CALGARY, ALTA. -- The National Women's hockey team closed its January selection camp on the weekend and trimmed its roster to 21 players, one more than the limit of 20 for the Women's World Hockey Championship in Kitchener, Ont., from March 31-April 6, Canadian Hockey announced.
The 21 player roster includes three goalies: two-time gold medalist Manon Rheaume of Lac Beauport, Que., Lesley Reddon of Mississauga, Ont. And Danielle Dubé of Vancouver, B.C. Head coach Shannon Miller will cut one of the goalies following a pre-tournament camp in Barrie, Ont., from March 20-30.
Among the 21 players on the roster, there are 15 who have helped Canada win at least one Women's World Hockey Championship, and 30 gold medals in all. Canada has won three straight Women's World Hockey Championships and the 1997 club includes five players who have played on all those teams: defencemen Geraldine Heaney of Toronto and Judy Diduck of Edmonton, and forwards Angela James of Thornhill, Ont., France St. Louis of Montreal and Stacey Wilson of Moncton, N.B.
The club also includes double gold medalists Nancy Drolet of Drummondville, Que., Danielle Goyette of St-Nazaire, Que., Laura Schuler of Scarborough, Ont., as well as Rhéaume. Therèse Brisson of Fredericton, N.B., Cassie Campbell of Brampton, Ont., Vicki Sunohara of Scarborough, Hayley Wickenheiser of Calgary and Lesley Reddon of Mississauga, Ont., all have helped Canada win one Women's World Hockey Championship.
The club includes one player -- Jayna Hefford of Kingston, Ont. -- who was attending her first selection camp in the women's national team program. Hefford, 19, is in first year at the University of Toronto and a regular with the Blues. She was a standout for Team Ontario at the 1995 Canada Winter Games, and played in the Under-18 series against the U.S.A.
Head coach Miller said the camp, held in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., about 40 kilometres east of Montréal, was somewhat different from what the team experienced in winning the 3 Nations Cup tournament, held last October in the Ottawa region
'At this camp, the players weren't competing against one another (for a roster spot), so much as they were working with each other and developing together,' Miller said. 'They arrived with hunger in their eyes -- 'teach me, and let's go to the next level.'
The next level is the World Championships, where Canada will once again face tough competition from the ever-improving Americans and Finland, in particular. The eight-team tournament also includes Sweden, Russia, China, Switzerland and Norway, with the top five advancing to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. As host club, the Japanese already have a berth in the Olympic tournament.
Canada's Olympic roster probably will be very similar to the World Championship team. The National Women's team will assemble in Calgary in September at the Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Centre to begin a six-month training period leading up to Nagano, the first Olympics ever to include women's hockey on its program.
The pathway to Nagano proceeds through Kitchener, though, and Miller believes the club laid a strong team-building foundation at the St-Jean camp.
'I am very, very proud of the women in our program,' Miller said. 'I think every time we are asked to meet a challenge, we face down adversity and step up to the next level.
'We have an unbelievable group of players and an remarkable program. We are fortunate to have some extraordinary athletes on our team. France St. Louis is 38 and has won three world championships and when she learned she had made the team, she wept.
'These women take nothing for granted.'
CANADA'S 1997 NATIONAL WOMEN'S TEAMPlayers Birthdate Residence Ht. Wt. Pos. Shot
Dube, Danielle 10/3/76 Vancouver, B.C. 5'7 161 G/G L/G
Reddon, Leslie 15/11/70 Fredericton, N.B. 5'6 123 G/G L/G
Rhéaume, Manon 24/2/72 Lac Beauport, Qué. 5'7 136 G/G L/G
Defence / Défence (6)
Brisson, Therèse 5/10/66 Frederiction, N.B. 5'6 154 D/D R/D
Campbell, Cassie 22/11/73 Brampton, Ont. 5'7 134 D/D L/G
Diduck, Judy 21/4/66 Sherwood Park, AB 5'5 136 D/D L/G
Fahey, Rebecca 31/1/75 Sackville, N.B. 5'6 125 D/D L/G
Heaney, Geraldine 1/10/67 Weston, Ont. 5'8 130 D/D R/D
Smith, Fiona 31/10/73 Edmonton, Alta. 5'8 143 D/D L/G
Forwards / Avants (12)
Drolet, Nancy 2/8/73 Drummondville, Qué.5'7 141 C/C L/G
Dupuis, Lori 14/11/72 Williamstown, Ont. 5'7 134 C/C L/G
Goyette, Danielle 30/1/66 St. Nazaire, Qué. 5'3 123 LW/AG L/G
Hefford, Jayna 14/05/77 Kingston, Ont. 5'5' 135 C/C L/G
James, Angela 22/12/64 Thornhill, Ont. 5'5 147 C/C R/D
Letendre, Luce 19/4/71 Brossard, Qué. 5'5 150 LW/AG L/G
Nystrom, Karen 17/6/69 Scarborough, Ont. 5'5 130 RW/AD R/D
Schuler, Laura 3/12/70 Scarborough, Ont. 5'3 121 RW/AD L/G
St. Louis, France 17/10/58 St. Hubert, Qué. 5'7 156 C/C L/G
Sunohara, Vicki 18/05/70 Scarborough, Ont. 5'7' 127 C\C L/G
Wickenheiser, H. 8/12/78 Calgary, Alta. 5'8 163 C/C R/D
Wilson, Stacey 12/5/65 Moncton, N.B. 5'5 128 C/C L/G
Coaches / Les Entraîneurs
Shannon Miller - Calgary, Alta.
Danièle Sauvageau - St-Eustache, Qué.
Ray Bennett, Red Deer, Alta.