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Today in Olympic History: February 22

Seven score to beat Belarus, Szabados gets shutout, and Canada wins semifinals

David Brien
February 22, 2018

2002 – CANADA 7, BELARUS 1
Steve Yzerman had a goal and two assists, Mario Lemieux added two helpers and seven different Canadians found the back of the net to lead Canada to the Olympic gold medal game with a semifinal win over Belarus.

The Europeans had earned their spot in the final four with a quarter-final victory over Sweden, considered one of the biggest upsets in international hockey history, but there would be no repeat against the Canadians.

“The night before the game, we had a team dinner and talked about (playing for gold),” says Canadian forward Ryan Smyth. “We knew we were lucky to be Olympians, but we were now one game away from getting a chance to bring back a gold medal. Obviously with our history, we knew how exciting that could be.”

Canada jumped out to an early lead when Yzerman scored at 6:05, but Belarus fought back to tie the game seven minutes later, with defenceman Ruslan Salei beating Martin Brodeur.

That would be the last puck to find its way past Brodeur, and the Canadian offence took over from there, starting with Eric Brewer’s game-winning goal at 17:25 of the opening period.

Scott Niedermayer doubled the lead early in the second period and Paul Kariya gave Canada even more breathing room before 40 minutes were complete. With the Canadians dominating Belarus, holding a 32-9 advantage in shots on goal after two, the third period was anti-climactic.

Simon Gagné, Eric Lindros and Jarome Iginla added goals in the final frame to complete the rout.

In all, seven Canadians scored goals, and 13 had at least a point – a total team effort.

“A lot of lines contributed in that game so it helped everyone settle in,” Smyth says. “Guys just seemed to find the right chemistry all through that tournament.”


1952 – Canada continued its stifling defence, allowing Sweden just nine shots on goal – the third time in five games the Canadians kept their opponents under 10 – but escape with a narrow 3-2 victory to remain unbeaten.

1960 – Fred Etcher scored 12 seconds apart in the first period, the fastest two Olympic goals ever by a Canadian, and Jack Douglas had a hat trick to help Canada hammer Germany 12-0 in its first medal round game.

1980 – John Devaney scored for Canada, but the three Stastny brothers – Anton, Marion and Peter – combined for 11 points in Czechoslovakia’s 6-1 win in the fifth-place game in Lake Placid.

1988 – Merlin Malinowski and Serge Boisvert scored goals and Sean Burke made 28 saves in Canada’s 2-2 tie with Sweden to close out the preliminary round and leave the Canadians and Swedes tied with Finland atop Group A.

2006 – Alexander Ovechkin and Alexei Kovalev scored third-period goals, and Canada was shut out for the third time in the tournament, falling 2-0 to Russia in the quarter-finals in Torino.

2010 – Canada booked its spot in the women’s Olympic gold medal game for the fourth time in as many tries, getting a goal and an assist from Meghan Agosta, two assists from Jayna Hefford and 11 saves from Shannon Szabados to beat Finland 5-0 in the semifinals.

Don Sweeney and Jim Nill.

Management group named for 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off

Don Sweeney to serve as general manager alongside associate GM Jim Nill

April 12, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced that two veteran National Hockey League (NHL) general managers will lead Canada at the inaugural NHL 4 Nations Face-Off next February.

Don Sweeney (St. Stephen, NB/Boston, NHL) will make his international management debut as general manager, working alongside associate general manager Jim Nill (Hanna, AB/Dallas, NHL), who will return to Canada’s management group for the first time since 2015.

In addition, Sweeney and Nill have been named assistant general managers of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. They will work alongside Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, ON/St. Louis, NHL), who was named general manager in March.

The management group was selected by Armstrong, who serves as management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team, player relations advisor Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, SK/Anaheim, NHL) and Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations. Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), Hockey Canada’s president and chief executive officer, and Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy, also provided input as part of the executive committee preparing for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games.

“As we continue to prepare for international competition over the next two years, I am thrilled to have Don and Jim lead Team Canada at the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off, and to welcome these two experienced general managers to our management group for the 2026 Olympics,” Armstrong said. “Both Don and Jim have enjoyed successful NHL careers and will represent the Maple Leaf with pride, and we know their experience will be a valuable asset as we build teams for two major international events in 2025 and 2026.”

