CALGARY, AB - Canada's National Women's Under-22 hockey team has arrived in Germany and is preparing for its first game at the European Air Canada Cup women's international competition, being held in Salzgitter and Hannover, Germany from February 6-8, 2003.
Canada's roster is comprised of 22 of the best under-22 aged female hockey players in Canada which will face teams from Germany, Finland and Switzerland.
Goaltender Charline Labonté (Boisbriand, QC ), defenceman Cathy Chartrand (Lac Nominingue, QC) and forwards Gina Kingsbury (Rouyn-Noranda, QC) and Lara Perks (Trenton, ON) will all play for Canada after playing with Canada's National Women's Team at the 2002 4 Nations Cup in Kitchener, ON. Under-22 veterans Dana Pretty (Richmond, BC) and Carla MacLeod (Calgary, AB) will also help bolster Canada's lineup.
"This is an exciting development opportunity for our players and I know that they will all make the best of it," said Julie Healy, Director of Female Hockey for the CHA.
Niagara (NY) University Purple Eagles (College Hockey Association) Head Coach Margot Page, will lead Canada behind the bench as Head Coach at this year's event. Page will be assisted by Terry Matheson (University of Manitoba Bisons) and Laura Solberg (Team Saskatchewan).
"Our team has a good mixture of leadership and experience, with 18 of our 22 players having previous under-22 experience," said Page. "Leadership is crucial when you are away from home and playing at an elite competition."
Canada's Under-22 women's team has won gold at three previous Under-22 events such as this: In November 2000, Canada won gold at the Under-22 3 Nations Cup in Zuchwil, Switzerland, then in February 2000, Canada won gold at the Under-22 4 Nations Cup in Fussen, Germany and in December 1998, Canada won gold at the Under-22 Christmas Cup in Unna, Germany.
Canada's schedule in Germany is as follows:
DATE OPPONENT TIME (EST) LOCATION
Germany 1:00pm Salzgitter, Germany (Exhibition)
Finland 10:00am Salzgitter, Germany
Switzerland 1:00pm Hannover, Germany
Germany 1:00pm Hannover, Germany