Following a brief three-day pre-competition camp in Burnaby, B.C., Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team is set to take on the world at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, Jan. 6-13 in Obihiro, Japan.
“We are very pleased with the level of competition and intensity our athletes demonstrated in our short pre-competition camp, and we look forward to the unique opportunity to compete for a gold medal in Japan,” said Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams. “We believe we have assembled a team of athletes and support staff that gives us the best opportunity to be successful as we look to bring a gold medal back to Canada.”
23 players selected to wear the Maple Leaf will kick of the tournament against Sweden on Jan. 5 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. The schedule also has Canada matching up against the United States and Russia to conclude the preliminary round on Jan. 7 and 8, respectively, before the tournament wraps up with the gold medal game at 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT on Sunday, Jan. 13.
Prior to departing for Japan, Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team announced its leadership group for the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. Maggie MacEachern (Whitby, Ont./Durham West, PWHL) will serve as captain, alongside alternate captains Alexie Guay (Magog, Que./North American Hockey Academy, JWHL) and Grace Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Saskatoon, SFMAAAHL).
“Our captains have shown a tremendous ability to lead our group, and their experience serving as captains in our summer series against the United States and competing in the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship will be crucial to our success,” said head coach Howie Draper (Edmonton/University of Alberta, CW). “Every one of our players is a leader in their own way, and we’ll lean on that leadership as we compete for gold at the world championship.”
The team will gather in Tomakomai, Japan, Jan. 2-4 for three days of practices before heading to Obihiro. Canada will also take on Russia in a pre-tournament game, set for Jan. 4 at the Hakucho Oji Ice Arena.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will look to earn its first gold medal at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship since 2014, having won gold four times (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), silver six times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017) and bronze once (2018).