BURLINGTON, Vt.– Hockey Canada announced Friday that Hayley Wickenheiser (Shaunavon, Sask./University of Calgary, CIS) has been named captain of Canada’s National Women’s Team, while Jayna Hefford (Kingston, Ont./Brampton, CWHL) and Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que./Montreal, CWHL) will serve as alternate captains, for the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship, which starts Saturday, April 7 and runs through Saturday, April 14 in Burlington.
This year marks Wickenheiser’s fifth consecutive world championship as captain. Wickenheiser, Canada’s all-time leading scorer, led the University of Calgary to its first-ever CIS national championship this season, and is also currently serving as the athlete ambassador coordinator for the IIHF’s Ambassador and Mentor Program (AMP) to help grow the female game around the world.
“We are proud to have Hayley, Jayna and Caroline lead our team, and know they take the letters they wear on their jerseys seriously,” said Canada’s National Women’s Team head coach Dan Church. “They will serve as strong mentors to our younger players, and their breadth of experience will be pivotal on our road to success at this year’s world championship."
The puck drops on Canada’s opening game against the United States tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET. TSN and RDS, Hockey Canada’s official broadcasters, will air all of Canada’s games, including tomorrow night’s game and its other preliminary, against Finland at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 8 and Russia at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 10. The semifinals are scheduled for Friday, April 13 and medal games take place Saturday, April 14. Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.
In pre-world championship action, Canada held several practices and exhibition games at a selection camp in Ottawa, Ont., which kicked off March 26 and concluded March 31 with a 1-0 win over the United States. Following selection of the final roster April 1, Canada’s National Women’s Team travelled to Jay Peak, Vt., to continue both on- and off-ice training, capping off the week with an 8-0 pre-tournament win over Sweden on Thursday, April 5.
Canada’s National Women’s’ Team includes 16 returnees from the Canadian contingent that claimed silver at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winterthur and Zurich, Switzerland, last April and 13 players who won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. The 23-player roster is comprised of three goaltenders, seven defencemen and 13 forwards.
Canada’s National Women’s Team was selected by Church (Toronto, Ont./York University, CIS), assistant coaches Doug Derraugh (Arnprior, Ont./Cornell University, ECAC) and Danielle Goyette (St-Nazaire, Que./University of Calgary, CIS), along with Hockey Canada’s head scout of national women’s team programs Melody Davidson.
The 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship is the 14th since the tournament’s 1990 inception. Canada’s National Women’s Team has appeared in every world championship gold medal game, winning nine gold medals (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 20) and four silver (2005, 2008, 20).
NOTE TO MEDIA: Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, will be on site with Canada’s National Women’s Team in Burlington. Please contact her for interview requests at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 826-4819.
To stay up-to-date on Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship this April in Burlington, please follow Team Canada at www.Twitter.com/HC_TeamCanada, become a fan of Hockey Canada at www.Facebook.com/HockeyCanada and visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/NWT.