CALGARY – Hockey Canada announced on Friday the 22-player roster for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team. The team is made up of the top Canadian female hockey players born in 1991 or later, and will gather for a three-game series against the USA’s Women’s Under-18 Select Team from August 20-23 in Lake Placid, New York.
The players were selected to the roster following a national conditioning camp in May and an evaluation camp in July, both held in Calgary. They were also evaluated over the course of the 2007-08 season by Hockey Canada’s regional scouts, based on their performances at national camps, the 2007 National Women’s Under-18 Championship and with their club teams. Both goaltenders also took part in a National Women’s Program goaltending camp in June.
“The selection camp we held in Calgary showed us the depth that women’s hockey has in Canada,” says Julie Healy, director of female hockey for Hockey Canada. “We are excited about the 22 players we have chosen, and are confident they will represent Canada well in Lake Placid.”
Canada’s National Women’s Summer Under-18 Team includes two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards. Eighteen of the 22 players participated in the 2008 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Kitchener, ON, including four members of Team Ontario Red, which captured its fourth consecutive gold medal. Aside from games against Team Japan during the evaluation camp, only six of the players have any previous international experience.
The 2008-09 season for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will include the three-game series against the USA in Lake Placid, NY from August 20-23, as well as the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship from January 5-10 in Füssen, Germany.
The national under-18 program is an extension of Hockey Canada's branch under-18 Programs of Excellence, which began in 1991 when women's hockey was added to the Canada Winter Games. This season's competition for the branch Program of Excellence teams, the 2008 National Women's Under-18 Championship, will take place in Napanee, ON from November 5-9.
The roster announced Friday will not be Canada’s team for the world championship. Player evaluations will continue during the early months of the 2008-09 season, including the 2008 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, and a final roster for the world championship will be named in December.
The National Women’s Under-18 Team is a key component of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which, along with the under-22 program, helps identify, evaluate and develop female hockey players for Canada’s National Women’s Team.