STOCKHOLM, Sweden – The puck is ready to drop on the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Stockholm, with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team set to play its opening game against Switzerland at 9 a.m. ET on Saturday, January 1. The tournament culminates with the gold medal game at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 8.
Although the tournament will not be broadcast on television or radio, the Swedish Ice Hockey Association will be webcasting the quarter-final, semi-final and medal round games at www.swehockey.se.
On Thursday, Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team defeated AIK, one of the top eight Bantam teams in Sweden, 4-2 in exhibition action. Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont.) scored twice, both in the second period, while Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont.) and Cydney Roesler (Stittsville, Ont.) also contributed goals in the pre-world championship win.
The roster for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team was finalized following a selection camp held December 17-19 at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ont., featuring 31 of the top young female hockey players from across the country.
The 20 players chosen to represent Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship include two goaltenders, six defencemen and 12 forwards. Sarah Edney (Mississauga, Ont.) will serve as captain of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, while Emily Fulton (Stratford, Ont.) and Sarah MacDonnell (Quispamsis, N.B.) will act as alternate captains for this year’s world championship.
Head coach Sarah Hodges (Regina, Sask.), assistant coaches France Montour (St. Albert, Alta.) and Cassandra Turner (Campbellford, Ont.), along with Hockey Canada’s head scout of women’s national team programs Melody Davidson (Oyen, Alta.), selected the roster based on a series of practices and intrasquad Red-White games that took place during the three-day camp, as well as by following player performances with their club teams during the season.
Defenceman Ambrose and forward Fulton return to the roster after helping Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team win its first-ever gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship by beating the United States 5-4 in overtime in Chicago, Ill., last April. The United States won the first two women’s U18 gold medals, in 20.
Canada also plays Finland at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 2 and Germany at 12:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 4 in preliminary round action. Relegation, quarter-finals and semifinals take place Wednesday, January 5 and Friday, January 7, with the medal games set for Saturday, January 8.
Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, is on site in Stockholm for the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship. She will be handling all interview requests and can be reached by phone at +447924229507 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.