Sweeney is in his ninth season (2015-24) as general manager of the Boston Bruins, winning the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award in 2018-19 and leading the team to eight-consecutive playoff appearances and two Presidents’ Trophies (2020, 2023). He also served six seasons (2009-15) as assistant general manager, three seasons as director of player development (2006-09) and two seasons (2007-09) as director of hockey operations with the Bruins. As an executive, Sweeney has helped lead the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final three times (2011, 2013, 2019), winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. He also served one season (2014-15) as general manager of the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL), and was announced as an assistant general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2022 Olympics if NHL players participated. As a player, he played in 1,115 NHL games over 16 seasons with the Bruins and Dallas Stars, appearing in the Stanley Cup Final with the Bruins in 1990, and won a gold medal with Canada at the 1997 IIHF World Championship.

Nill has served as the general manager of the Dallas Stars for the past 11 seasons (2013-24), winning GM of the Year in 2022-23 and leading the team to seven playoff appearances and the Stanley Cup Final in 2020. He also spent 19 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, serving as assistant general manager (1998-2013) and director of player development (1994-98), helping lead Detroit to the Stanley Cup Final six times (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2009), winning the Stanley Cup four times (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). Nill was also the GM of the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings for one season (1988-89), leading the team to a Calder Cup championship, and a professional scout with the Ottawa Senators for three seasons (1991-94). Internationally, he has served as director of player personnel (2003) and general manager (2004, 2015) of Canada’s National Men’s Team at the IIHF World Championship, winning gold in 2004 and 2015. As a player, Nill played 524 career NHL games, played in the Stanley Cup Final with the Vancouver Canucks in 1982, suited up for Canada’s National Men’s Team during the 1979-80 season and wore the Maple Leaf at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games.

The coaching staff and first six players for the 2025 NHL Four Nations Face-Off are expected to be announced in June, while additional announcements regarding Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team will be made at a later date.

The 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off is a new international event that will feature NHL players from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States. The event will take place in two North American cities – one in Canada and one in the United States – in February 2025 and will consist of seven games played with NHL rules.

For more information on Hockey Canada, Canada’s National Men’s Team and Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team, please visit, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Doug Armstrong.

Doug Armstrong named general manager for 2026 Olympic Winter Games

Veteran GM to serve as management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team over next two seasons; Ryan Getzlaf, Scott Salmond among executive committee members

March 15, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – Hockey Canada has announced that Doug Armstrong (Sarnia, ON/St. Louis, NHL) will serve as general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team at the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and as management group lead for Canada’s National Men’s Team, overseeing the appointment of management groups that will lead Team Canada at various events over the next two seasons.

In preparation for the 2026 Olympics, Armstrong will serve on an executive committee with Ryan Getzlaf (Regina, SK/Anaheim, NHL), who will serve as player relations advisor, Scott Salmond (Creston, BC), senior vice-president of high performance and hockey operations, Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), president and chief executive officer, and Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy.

Armstrong will oversee Team Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Championship, 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off and 2025 IIHF World Championship, appointing and working with Canadian general managers and executives to help build Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2026 Olympics. Getzlaf will work directly with Armstrong and Salmond, acting as a liaison between athletes, the executive committee and management groups for the four upcoming events, ensuring consistency between teams, athletes and staff.

“There is a wealth of experienced and successful Canadian executives throughout the NHL, and we believe Doug is the best person to lead our National Men’s Team and build our management groups from a talented pool of executives at each event leading up to and including the 2026 Olympics,” McLaughlin said. “Doug and Ryan both bring accomplished careers and many years of NHL and international experience to Hockey Canada, and Scott has been instrumental in the success of Canada’s national teams at all levels for more than 20 years.

“We know all three individuals will be invaluable pieces of our executive committee as we build teams that will make Canadians proud over the next two years. Wearing the Maple Leaf is an honour and a privilege, and our executive committee is committed to ensuring our players and staff are supported on and off the ice to achieve continued success, while upholding the character and values that Canadians expect of our organization and teams.”

Armstrong has won two Olympic gold medals as a member of the management group with Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team (2010, 2014), as well as the 2016 World Cup of Hockey championship as general manager. He was also announced as general manager of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team for the 2022 Olympics if NHL players participated. Armstrong has won gold medals at the IIHF World Championship in 2007 (special assistant), 2016 (senior advisor) and 2023 (general manager), and silver in 2008 (assistant general manager) and 2009 (general manager). He was also part of the Worlds staff in 2002 and 2013. Armstrong is in his 14th season (2010-24) as general manager of the St. Louis Blues, also serving as president of hockey operations, winning the Stanley Cup in 2019 and the NHL GM of the Year Award in 2011-12. He recently became the 11th NHL general manager to record 800 career wins, and is the second-fastest to reach 800 win milestone. Armstrong previously spent 16 years (1992-2008) with the Dallas Stars, winning the Stanley Cup as assistant general manager in 1999.

