VANCOUVER - Hockey Canada and Canada's National Women's Hockey Team Head Coach Melody Davidson has announced Canada's Women’s Hockey roster for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
Canada’s 21 player women’s hockey roster consists of 12 forwards, six defence and three goalies. The official Olympic roster will be 20 players (Canada will bring one extra goalie to Turin in case of injury). The coaching staff also named defenseman Delaney Collins as an alternate, who will train with the team up until they depart for Turin. Canada began the season on August 1st with 27 players who were centralized full time in Calgary, AB
Canada's 21 player roster includes 13 players that won a gold medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, UT and seven that won a silver medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. Combined, 16 players have won 61 World Championship gold medals. Two players have no Olympic or World Championship experience.
"The selection process has been very difficult for our coaching staff which speaks volumes about the talent and depth we have in this country for elite level female players," said Canada’s Head Coach, Melody Davidson. "We are extremely excited to send such a quality group of people to represent Canada at the Olympics and we will now focus on our last month of preparation."
The 2006 Olympic Winter Games will mark the 3rd time that women's hockey is featured at the Winter Olympics. In women's hockey's Olympic debut in 1998, Canada captured a silver medal in Nagano, Japan, and then captured gold at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, UT. Canada has won eight of nine IIHF World Women's Hockey Championships (gold in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004) and finished with a silver medal at the 2005 IIHF World Women’s Championship.
Canada's National Women's Team will take a holiday break from December 22-27th, and will then be playing a number of games over the next month and will continue to train in Calgary leading to their departure on January 29th for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
Canada's National Women's Team's next series of games are against the number two ranked team in the world, the United States of America. Canada will play against the USA in St. Paul, MN at the Xcel Energy Centre on December 30 and then in Winnipeg, MB at the MTS Centre on January 1 at 2:30pm (CT). This game in Winnipeg will mark the last international game for Team Canada prior to the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.
Canada will open up the 2006 Olympic Winter Games when they face Italy on Saturday, February 11 at 14:30 ET.