WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – On Thursday, Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Women’s Team general manager/ head coach Melody Davidson announced Canada’s roster for the upcoming 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winnipeg and Selkirk, MB from April 3-10, 2007.
Canada’s roster of 20 players includes two goaltenders, six defencemen and 12 forwards. Davidson also announced an alternate goaltender and two alternate defencemen.
Canada’s 20-player roster includes 17 gold medalists from the 2006 Olympic Winter Games, as well as 17 players with World Championship experience. Forward Cherie Piper (Scarborough, ON/ Dartmouth, ECAC), a gold medalist in 2006, will not be available for the World Championship, as she is scheduled for knee surgery. Another Olympian, Becky Kellar (Hagersville, ON) took the 2006-07 season off to have a second child.
The 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship will mark the first major international event for defenceman Tessa Bonhomme (Sudbury, ON/ Ohio State, WCHA), while two forwards, Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, ON/ Mercyhurst, CHA) and Katie Weatherston (Thunder Bay, ON/ Dartmouth, ECAC) will be attending their first ever World Championship. Both Agosta and Weatherston won gold medals with Canada at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
“The coaching staff is very excited about the roster that we have assembled for the upcoming World Championship in Manitoba,” said general manager and head coach Melody Davidson. “As always the depth of talent in female hockey in Canada makes this a difficult process for all involved. Congratulations to the players named today. We look forward to working with these players and to represent Canada proudly in April.”
Combined, Canada’s roster of 20 players has captured 25 Olympic gold medals, 52 World Championship gold medals and has amassed over 1,700 international games with Canada. Sixteen of the 20 players named to the World Championship roster have played with Canada’s National Under-22 Team, a program that Hockey Canada started in 1998 to assist in developing players for the international stage.
“Hockey Canada is very pleased with the growth of the National Women’s program and Canada’s 2007 roster shows that our development programs, from grass roots through the regional Under-18 programs and the National Under-22 Team are developing quality hockey players and individuals,” said Julie Healy, Hockey Canada’s Director of Female Hockey. “I would also like to take this time to thank head scout Wally Kozak and his team of regional scouts for their work during the 2006-07 season. Finally, I would like to commend the Hockey Canada branches and the club team system throughout Canada, including the NWHL, the WWHL and the CIS, for assisting in growing the game of female hockey across Canada.”
Canada’s National Women’s Team will convene in Dauphin, Manitoba for a pre-competition training camp from March 25-31, 2007, which will include on-ice and off-ice sessions and two games against Midget AAA boys teams from the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League. Practices and both games will be open to the public free of charge. Canada will also be taking on Finland on March 31st in Selkirk prior to the World Championship, which begins on April 3rd.
Tickets for the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (204) 780-3333, or by visiting www.ticketmaster.ca/iihf.
The hosting of the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winnipeg and Selkirk, MB will mark the fifth time that this international event has been staged in Canada and the first time it will be held in Manitoba.
Canada also hosted the IIHF World Women’s Championship in 2004 (Halifax, NS), in 2000 (Mississauga, ON), in 1997 (Kitchener, ON), and in 1990 (Ottawa, ON). In 2006, there was no IIHF World Championship for women’s hockey in lieu of the Olympic Winter Games. Canada has won a gold medal at eight of the nine IIHF World Women’s Championships, the exception being a silver medal at the 2005 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Linkoping, Sweden, after losing to the USA in a shootout. Canada has also won two Olympic gold medals (2006, 2002) and one Olympic silver medal (1998).
For more information on Canada’s National Women’s Team and the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship, visit www.hockeycanada.ca