Getzlaf is set to make his international management debut after a 17-year playing career with the Anaheim Ducks (2005-22), with whom he served as captain for 12 seasons (2010-22) and won the Stanley Cup in 2007. Getzlaf appeared in 1,157 NHL games, recording 1,019 points (282 goals, 737 assists), appearing in three NHL All-Star Games (2008, 2009, 2015). Internationally, he won gold medals at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championship, 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship, and 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games, in addition to the2016 World Cup of Hockey. Getzlaf also won silver at the 2004 World Juniors and 2008 IIHF World Championship, suited up at the 2002 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and captained Team Canada at the 2012 Worlds. He is in his first season as player development coordinator with Anaheim.

Salmond was promoted to senior vice-president of hockey operations with Hockey Canada in 2018 after serving as vice-president of national teams for four years. In this position, Salmond oversees all operations for Canada’s men’s, women’s and para hockey teams. He has helped lead Canada to gold medals at two Olympic Winter Games (2010, 2014), six IIHF World Championships (2003, 2004, 2015, 2016, 2021, 2023), seven IIHF World Junior Championships (2007, 2008, 2009, 2015, 2018, 2022, 2023), two IIHF U18 World Championships (2013, 2021), one IPC World Para Hockey Championship (2017) and one Paralympic Winter Games (2006), as well as a World Cup of Hockey championship (2016) and a Spengler Cup three-peat (2015, 2016, 2017). Salmond joined Hockey Canada in 2001 and has held increasingly senior high-performance roles during his tenure with the organization.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit, or follow along via social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Hockey Canada statements on NHL participation at 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games, 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off

February 02, 2024

CALGARY, Alberta – The following are statements on behalf of Hockey Canada on the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) decision to participate in the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games, and host the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off:

“Earlier today, the NHL, NHLPA and International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) made a highly anticipated announcement that NHL players will participate in the 2026 and 2030 Olympic Winter Games, and that the NHL will host the 2025 4 Nations Face-Off. Hockey Canada recognizes this was a lengthy process that required a lot of deliberation and consideration, and we believe this decision is in the best interest of not only Team Canada, but international hockey as a whole.

“The participation of NHL players on the international stage in 2025 and at the Olympics marks a return to best-on-best competition in men’s hockey, and we know this decision will be well-received among the sporting community and hockey fans across the globe. We look forward to supporting our men’s, women’s and para hockey teams in their journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

  • Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada and co-chair of Canada’s Winter Sport Caucus 

“Representing Canada at the Olympic Winter Games is the pinnacle of sport, and the decision by the NHL and NHLPA to return to the Olympics and host the NHL 4 Nations Face-Off in 2025 is a significant announcement for our organization. We are excited to begin the process of building teams that include the best Canadian NHL players from across the country for the first time since the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and to surround those athletes with high-quality management, coaching and support staffs that will do everything they can to help our athletes achieve their goal of winning Olympic gold medals. 

“We look forward to working with our hockey operations staff to build teams for the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off, and the 2026 and 2030 Olympics, with the goal of returning to the top of the podium beginning in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.”

  • Pat McLaughlin (Saint John, NB), Hockey Canada’s chief operating officer and executive vice-president of strategy

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Canada’s National Men’s Team, please visit, or follow along through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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OIS/Joe Toth

Canada finishes fourth at 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games

Di Iorio notches record-tying goal as Canada falls to Finland in a shootout

January 31, 2024

GANGWON, South Korea Canada’s men’s hockey team has finished in fourth place at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games after falling 5-4 in a shootout to Finland in the bronze medal game Wednesday at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

Alessandro Di Iorio (Vaughan, ON/Vaughan, GTHL), Tynan Lawrence (Fredericton, NB/Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS) and Keaton Verhoeff (Fort Saskatchewan, AB/RHA Kelowna, CSSHL) scored 41 seconds apart to give Canada a 3-0 lead less than seven minutes into the first period. Di Iorio’s tally marked his tournament-leading sixth goal, tying Ryan Gropp (2012) for most goals by a Canadian in a single Youth Olympics.

Finland responded with a pair of first-period goals from Jiko Laitinen and Luka Arkko before Wilmer Kallio and Viljo Kahkonen scored in the middle frame to give the Finns a 4-3 lead.

