KREUZLINGEN, Switzerland – Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team will open defence of its MLP Cup gold medal on Tuesday when it faces the host Swiss in the opening game of the tournament, which runs from January 4-8.
In addition to Switzerland, Canada will also face Germany in Group B preliminary round action, while Finland, Russia and Sweden will comprise Group A. The top two teams from both pools will face off against each other in semifinal action Friday, with the winners of both those games moving on to the gold medal game on Saturday.
Canada’s roster for the 2011 MLP Cup includes 16 members of the National Women’s Under-22 Team that swept the United States in a three-game series held in Toronto, Ont., in August and 11 returnees from the National Women’s Under-22 Team that won gold at the 2010 MLP Cup in Ravensburg, Germany.
The roster also includes two members of the National Women’s Under-18 Team that won Canada’s first-ever gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Chicago, Ill., last April (Campbell and Saulnier) and four members of the National Women’s Team that won gold for Canada at the 2010 4 Nations Cup in St. John’s, N.L., in November (Bendus, Birchard, Spooner and Watchorn).
“This team has a huge amount of international experience, and we are excited to see how our players fare against some of the best in the world,” said Jim Fetter, head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team. “Canada has a tremendous tradition at the MLP Cup, and we look forward to continuing that tradition this year in Kreuzlingen.”
Canada is a seven-time gold medalist at the MLP Cup (formerly the Air Canada Cup), winning gold in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010.