TORONTO, Ont. – Thirty-six of the country’s top women’s players will attend Canada’s National Women’s Team selection camp, beginning Saturday at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, to battle for one of 21 spots on Canada’s roster for the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship, April 16-25 in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland.
Players have been divided into two teams – Red and White – and will play three intrasquad games in addition to daily practices. All practices and games at the National Women’s Team selection camp are free of charge and are open to public.
Canada’s National Women’s Team selection camp roster includes four goaltenders, 12 defencemen and 20 forwards. Of the 36 players invited, 21 helped Canada win gold at the 2010 4 Nations Cup last November in St. John’s, N.L., 16 were part of the roster that won the gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., and 15 players played at the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Hämeenlinna, Finland, winning a silver medal.
Canada’s roster for the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship will be announced April 6. Once the final roster is chosen, Canada’s National Women’s Team will hold a camp from April 6-9 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, including two exhibition games against the United States at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, before the team departs from Europe.
Canada will attempt to win its 10th gold medal all-time at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship, having previously won gold in 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 20. Canada’s National Women’s Team has appeared in every gold medal game since the first IIHF World Women’s Championship in Ottawa, Ont., in 1990, winning silver in 2005, 20, in addition to its nine gold medals.
Canada opens the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship on April 16 against Switzerland, and will also face Kazakhstan and Finland in preliminary round play. The 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship includes two groups of four teams, with the top three teams from each group advancing to the medal round, which starts on April 23.