Mathis Preston (Penticton, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL) evened the score for Canada with just over six minutes remaining in the third period, firing home a cross-crease pass from Ryan Lin (Richmond, BC/Delta Hockey Academy, CSSHL) and sending the game to a shootout.

“I am so proud of our team. We played great the entire tournament, but unfortunately there were a few unlucky bounces that did not go our way,” Di Iorio said. “Wearing the Maple Leaf is an honour, and I know our entire group will remember this experience for a long time.”

Carter Esler (Okotoks, AB/Okotoks, AEHL) was stellar in the Canadian goal, turning aside 32 shots.

“We had a good start to today’s game. We went up by three goals early, but Finland was able to bounce back and put us on our heels,” said Markus Ruck (Osoyoos, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL). “While we would have loved to go back to Canada with a medal, the Youth Olympics was an amazing experience and everything about our time in Gangwon has been great.”

Canada finished the preliminary round in first place in Group B after wins over South Korea and Finland before losing 6-5 in a shootout to the United States in the semifinals.

Since 2012, Canada has collected one silver medal (2016) and two bronze (2012, 2020) at the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s men’s hockey team at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, please visit, or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram, and by using #Gangwon2024 and #YouthOlympics.

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Markus Ruck and Liam Ruck

Bonded as brothers, together through hockey

They learned to skate together, they were drafted by the Medicine Hat Tigers together, and now identical twins Markus and Liam Ruck are wearing the Maple Leaf together at the Youth Olympics

Jonathan Yue
January 27, 2024

Markus and Liam Ruck are twins through and through. Born eight minutes apart on Feb. 21, 2008, the brothers have been inseparable on and off the ice ever since.

From playing minor hockey in the small town of Osoyoos, B.C., to rising through the ranks in the South Okanagan Minor Hockey Association, to being drafted by the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first round of the 2023 Western Hockey League (WHL) Prospects Draft, Markus and Liam have been by each other’s side, stride by stride.

The Rucks are what the medical community categorizes as mirror identical twins, which is when a pair twins possess opposite traits that mirror each other. Markus is a playmaking left-handed centre, while Liam is the goal-scoring right-handed winger. By definition, they complement each other perfectly.

“We do everything together, on and off the ice,” Liam says. “We’re competitive off the ice, always trying to beat each other, and on the ice, we push each other, want to make each other better, and make our jobs easier out there.”

“It’s been really special to have us together,” Markus adds. “It’s always a little bit easier to have my twin with me throughout my whole life.”

Now, the brothers are making their international debuts together at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, South Korea.

“We’re going to go out there and show what we can do on the international stage, as a team and as individuals and play the way we play,” says Liam.

“We’re looking forward to putting our names out there, wearing that Canadian jersey,” Markus adds. “The goal is to find success with the team and come back with the gold.”

A family affair

Markus and Liam first hit the ice when they were two years old on the family's backyard rink and then at public skates. By the time they were four, they were already making plays to each other in games. With hockey smarts to back their chemistry, their skills were quickly noticed in their hometown.

“They loved the game from a very young age,” says Jim Liebel, the twins’ coach from ages four to 12. “They were committed to hockey, from shooting in their living room to showing up to the rink. They were soft spoken, but you could tell they really wanted to be hockey players back then. The plays they made, they just knew where the other brother would be, and that connection was just so special to see.”

Their connection has been evident for as long as they’ve been lacing up their skates. In 2018, the pair were members of the B.C. Junior Canucks at The Brick Invitational in Edmonton. Liam finished with a team-leading seven goals and co-led with 10 points. Markus had four points, including two assists, both of which came on goals scored by Liam.

Skating with the U15 Prep team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, B.C., last season, Liam led the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) with 90 points (53-37—90) in 27 games, just ahead of Markus and his 87 points (22-65—87). So it was no surprise when Liam was selected ninth overall in the WHL draft by the Medicine Hat Tigers, 12 spots before the Tigers traded up to select Markus.

“We love playing together,” Markus says. “We love our give-and go-plays, our passes in between sticks and feet to create those two-on-one opportunities on the ice against the defenders, but the small community here [in Osoyoos] gives us lots of ice time and that support is always there.”

“We support each other a lot out there,” Liam adds. “Markus makes my job as a goal scorer a lot easier when he sets me up, so we definitely get a lot of good chances out there together. Our parents spend countless hours supporting us as well, and the all-around support from them and the community, it makes our lives easier to focus on hockey.”

It’s not only on the ice where the family connection is strong. Away from the rink, hockey has become an activity that has brought the Ruck family together on numerous occasions.

