Twenty-three players – representing five Members – have been named to Canada’s National Women’s U18 Team for the 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Switzerland

Hockey Canada has announced the 23 players who will wear the Maple Leaf with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2024 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, Jan. 6-14 in Zug, Switzerland.

The team was selected by Cherie Piper (Scarborough, ON), senior manager of player development and scouting, as well as head coach Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, ON/Boston University, HE) and assistant coaches Stefanie McKeough (Carlsbad Springs, ON/Boston, PWHL) and Vicky Sunohara (Scarborough, ON/University of Toronto, OUA). Goaltending consultant Gord Woodhall (Winnipeg, MB/New York, PWHL) also provided input.

Included in the roster are nine gold medallists from the 2023 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship – Mackenzie Alexander, Hannah Clark, Gracie Graham, Morgan Jackson, Caitlin Kraemer, Avery Pickering, Charlotte Pieckenhagen, Abby Stonehouse and Emma Venusio.

“I am so honoured and excited to work with this amazing group of young women and staff.  We have an impressive team, one built on strong character, speed and skill,” said Watchorn. “From our first session at the summer showcase until now, these girls have improved every day. We will be a team that works hard, plays with attention to detail and has fun along the way. This is an amazing opportunity for us to represent Canada with pride and humility, and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Canada is in Group A at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship with Czechia, Finland and Germany. Group B is comprised of Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The Canadians open the tournament against Germany on Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. They will also face Czechia on Jan. 7 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT before their preliminary-round finale against Finland on Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

“We have a very dynamic team…a strong group of returners and new athletes ready to leave their mark on the program,” said Piper. “It’s a long journey for these girls to get to this point and I’m proud of their growth, development, and commitment to Hockey Canada. I know there is a lot of excitement from being selected to this team, but there is plenty of work to be done to defend gold, and I’m excited to get to Zug and see them compete.”

Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will look to earn back-to-back-to-back gold medals at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship for the first time since 2012-14; it has won seven gold medals (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019, 2022, 2023), seven silver (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020) and one bronze (2018).