VALLENTUNA, Sweden – Canada’s National Women’s Team has arrived in Sweden to defend its gold medal at the 2011 4 Nations Cup, set for Nov. 9-13 at Stora Hallen arena in Nyköping, where it will face off against Finland, Sweden and the United States.
Before the puck drops on the 16th annual tournament, Canada will take on Sweden in an exhibition game Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. local time/1 p.m. ET at Vallentuna Ishall arena in Vallentuna, a suburb of Stockholm.
The 2011 4 Nations Cup kicks off Wednesday, with Canada playing Finland at 3:30 p.m. local time/9:30 a.m. ET and Sweden playing the United States at 7 p.m. local time/1 p.m. ET. The bronze and gold medal games take place, respectively, Sunday at 11:30 a.m. local time/5:30 a.m. ET and 3 p.m. local time/9 a.m. ET.
Canada has won 12 gold and three silver medals at the 3 Nations/4 Nations Cup since the tournament’s inception in 1996. Last November, Canada edged the United States 3-2 in overtime at the 2010 4 Nations Cup in St. John’s, N.L., to win its second consecutive gold medal.
Canada’s 23-player 4 Nations Cup roster includes:
12 players who represented Canada at the 2011 IIHF 12 Nations Invitational Tournament in Vierumäki,
Finland, in August and September (Agosta, Apps, Bendus, Birchard, Hefford, Irwin, Kessler, Larocque,
Ouellette, Scanzano, Slusar and Wakefield);
seven players who attended Canada’s National Women’s Under-22/Development Team training camp in Rockland, Ont., in August (Daoust, Fortino, Jenner, McKeough, Poudrier, Rougeau and Spooner);
four players who attended the 2011 IIHF High Performance Women’s Camp in Bratislava, Slovakia in July (Bendus, Birchard, Kessler and Scanzano);
16 members of Canada’s National Women’s Team that won gold at the 2010 4 Nations Cup in Clarenville and
St. John’s, N.L. (Agosta, Apps, Bendus, Birchard, Hefford, Irwin, Jenner, Johnston, Kessler, Larocque,
Ouellette, Slusar, Spooner, Szabados, Wakefield and Wickenheiser);
nine members of Canada’s gold medal-winning team from the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. (Agosta, Apps, Hefford, Irwin, Johnston, Labonté, Ouellette, Szabados and Wickenheiser).
Defencemen Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC), Stefanie McKeough (Carlsbad Springs, Ont./University of Wisconsin, WCHA), Cassandra Poudrier (Lachenaie, Que./Dawson College, CEGEP) and Lauriane Rougeau (Beaconsfield, Que./Cornell University, ECAC), along with forward Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./McGill University, CIS), will make their debuts with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2011 4 Nations Cup.
Forward Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Boston University, HE) was invited to but is unable to attend the 2011 4 Nations Cup and Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) has been added to the roster. Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS), Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Ouellette have all been named to the leadership team for the 2011 4 Nations Cup.
“Seeing players pull on the Canadian jersey for the first time is always a special moment, while having the privilege to represent your country internationally never gets old,” said Dan Church, head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Team for the 2011 4 Nations Cup. “We’re looking forward to seeing our rookies and veterans come together on the ice this week in Sweden to defend Canada’s gold medal.”
Church (North York, Ont./York University, CIS) will be joined behind the bench at the 2011 4 Nations Cup by assistant coaches Doug Derraugh (Arnprior, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) and Danielle Goyette (St-Nazaire, Que./University of Calgary, CIS), who also served as assistants with him at the 2011 IIHF 12 Nations Invitational Tournament and 2011 National Women’s Team September Camp/Fall Festival.
The 2011 4 Nations Cup will serve as an evaluation opportunity for Canada’s National Women’s Team coaching staff and Hockey Canada scouts, led by head scout of National Women’s Team programs Melody Davidson.
Following the tournament, all players that attended Canada’s National Women’s Team September Camp/Fall Festival will continue to be monitored with their club teams throughout the 2011-12 season, in order to select those that will represent Canada at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, is on site in Sweden with Canada’s National Women’s Team. Please contact her for any interview requests at email@example.com or +447872459044.
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