From the competitive mini-stick battles with their younger brother Landon, to family vacations scheduled around hockey, the sport has brought the whole family together. It’s something that the brothers’ parents, Nina and Derek, are thankful for.

“We’ve got to go all over Canada and the United States as a family,” Nina says. “We’ve had so many great memories with hockey and people sometimes ask if we even do family vacations, and I tell them ‘Of course,’ whether it’s to The Brick tournament or to Montreal for Meltdown, its some of the best memories of our lives so far together.”

The Youth Olympics will be a proud moment for family and friends, who will be cheering them on from Osoyoos.

“Kids in Osoyoos look up to them as leaders,” Liebel says, thinking about how emotional it will be to see the twins take the ice in Gangwon. “It’s a small town here and the kids see what Markus and Liam are doing on the ice and their level of commitment to hockey; they are the perfect types of people for kids in the community to look up to.”

International success runs in the family

When Markus and Liam hit the ice for Canada’s preliminary-round opener against the host Koreans on Jan. 27, it won’t be the first time a member of the Ruck family competes with the Maple Leaf on their chest. Their father played three years in the WHL with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (1998-2001) before winning the Allan Cup in 2007 as a member of the Powell River Regals, a year before the twins were born. The Regals were invited to represent Canada’s National Men’s Team at the Belarus Cup and Derek skated in three games for Canada.

And then there’s their second cousin, Taylor Ruck. She is a four-time Olympic medallist (a silver and three bronze) in the swimming pool, representing Canada at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Games, and tied a Commonwealth Games record with eight medals (one gold, five silver, two bronze) at the 2018 Games in Australia.

With all that success in the family, the twins hope to continue to represent the Ruck name with pride on the international stage.

“We’ve both dreamed of putting on that jersey,” Liam says. “A lot of Canadian kids have that dream, and to have the opportunity to do that is really exciting for us and the family."

“Ever since watching the World Juniors and the Olympics, we always dreamed to be in their positions and in their shoes,” Markus adds. “We have the opportunity now, it’s going to be unbelievable.”

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Men's hockey team named for 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games

Ryan Smith named head coach; Travis Crickard, Bruce Richardson to serve as assistants

December 21, 2023

CALGARY, Alberta - Hockey Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee have announced Canada’s men's hockey team selected to compete at the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

The Team Canada men's hockey team for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games is:

  • Goaltenders Mateo Beites (Sudbury, ON/Barrie, OMHA-U16), Colin Ellsworth (Aurora, ON/York Simcoe, OMHA-U16) and Carter Esler (Okotoks, AB/Okotoks, AEHL-U18)
  • Defencemen Cameron Chartrand (Saint-Lazare, QC/Bishop Kearney Selects, USHS), Callum Croskery (Oakville, ON/Oakville, OMHA-U16), Ryan Lin (Richmond, BC/Delta Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Zach Nyman (Toronto, ON/Vaughan, GTHL-U16), Daxon Rudolph (Lacombe, AB/Northern Alberta, CSSHL-U18) and Keaton Verhoeff (Fort Saskatchewan, AB/RHA Kelowna, CSSHL-U18)
  • Forwards Alessandro Di Iorio (Vaughan, ON/Vaughan, GTHL-U16), Beckham Edwards (London, ON/Detroit Little Caesars, US15U), Tynan Lawrence (Fredericton, NB/Shattuck-St. Mary’s, USHS), Aiden O’Donnell (Cole Harbour, NS/Dartmouth, NSU18MHL), Mathis Preston (Penticton, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Liam Ruck (Osoyoos, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Markus Ruck (Osoyoos, BC/Okanagan Hockey Academy, CSSHL-U18), Adam Valentini (Toronto, ON/Toronto Marlboros, GTHL-U16) and Braidy Wassilyn (Puslinch, ON/Markham, GTHL-U16)

“Congratulations to the tremendous athletes, coaches and staff who have been selected to represent Canada in men’s hockey at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games,” said Katherine Henderson (Thunder Bay, ON), president and chief executive officer of Hockey Canada and co-chair of Canada’s Winter Caucus of Sport. “Wearing the Maple Leaf at the Games is an incredible honour and we know fans across our country will be cheering on this group and the rest of Team Canada on as it goes for gold.”

The roster was selected by Byron Bonora (Brooks, AB), Hockey Canada’s U17 head scout, and Kurt Keats (Winnipeg, MB), manager of hockey operations. A long list of players was shared by Hockey Canada’s 13 Members in the summer, with regional scouts Pierre Cholette (Quebec), Rob Simpson (Ontario), Darren Sutherland (Atlantic) and Darrell Woodley (Ontario) also providing input.

