OTTAWA -- Canada's Women's Olympic Hockey Team will play Finland, the third-ranked team in women's hockey, at the Nepean Sportsplex on Monday, Dec. 15 during the second 3 Nations' Cup tournament, Canadian Hockey announced Wednesday.
The 3 Nations' Cup, which also features the United States, is the last major tournament the Canadian women will compete in as they prepare for the first-ever women's hockey tournament at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan next February. Canada is the defending 3 Nations' Cup champion, having won the inaugural event last November in Ottawa.
Canada and Finland have been strong rivals since the first IIHF-sanctioned Women's World Hockey Championship was held in Ottawa in 1990. Canada beat the Finns in the tournament semifinal that year, and the two teams have met in every semifinal at the Women's World Championship since.
Since assembling in Calgary at the Royal Bank Canadian Hockey Centre's Father David Bauer Arena, Team Canada has fashioned a 13-2 won-lost record, including three victories over the Finns during a tri-country tournament in Finland from Nov. 12-20. Canada's only two losses have come against the United States. Canada will play a 27-game pre-Olympic schedule before departing for Japan in late January for the Winter Games, which open Feb. 7. Canada's first game is against Team Japan on February 8.
Head coach Shannon Miller of Melfort, SK, invited 28 players to the club's five-and-a-half month training camp and has pared the roster down to 24 players. Miller will release four more players on Monday, Dec. 8 and Canadian Hockey will announce the final 20-player roster at a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
"This game will truly be a sneak preview of the Women's Olympic hockey tournament," said Rob Alexander, chairman of the host committee for the round-robin tournament game at the Sportsplex. "It's a great opportunity not only to see the best female hockey in the world, but to cheer on the Canadian team."
Tickets for the game are $7 general admission and are available at Lacroix Sports Stores in Nepean, Ottawa and Orleans. Game time is 7 p.m. on Dec. 15.