CALGARY, AB -- Canada's Women's Olympic Team has recalled forward Luce Letendre to fill in for Laura Schuler, who suffered a knee injury in Canada's 2-1 victory over Team USA on Jan. 16 in Vancouver during NHL All-Star Weekend, head coach Shannon Miller announced Sunday.
Schuler, 27, of Scarborough, ON, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee but is expected to be ready to compete for Canada at the first-ever Women's Hockey Tournament at the Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan from Feb. 8 - 17. She has been fitted for a knee brace, which she will wear during competition.
Schuler will not play, however, in Canada's final two pre-Olympic games against Team USA: neither on Monday night at the Saddledome in Calgary; nor on Wednesday night in Colorado Springs. The games are the official send-off games for the top two teams in female hockey.
Team Canada departs for Japan from Vancouver on Jan. 30, flying to Osaka, where they will spend three days, before proceeding to Nagano. The team will play a final pre-Olympic exhibition game against Sweden on Feb. 4 and opens the Olympic tournament on Feb. 8 against the host team, Japan.
Replacing Schuler for both the Calgary and Colorado Springs games will be Letendre, 27, of Brossard, QC, who was among the final roster cuts Miller made on Dec. 8 as the head coach trimmed the roster to the 18 skaters and two goaltenders who will travel to Japan on Jan. 30. Both Letendre and Schuler were members of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the Women's World Championship in Kitchener, ON. Schuler is a three- time World Champion, having also competed for Canada in 19.
Miller said Schuler may fly to Nagano with the rest of the team, or may remain in Calgary for treatment for a few days, and join the team in Japan. The coach said a decision on whether Schuler will be fit to compete in Nagano must be made no later than Feb. 4. If Schuler's injury prevents her from competing, her place on the roster would be filled by Letendre.
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