Of the 18 players, eight are from the Ontario Hockey Federation, four are from BC Hockey, three are from Hockey Alberta, and Hockey New Brunswick, Hockey Nova Scotia and Hockey Québec are represented by one player each.

“We are thrilled to announce the 18 players from six Members who will have the unique opportunity of representing Canada for the first time at the Winter Youth Olympic Games," said Benoit Roy (Sudbury, ON), senior manager of hockey operations. "This event gives us an opportunity to introduce players to Hockey Canada while providing athletes with the chance to develop the skills and experience needed in international competition, all while competing for a gold medal and taking in an experience of a lifetime in Gangwon.”

Team Canada has participated in the men's hockey tournament at each Winter Youth Olympic Games to date, winning the bronze medal at Innsbruck 2012 and Lausanne 2020, and the silver medal at Lillehammer 2016.

Men’s hockey will take place Jan. 27-31 (Days 8-12) at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Team Canada opens the Youth Olympic tournament against host South Korea on Jan. 27 at 6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT and will play Finland on Jan. 29 at 6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT. Semifinals will be played on Jan. 30, with the medal games set for Jan. 31.

“Congratulations to the athletes named to Canada's men's hockey team,” said Lisa Weagle, Team Canada’s Gangwon 2024 chef de mission. “These young athletes are the future of Canadian hockey and represent the skill, sportsmanship and excellence that define our nation’s passion for the sport. As chef de mission for Team Canada, my message to each of the athletes is to play with heart, seize the moment and represent Canada with pride.”

The Team Canada coaches and support staff for the Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games are:

  • Head coach Ryan Smith (Headingley, MB/Spokane, WHL)
  • Assistant coach Travis Crickard (St. John’s, NL/Saint John, QMJHL)
  • Assistant coach Bruce Richardson (Montréal, QC)
  • Equipment manager AJ Murley (St. John’s, NL)
  • Athletic therapist Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown, PE)

Smith is currently in his second season (2022-23) as head coach of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League (WHL) after two seasons (2020-22) as an associate coach. He previously won a silver medal as an assistant coach with Canada Red at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won silver and bronze as an assistant with Canada West at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior A Hockey Challenge.

Crickard is in his first season as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) following one season as an assistant. He won a gold medal as video coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship and was a video coach and assistant coach with Canada Black at the 2016 and 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, respectively, winning a silver medal in 2016.

Richardson most recently served as head coach of the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada for five seasons (2018-23). He won a bronze medal with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2023 IIHF U18 World Championship, was the head coach of Canada White at the 2022 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and served as an assistant with Canada Black at the November 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Youth Olympic Games are the world’s largest multi-sport event for high-performance young athletes aged 15–18. Gangwon 2024 will run from Jan. 19-Feb. 1, and will feature 1,900 athletes. It will be the fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and the first in Asia, and will have a fully gender-balanced sporting program with seven sports, 15 disciplines and a total of 81 events.

Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all national sport organizations.

The latest Team Canada Gangwon 2024 roster can be found here, and additional press resources can be found here.

For more information on Hockey Canada and the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, please visit or follow through social media on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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Canada’s National Women’s Team celebrating after receiving Olympic gold in Beijing

Doing things “Our Way”

After two years of adversity, Canada’s National Women’s Team sits atop the hockey world, bonded more by their friendship than what they accomplished on the ice

Bernadette Larose
June 24, 2022

Resilience refers to the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

While all great teams face obstacles on route to the top, few teams can say they were able to navigate them as well as Canada’s National Women’s Team.

Through a global pandemic, event cancellations, isolations and so much more, the 2021-22 edition of Team Canada rose above time and time again, staying committed to achieving greatness “our way.”

After COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the 2019-20 season, 2021 looked to provide a sense of normalcy, with the IIHF Women’s World Championship set for April in Halifax and Truro, N.S. But less than two weeks before the puck was set to drop, the Province of Nova Scotia withdrew its support of the event, citing rising COVID-19 numbers.

“I think going into April, we were fully expecting to play, and we felt very prepared,” remembers Blayre Turnbull, a Stellarton, N.S., native and one of two Nova Scotians on the Team Canada roster. “So obviously there was a huge sense of disappointment when things got cancelled, but I think it did really bring the group even closer together. It was a piece of adversity that at the time was devastating, but in hindsight, I think it really helped bond our group, and I think it made us even more grateful for the upcoming camps and tournaments and time that we got to spend and play together.”

