CALGARY, AB -- Forty-one players, including 18 Olympians, will take part in the week-long National Women's Hockey Team evaluation camp at Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal from Oct. 5-12, the Canadian Hockey Association announced Wednesday.
Head coach Danièle Sauvageau, along with assistants Ken Dufton and Karen Hughes, will put the players through eight days of practice sessions, including four intra-squad games, as the first stage toward assembling a 20-player roster for the 1999 Women's World Hockey Championship. The World Championship will be held in Espoo, Finland from March 8-14.
Canada will also participate in the 3-Nations Tournament in Finland from Dec. 8-17, competing against the United States and Finland. It is hoped that the three national teams will face-off again in a similar tournament in Canada from January 9-17. CHA officials are working to put plans for such a tournament in place.
Canada, USA and Finland, which have finished in that order at all four Women's World Hockey Championship tournaments held so far, will be expected to lead the way again at the eight-team tournament in Finland in March.
The roster of invitees to the Montreal camp includes 16 Ontario-based players, 10 from Quebec, four each from New Brunswick and Manitoba, three each from Saskatchewan and Alberta and one from British Columbia. Five goalies, 13 defenders and 23 forwards will participate in the camp.
Neither Stacy Wilson, of Salisbury, NB nor Laura Schuler of Scarborough, ON, both members of the 1998 silver medal-winning Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team, will attend the camp. Wilson, a four-time World Champion, has retired from hockey, while Schuler, a three-time World Champion, is still recovering from off-season knee surgery.
Two other invitees won't be participating, either. Luce Letendre, a member of Canada's 1997 World Championship team has retired. And Carol Scheibel is recovering from an injury. Both players were among the 28 invited to Calgary in September 1997 to compete for a spot on the Olympic team.
Four-time World Champion France St-Louis, who will turn 40 on Oct. 17, will be back for another shot at making the National Team so she can try to win a fifth straight title. Gillian Ferrari of Thornhill, ON and Kobi Kawamoto of Surrey, BC, both 18-year-old defenders, are the youngest players invited to the camp.