Hockey Canada has unveiled the 23 players who will travel to Slovakia to defend Canada’s gold medal at the 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26-Jan. 2 in Bratislava.
The roster for Canada’s National Women Under-18 Team, consisting of three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards, includes:
- 18 players who completed in a three-game series against the United States in Lake Placid, N.Y., last August (Bochna, Buglioni, Cherkowski, Cooper, Gascon, Giaquinto, Gosling, Kettyle, Messier, McLeod, McPherson, Naud, Osborne, Paul, Picard, Thompson, Wheeler, Wozniewicz)
- Five players who won a gold medal at the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Obihiro, Japan (Cherkowski, Cooper, Gosling, Naud, Wheeler)
- Five players who will be representing Canada internationally for the first time (King, Labad, Legros, Lussier, Nelles)
The roster was selected by Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams, head scout Melody Davidson and the coaching staff for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team – head coach Howie Draper (Edmonton/University of Alberta, CW), and assistant coaches Britni Smith (Port Perry, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC) and Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ont./Boston University, HE). Goaltending consultant Gord Woodhall (Winnipeg/Winnipeg, MFMHL) and Hockey Canada regional scouts also provided input.
“We are excited about the group that will represent Canada next month,” said Kingsbury. “Our staff has done an excellent job evaluating the talent through several different events, including summer camp, the three-game series against the United States and the National Women’s Under-18 Championship. We are looking forward to getting underway in Slovakia, and we are confident this group has what it takes to defend our gold medal.”
Canada opens its schedule Dec. 26 against Russia at 6:30 a.m. ET/3:30 a.m. PT. The Canadians will also face Finland and the United States in the preliminary round before the tournament wraps up with the gold medal game on Jan. 2 at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team has won a medal at every IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship – five gold (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019), six silver (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017) and one bronze (2018).