Three returnees highlight Canadian contingent in St. Catharines, Ont.
CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Monday the 23 players that will put on the maple leaf and represent Canada at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, taking place Jan. 8-15 in St. Catharines, Ont.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team includes three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Among the 23 players are three – Lindsay Agnew (Oakville, Ont./Mississauga, PWHL), Ryleigh Houston (Winnipeg, Man./Balmoral Hall, JWHL) and Kristin O’Neill (Oakville, Ont./Stoney Creek, PWHL) – who return to the international stage after taking home a silver medal at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., last January.
Twenty-two of the players on the Team Canada roster attended Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp in August, and 19 of them (Agnew, Bourbonnais, Coloumbe, Cross, D’Astous-Moreau, Edgar, Elmes, Friesen, Howran, Houston, Knowles, Maltais, Neatby, O’Neill, Potomak, Schneider, Shirley, Tinker, Watts) were on Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three-game series against the United States in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August. Canada won the series two games to one.
Canada’s roster also includes:
- 10 players who won a gold medal with Ontario Red at the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Huntsville, Ont. (Agnew, Berg, Bourbonnais, Edgar, Howran, Maltais, Neatby, O’Neill, Tinker, Watts);
- Five players who won a silver medal with Manitoba at the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship (Bell, Elmes, Friesen, Houston, Oswald);
- One player who won a bronze medal with Ontario Blue at the 2015 National Women’s Under-18 Championship (Frappier).
Melody Davidson, general manager of national women’s teams programs, assembled the roster along with Hockey Canada’s regional scouts, head coach Lisa Haley, assistant coaches Greg Fargo, Gina Kingsbury, and Britni Smith, and goaltending consultant Perry Wilson.
“It has been a long evaluation process for the coaches and scouting staff as well as the players, but we have assembled a team that has some experience at this championship,” said Davidson. “We’ve seen the players’ growth and development from selection camp, against the U.S., with their club teams, and most recently at nationals; we believe they’ll be ready to compete for a gold medal in St. Catharines.”
Head Coach Lisa Haley went on to add they’ve been looking forward to this announcement with a great deal of anticipation. “The depth of talent at this age group is very impressive, and players have provided plenty of impressive performances throughout the journey from August camp through to U18 Nationals. All of these players have the right combination of skills and intangibles that we believe are essential in competing for a world championship on home soil.”
Canada will open up the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship against Russia on Friday, Jan. 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, and will also play the Czech Republic on Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT before a showdown with last year’s gold-medalists from the United States on Monday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. The bronze-medal and gold-medal games are scheduled for Friday, Jan. 15 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT and 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT, respectively.
After taking home a silver medal in 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y., the Canadians will be in search of their fifth gold medal in tournament history, having won in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014.