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Hockey Canada Unveils Women’s Olympic Team Seeking Revenge for Lost Gold Medal

Hockey Canada announced its 23-player women’s roster on Tuesday for next month’s Beijing Olympics, with forwards Victoria Bach and Kristin O’Neill among the final selections, as well as veteran defenseman Meaghan Mikkelson.

Led by captain Marie-Philip Poulin and fellow striker Rebecca Johnston, who will each represent their country at the fourth Winter Games, Canada are looking to reclaim gold in Beijing after losing a 3-2 shootout decision. against the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games final in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

But the Canadians rebounded by winning their first world championship in nearly a decade last August with two-time Olympic champion Poulin scoring the game-winning goal in overtime in a 3-2 victory over the United States.

Canada, with three goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards, opens the prelims of the Olympic tournament against Switzerland on February 3, the day before the opening ceremony. The gold medal game will take place on February 16.

“We were faced with a number of challenges”

“It’s always extremely difficult to narrow the roster down to the final group of players selected to wear the Maple Leaf at the Winter Olympics,” Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan said in a statement. “We started with 29 athletes, which shows the depth of the talent pool that has been part of our entire journey, and we are thrilled for the 23 players chosen to represent Canada.

“We have faced a number of challenges during this four-year Olympic cycle, and our staff and management group have done an incredible job preparing our athletes for Beijing. I am extremely proud of the team we have assembled and look forward to the opportunity to compete for a gold medal. “

WATCH | The 23-player women’s team unveiled for Beijing 2022:

Canada’s women’s hockey team for the Beijing Winter Games announced

Canada’s women’s hockey team for the upcoming Beijing Winter Games has been unveiled, but before the players can take on their American rivals, they have COVID-19 hurdles to overcome. 2:01

The Canadians have played 27 games since July in the world championship, and against the American and Finnish women’s teams, the men’s Junior A and Under-17 teams and the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association.

However, a nine-game rivalry streak against the United States was reduced to six games due to COVID-19 cases in the Canadian squad, which also delayed the Dec. 22 announcement of the Olympic roster. .

No gold since 2014

In Beijing, the women’s tournament will take place from February 2 to 16 at the National Indoor Stadium and the Wukesong Sports Center. Canada will be aiming for its fifth overall gold medal and its first since 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

“It is a tremendous honor and accomplishment to be chosen to represent your country at the Olympics,” said Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada. “We extend our congratulations to the 23 players on their nomination to the Canadian Olympic team and we will join hockey fans from coast to coast in our enthusiasm and pride as we watch Canada compete in Beijing.

Bach, 25, a fast and talented player from Milton, Ont., Spent time on Canada’s top three with Brianne Jenner and Poulin in her first world championship last year.

At 23, O’Neill, from Mississauga, Ont., Was among the least experienced of the 29 players who arrived in Calgary in July to begin Olympic centralization.

Mikkelson is a three-time Olympian from Regina – she appeared in 105 games for the national team – and was the oldest player in the centralized roster at 37. She had reconstructive knee surgery last June and didn’t appear in a game until mid-December.

Canada will no longer play games before the Olympics to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and ensure players can board a plane to Beijing in less than a month.

The women have yet to come together as a full team since COVID-19 infiltrated their ranks in December.

“I have about half of our group back with us and the other half will be joining us shortly,” Hockey Canada director of hockey operations Gina Kingsbury told The Canadian Press.

“Everyone is doing great,” said Kingsbury. “We are all doubly vaccinated.”

Canada’s Olympic roster

Goalkeepers

  • Kristen Campbell, Brandon, male.
  • Ann-Renée Desbiens, La Malbaie, Que.
  • Emerance Maschmeyer, Bruderheim, Alta.

Defense

  • Erin Ambrose, Keswick, Ont.
  • Ashton Bell, Deloraine, Man.
  • Renata Fast, Burlington, Ont.
  • Jocelyne Larocque, Ste. Anne, male.
  • Ella Shelton, Ingersoll, Ont.
  • Claire Thompson, Toronto
  • Micah Zandee-Hart, Saanichton, BC

Before

  • Emily Clark, Saskatoon
  • Mélodie Daoust, Valleyfield, Que.
  • Sarah Fillier, Georgetown, Ont.
  • Brianne Jenner, Oakville, Ont.
  • Rebecca Johnston, Sudbury, Ont.
  • Emma Maltais, Burlington, Ont.
  • Sarah Nurse, Hamilton
  • Marie-Philip Poulin, Beauceville, Que. (Team captain)
  • Jamie Lee Rattray, Kanata, Ont.
  • Jillian Saulnier, Halifax
  • Natalie Spooner, Scarborough, Ont.
  • Laura Stacey, Kleinburg, Ont.
  • Blayre Turnbull, Stellarton, NS