ZURICH, Switzerland – Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS) has been named captain of Canada’s National Women’s Team for the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship, scheduled for April 16-25 in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland. In addition, Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) will serve as alternate captains.
Wickenheiser finished among the top five in CIS scoring despite playing only 15 regular season games, recording 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists). She was named CIS Player of the Year and a CIS First Team All-Canadian.
Wickenheiser, Hefford and Ouellette are supported by members of the National Women’s Team leadership group: Tessa Bonhomme (Sudbury, Ont./Toronto, CWHL), Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA), Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alta./Edmonton, WWHL) and Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta./Grant MacEwan University, ACAC). The 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship will mark Wickenheiser’s fourth world championship as captain.
“This team is full of tremendous leaders, including the seven we have selected to be a part of the leadership group for the world championship,” said Ryan Walter, head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team. “We are proud to have Hayley serve as captain, and to have Jayna and Caroline join her wearing letters.”
Canada opens the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship on April 16 against Switzerland, and will also face Kazakhstan and Finland in preliminary round play. The 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship includes two groups of four teams, with the top three teams from each group advancing to the medal round, which starts on April 23.
Canada will attempt to win its 10th gold medal all-time at the IIHF World Women’s Championship, having previously won gold in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 20. Canada’s National Women’s Team has appeared in every gold medal game since the first IIHF World Women’s Championship in Ottawa, Ont., in 1990, winning silver in 2005, 20, in addition to its nine gold medals.
TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters, will air three games from Switzerland – Canada’s final preliminary round game versus Finland on April 19, a semifinal on April 23 and the gold medal game on April 25 (check your local listings).