Staying adaptable and open-minded proved vital as the team navigated a COVID “bubble” last summer as the rescheduled women’s worlds took shape in Calgary in August. With no fans, friends or family, the team grew even closer away from the rink as their efforts on the ice started to pay off.

Sarah Fillier, who finished with three goals and three assists in her world championship debut, remembers the adjustments she had to make playing in front of an empty arena: “Being able to wear that jersey, one of the things you think about is just your parents and really close friends getting to watch you compete on that international stage.

“The team turned into a family for all of us, and we were trying to adapt to a situation that no one really ever has before, and luckily, we were an incredibly close group.”

Canada hadn’t won women’s worlds gold since 2012—the Americans had claimed the past five world titles, four with wins over the Canadians in the final. That hunger fed Team Canada, which vowed to take back the top spot from their rivals on home ice.

The team captured the hearts and minds of Canadians with their run in Calgary, going undefeated with 34 goals in seven games. The bond between teammates and excitement for the return of women’s hockey was clear as constant smiles, hugs and goal celebrations were accompanied by convincing wins – 5-1 over ROC, 5-0 over Switzerland and 5-1 over the U.S. (Canada’s biggest win over its rival since 2017).

But they saved the best for last. A back-and-forth gold medal game needed overtime after Canada erased an early two-goal deficit, and it was two of the most seasoned veterans that combined on history.

With 25 years on the national team between the two of them, Brianne Jenner and dashed down the ice in 3-on-3 overtime, Jenner connecting with Poulin like the linemates had done so many times before.

The rest is history.

That golden moment was more than a world championship win. It marked the return of hockey not just for Team Canada, but for so many Canadians who in just a few short weeks would getting back on the ice after a lost season of sorts in 2020-21.

The world title was just the beginning, though. With gold medals around their necks, celebrations lasted only a week or so as eyes turned forward toward the next goal—gold at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

“I think everybody really appreciated coming out of the pandemic and having an opportunity to compete for world championships,” says head coach Troy Ryan. “So that was huge. But then to get validated for all the little adjustments and changes that all of us had to make for each other, seeing them get rewarded for all their hard work, you knew that that commitment would remain, heading into the Olympics as well.”

On a journey with even more obstacles ahead, buy-in from the group was crucial, knowing the stress of navigating a pandemic on top of trying to make an Olympic team could break down even the most veteran teams.

“We had many Zoom calls, group texts, so many different conversations about what we thought was best for the team and how we could make the most out of our training camp and our quarantine at the hotel, and really keep girls positive and make sure that everybody knew that although we had just been through so much adversity, we were fully prepared to play and we were fully prepared to win,” Turnbull says. “And I think once we hit the ice, it was really evident that it was going to be hard to stop our team.”

The season began in September with 29 athletes centralized in Calgary. The team faced teams from the B.C. Hockey League and Alberta Junior Hockey League, took to the ice for Rivalry Series matchups against the United States and travelled abroad for a three-game series against Finland as part of their Olympic preparations.

“As a team, we traveled so much, which is super taxing on the body,” says Turnbull, who missed the early part of the season after breaking her ankle in the dog pile following Poulin’s overtime winner at worlds. “We went from Calgary to Finland, to Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa. We were away for so much of the season.”

And with that travel came the increased risk of COVID-19, the team navigating close encounters on top of the stressors of cuts to the centralization roster as the Beijing Games approached.

Much of the credit, according to Poulin, goes to director of hockey operations Gina Kingsbury and team physician Dr. Tina Atkinson, who handled the pandemic logistics while the team focused on the ice. “I don’t know how much they slept in the past year, to be honest,” Poulin says with a smile. “Gina and Doc were super amazing to work with. They told us what was happening and [were always] on top of things. This group was really adaptable and very resilient.”

The pandemic threw yet another wrench into their season just over a month before the team was due to depart for Beijing, cutting short a late-December road trip in the U.S. and forcing the cancellation of the final leg of the Rivalry Series just as the final Olympic team was to be named.

“After Christmas, it was probably the most stressful time of the year after the team was picked,” Turnbull recounts. “And we were training in Calgary in January with the goal of making it to China as a team but understanding how difficult it was going to be over the next three, four weeks.”

After a few more weeks of isolated training in Calgary, sometimes practicing in masks (as would prove handy in their Olympic showing against ROC), the 23 Olympians set off for Beijing—10 for their first Olympic Games ever—on a mission to be golden once again.

And just like they were in Calgary, Canada was historically good in Beijing.

