RAVENSBURG, GERMANY – Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team is in Germany, set to defend its title at the 2009 MLP Cup (formerly the Air Canada Cup), which begins Friday in Ravensburg. Canada is the six-time defending champion at the MLP Cup, having won every year since the tournament’s inception in 2003, losing only once in 20 games.
Canada will take to the ice on Friday against Finland, and will face Russia in the preliminary round finale on Sunday, January 4. Semifinals will take place on Monday, January 5, with the bronze medal and gold medal games set for Tuesday, January 6.
Canada’s roster includes 21 of the 22 players who dressed for Canada in a three-game series against the United States’ Women’s Under-22 Select Team in Pierrefonds, QC in August. Canada won the final two games of the series after losing the opener in a shootout.
“We have had a terrific time in Switzerland preparing for the tournament and we are very excited for play to begin,” said Sarah Howald, the head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team. “We have really come together as a team, and the players are ready to represent their country.”
Canada’s roster includes 11 players who won gold at the 2008 Air Canada Cup (Agosta, Birchard, Blais, Fridfinnson, Irwin, Johnston, Larocque, Smith, Thibault, Wakefield, Ward) and four players who won silver with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship (Bram, Haverstock, Rougeau, Spooner). In addition, six players (Agosta, Johnston, Larocque, Spooner, Wakefield, Ward) won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2008 4 Nations Cup in Lake Placid, NY in early November.
Canada will play in Group A with Finland and Russia, while Germany, Sweden and Switzerland will make up Pool B.