.
The initial roster of three goaltenders, nine defencemen and 16 forwards includes 14 players who were members of the gold medal winning squad at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and 21 performers who placed second to the U.S. at the recent IIHF Women's World Championships in Plymouth, Mich.
Six members of the announced squad toiled this past season in NCAA Division 1 women's hockey, including three from the national championship runner-up University of Wisconsin Badgers, while another, forward Melodie Daoust from Valleyfield, Que., played in the U SPORTS (formerly CIS) women's loop for the McGill Martlets.
Heading the list of Badgers is goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens from La Malbaie, Que. who captured the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top player in the entire NCAA.
Her teammates, forwards Emily Clark from Saskatoon, Sask. and Hamilton, Ont. native Sarah Nurse are also on the roster.
The Badgers will be well represented in South Korea as another five (four former and one current) Wisconsin players were named to Team U.S.A. earlier this month. Senior-to-be Annie Pankowski will be joined by Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Alex Rigsby as the U.S. guns for its first Olympic gold since 1998.
The other NCAA selections on Team Canada included Cornell Reds defenceman Micah Hart (Saanichton, B.C.), North Dakota Fighting Hawks defenceman Halli Kryzaniak (Neepawa, Man.) and Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.)
The two other goaltenders named Thursday were Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont.) and Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta.).
The other defencemen are Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont.), Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont.), Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont.), Brigette Lacquette (Mallard, Man.), Jocelyne Larocque (Ste. Anne, Man.), Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alta.) and Lauriane Rougeau (Beaconsfield, Que.).
The other forwards are Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont.), Bailey Bram (Ste. Anne, Man.), Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont.), Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.), Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont.), Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.), Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.), Jillian Saulnier (Halifax, N.S.), Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont.), Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont.), Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S.) and Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont.).
Two other goaltenders from the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) were also named to support Team Canada through next season, but both will remain with their club teams. They are Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta.), who plays for Calgary, and Orleans, Ont. native Erica Howe, who toils for Brampton.
Team Canada will be holding a fitness camp later this month and then be centralized in Calgary, Alta. for the 2017-18 season beginning in August and ending at the North Korea Games. As part of their preparation, the team will be competing in a number of games and events including the 2017 Nations Cup.
Canada’s final 23-player roster for the Winter Games is tentatively scheduled to be named in late December.Back to Top
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