CALGARY, ALBERTA - On the one-year anniversary of Canada's 2002 gold medal win at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Canada's National Women's Team's roster for the upcoming 2003 IIHF Women's World Hockey Championship in Beijing, China was introduced on Friday during press conferences held in Calgary (AB), Toronto (ON) and Montreal (QC).
The 2003 IIHF Women's World Hockey Championship runs from April 2-9, 2003 in Beijing, China.
Canada's Women's Olympic hockey team beat Team USA in the Olympic gold medal game one year ago () by a score of 3-2 in Salt Lake City, UT. The USA had defeated Canada in all eight pre-Olympic games prior to the Olympic final in Utah.
The 2003 Canadian National Women's Team World Championship roster includes 17 of the 20 players who won gold at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. (Geraldine Heaney, Defense, retired; Isabelle Chartrand, Defense, chose to take the 2002-2003 season off; Tammy Lee Shewchuk was not selected for the 2003 WWHC team).
Canada has won a gold medal at all seven Women's World Hockey Championships and has a perfect 35-0 record. The 21 players on Canada's 2003 World Championship roster have a combined fifty-six World Championship gold medals.
"The depth of talented players in Canada makes the selection and evaluation process a great challenge," said Karen Hughes, Head Coach of Canada's National Women's Team. "As a coaching staff, we're very excited about the roster that we've assembled for the 2003 World Championship, as it combines experience, youth and talent."
Head Scout of the CHA's women's program Wally Kozak, along with Hughes and assistant coaches Ken Dufton and Mike Pelino chose the 2003 Canadian roster after evaluating a pool of players throughout the season with their club teams, as well as their performance at two Team Canada evaluation camps and the 2002 4 Nations Cup.
Canada's National Women's Team will be convening in Calgary, AB for a five-day camp from March 22-26, 2003 at the Father David Bauer Olympic Arena. The team will depart for Beijing, China on March 27th.
Due to commitments to her club team in Finland, Hayley Wickenheiser will be joining the team when they arrive in Beijing.
Quick facts about Canada's 2003 IIHF Women's World Championship Team:
The team consists of 21 players: two goaltenders, six defence, 12 forwards and an alternate goaltender (Labonté).
1998 Olympic silver medalists (9): Botterill, Brisson, Campbell, Dupuis, Goyette, Hefford, Kellar, Sunohara, Wickenheiser
National Under 22 Team alumnus (12): Antal, Apps, Béchard, Botterill, Bredin, Ferrari, Labonté, Ouellette, Piper, Sostorics, St-Pierre, Wickenheiser
Six-time World Champion (1): Goyette
Five-time World Champions (3): Brisson, Campbell, Sunohara
Four-time World Champions (3): Hefford, Pounder, Wickenheiser
Three-time World Champions (6): Botterill, Dupuis, Kellar, Ouellette, Small, St-Pierre
Two-time World Champions (1): Béchard
One-time World Champions (3): Antal, Bredin, Sostorics
World Championship rookies (4): Apps, Ferrari, Labonté, Piper