The 27th biennial Games will run from Feb. 4-14, with the women’s hockey final set for Feb. 13.
Just 13 months after winning a third straight gold medal in Trentino, Italy in December 2013, the Canadians head to Spain as the favourites with a perfect 21-0 overall record since the women’s hockey competition made its FISU debut in Harbin, China in 2009. There, Canada defeated the host Chinese 3-1 to win the inaugural gold medal before following that triumph with a 4-1 win against Finland in 2011 (Erzurum, Turkey) and a 5-0 defeat of Russia in Trentino.
The women’s hockey schedule in Granada has yet to be announced, but Canada will be in Pool B with Russia and Kazakhstan. Pool A consists of host Spain, the United States, China, and Japan.
Head Coach Jon Rempel and his staff, including assistants Bruce Donaldson (UPEI) and Jim Hunter (University of Windsor), made the team selections. The 20-player roster features standouts from across the four CIS conferences, including seven from OUA, five from Canada West, and four each from AUS and RSEQ.
“Our coaching staff believes that the experience of the returning players from last year’s squad combined with an influx of energy from a number of first-time players going to this event will make this year’s team very tough to play against,” said Rempel, a two-time Canada West coach of the year who has led the Manitoba Bisons to five CIS championship appearances in his 11 seasons at the helm.
Four players from the 2013 championship team will make a return appearance at the tournament: goaltender Élodie Rousseau-Sirois from the University of Montreal, McGill defenceman Brittany Fouracres, as well as forwards Laura Brooker of Wilfrid Laurier and Alex Normore from StFX.
Brooker picked up a goal and an assist in the gold medal game against Russia in Trentino and finished the seven-game tournament with seven goals and three helpers. Normore (7-9-16) and Fouracres (1-10-11) contributed 16 and 11 points, respectively, while Rousseau-Sirois posted a 3-0 record against Spain, the USA and Japan.
Montreal leads the way with three selections for the Granada tourney, with Rousseau-Sirois joined by rearguard Élizabeth Mantha and forward Ariane Barker. Alberta, St. Francis Xavier and Windsor each had two players selected to the team.
Barker, Brooker and Normore will be joined up front by Alberta teammates Tess Houston and Jessica Kampjes, Daley Oddy of StFX, Jenny MacKnight and Bree Polci of Windsor, Jessica Fickel of Brock, Breanna Lanceleve of Saint Mary’s, Maggie Litchfield-Medd of Manitoba, as well as Morgan McHaffie, a recent Queen’s graduate.
On the blue line, Fouracres, whose double-overtime goal gave the Martlets a CIS championship last spring, played for the national women’s development team in a three-game series against the USA last August in Calgary. She will be joined by Montreal’s Mantha, Sarah Casorso from UBC, Saskatchewan’s Julia Flinton, Keirsten Visser from UPEI and Katelyn Gosling of Western. Gosling was originally selected to the 2013 team but was unable to play due to injury.
Between the pipes, Nicole Kesteris from the University of Toronto will team up with Rousseau-Sirois.
“This year’s team represents a great mix of skill, speed, character and hockey IQ,” said Rempel. “We are looking forward to representing the CIS and our country at this prestigious event.”
The team will depart Canada in late January to begin preparations for the Universiade. The opening ceremony is set for Wednesday, Feb. 4.
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/
|TEAM CANADA ROSTER|
|Nicole Kesteris||Toronto||5||Aurora, ON||Human Geography|
|Élodie Rousseau-Sirois||Montreal||4||Pohenegamook, QC||Architecture|
|Sarah Casorso||UBC||5||Kelowna, BC||Arts|
|Julia Flinton||Saskatchewan||4||Williams Lake, BC||Agriculture & Bioresources|
|Brittany Fouracres||McGill||4||Calgary, AB||Chemical Engineering|
|Katelyn Gosling||Western||4||London, ON||Social Science|
|Elizabeth Mantha||Montreal||5||Longueuil, QC||Industrial Relations|
|Keirsten Visser||UPEI||5||Crapaud, PEI||Science|
|Ariane Barker||Montreal||4||Napierville, QC||Communications|
|Laura Brooker||Wilfrid Laurier||5||Fergus, ON||English|
|Jessica Fickel||Brock||5||Fort Erie, ON||Kinesiology|
|Tess Houston||Alberta||4||Winnipeg, MB||Nursing|
|Jessica Kampjes||Alberta||3||Sturgeon County, AB||Native Studies|
|Brenna Lanceleve||Saint Mary’s||2||Lower Sackville, NS||Scienc|
|Maggie Litchfield-Medd||Manitoba||5||Winnipeg, MB||Enivornment, Earth, & Resources|
|Jenny MacKnight||Windsor||5||Regina, SK||Environmental Studies|
|Morgan McHaffie||Queen’s||—||Guelph, ON||Physical & Health Education|
|Alex Normore||St. FX||5||Bedford, NS||Human Kinetics|
|Daley Oddy||St. FX||2||Cranbrook, BC||Human Kinetics|
|Bree Polci||Windsor||5||London, ON||History|
|Team Leader||Kelsie Graham||Regina, SK|
|Head Coach||Jon Rempel||Manitoba|
|Assistant Coach||Bruce Donaldson||UPEI|
|Assistant Coach||Jim Hunter||Windsor|
|Athletic Therapist||Nadine Smith||Carleton|
|Equipment Manager||Jean Huynh||McGill|
NOTE: The year of CIS eligibility listed is for the 2014-15 season. Morgan McHaffie of Queen’s used her fifth and final year of CIS eligibility in 2013-14.
CANADA’S ALL-TIME RESULTS IN WOMEN’S HOCKEY AT UNIVERSIADE
2013 (Trentino, Italy)
21-0 vs. Spain
5-0 vs. Russia
13-0 vs. Great Britain
9-1 vs. USA
9-1 vs. Japan
15-0 vs. Japan (semifinal)
5-0 vs. Russia (final)
2011 (Erzurum, Turkey)
2-1 vs. Finland (SO)
3-0 vs. Slovakia
14-0 vs. Great Britain
9-0 vs. USA
11-0 vs. Turkey
8-1 vs. USA (semifinal)
4-1 vs. Finland (final)
2009 (Harbin, China)
11-0 vs. Great Britain
5-0 vs. Finland
6-3 vs. Slovakia
7-1 vs. China
4-1 vs. Japan
10-1 vs. Slovakia (semifinal)
3-1 vs. China (final)
About the Winter Universiade
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.
NOTE: Biathlon and nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from January 24 to February 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.
Official website: www.granada2015.org