ZLIN, Czech Republic – Forward Ashton Bell will captain Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team as it begins its quest for gold at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship from Jan. 7-14.
The 17-year-old from Deloraine, Man., captained Canada at its August three-game series against the United States and won silver with Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in St. Catharines, Ont. Bell currently plays with the Westman Wildcats in the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League.
The leadership team also includes Olivia Knowles (Campbell River, B.C./Okanagan Hockey Academy, CCSHL), Alexa Vasko (St. Catharines, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL), and Amy Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./Pacific, JWHL) who will serve as alternate captains.
“It’s a huge honour to be named captain for Canada but we have a great group of leaders on this team and anyone of them could have been chosen,” said Bell. “This is a very connected group, we have great communication and we are all really excited to get the championship underway.”
“We have a great mix of leadership on this team and we’re confident that this group of players models the leadership qualities that we are looking for on and off the ice,” said Troy Ryan, head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team.
Canada opens the 2017 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship against Sweden on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. local/1:30 p.m. ET; it will also face Russia (Jan. 8) and the United States (Jan. 10) in preliminary-round action. Both the bronze- and gold-medal games will be played on Jan. 14. A complete tournament schedule can be found here on the Hockey Canada website.
After taking home a silver medal in 2016 in St. Catharines, Ont., the Canadians will be in search of their fifth gold medal in tournament history, having won in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014.