The Canadians went undefeated again, with Team Canada first-timer Claire Thompson setting a new Olympic record for most points by a defenceman and Sarah Nurse breaking the records for most assists and most points in one Games.

“One of the coolest things that surfaced through [the Olympics] was we didn't know where we would get goals from, we just knew we would get some,” reflects Ryan—who served as an assistant coach when Canada settled for silver at the 2018 Olympics. “Same thing defensively. It wasn't just [Jocelyne] Larocque and [Renata] Fast that did the job, there were other people that stood up.

“There were people breaking individual records at the Olympics. It was almost like they weren't even aware. They didn't get caught up in it. It was like a knuckle tap and a smirk and away you go. To me, that was cool.”

And as the hockey gods would have it, the Canadians would have to go through their storied rivals once again with gold on the line.

Nurse and Poulin scored in the first period, Poulin added another midway through the second and not even a late-game push by the Americans could overpower Team Canada—it was Olympic gold for the fifth time in six Games with Poulin netting the game-winner, making her the only player ever—man or woman—to score in four consecutive Olympic finals.

“I was counting down on the bench, and I remember when we hopped off at the end of the game, I just immediately started crying,” Fillier recalls. “I just remember being speechless, for at least 24 hours, about how I just had this gold medal in my hands.”

The explosion of tears and hugs commemorated more than just another Olympic victory, they were celebrations of every past struggle and challenge, the team’s commitment paying off at last.

“This is the best hockey team that I've ever been a part of,” says Turnbull. “And I'm not including any of the records we set at the Olympics. That's just because of the people in the locker room and the teammates that I got to share so many memories with.”

Through staffing changes, new rosters, cancellations and pandemics, the 2021-22 edition of Canada’s National Women’s Team persevered through the most trying of times, winning hockey’s biggest prizes and doing it their way.

“We started with ‘Our Way’ and we stuck with it all the way to the end,” says Poulin. “We stuck together. The coaching staff, the GM, they had our plan, and for us, we're just following it. Following along and doing our best. Being resilient, buying in and having fun after it all.”

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Women's Olympic Recap: Canada 3, United States 2

Poulin scored twice and Nurse set a pair of Olympic records and Canada won its fifth women's hockey gold medal

February 17, 2022


BEIJING, China – Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team is atop the podium at the Olympic Winter Games for the fifth time, edging the United States 3-2 in the gold medal game on Thursday (Wednesday night in Canada).

• Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) scored a pair of goals, including her third career Olympic gold medal-winning goal, and added an assist. Her three points moved her out of a tie with Meghan Agosta and into sole possession of fifth place in all-time Team Canada scoring (84-95—179).
• Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) had a goal and an assist. She finished with 13 assists and 18 points, the most ever in a women’s Olympic tournament.
• Claire Thompson (Toronto, Ont.) and Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.) recorded an assist apiece.
• Thompson finished with 13 points (2-11—13), the most ever by a defenceman in a women’s Olympic tournament, and was a tournament-leading +23.
• Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) made 38 saves. She combined for 89 stops in the two wins over the United States in the tournament.
The United States outshot Canada 40-21.
Jenner was named Most Valuable Player. She was joined by Nurse, Poulin and Thompson on the Media All-Star Team.

“I am so proud of the work everyone has put in. A lot of times people just see the finished product, they see the gold medal and everyone getting to celebrate. What they might not see is the ups and downs that happen in a season. Seeing [our athletes] celebrate gave me a chance to reflect on everything that has been thrown at them and what has happened this year. It has been impressive to watch, and all along I had the sense that good things were happening. All I wanted was for us to finish the way we wanted to and for our girls to get what they deserved. When it was all over, there was a bit of a sense of relief, but so much pride.”
- Head coach Troy Ryan (Spryfield, N.S.) on taking in the celebration

“The work that has been put in by this group behind closed doors has been unbelievable. It is really hard to put into words, but this [gold medal] is really special. There has been a lot of hard work from the staff and players, and there is no better feeling than this. We were all united as one team, and it is easy to say that the players did the work, but to be honest our coaching staff and general manger have done everything they can to set us up for success. Everyone on our team was able to step up and buy in, and we were all rewarded today. I have so much pride in this team.”
- Poulin on the work put in to earn a gold medal

“The Canada and United States rivalry is special, and they always force us to play our best game. We have a lot of great battles against them, and we all have a lot of respect for the players on [the United States]. Canada is a great hockey nation, and hopefully we have been able to inspire people back home and given Canadians a reason to celebrate.”
- Jenner on the Canada-U.S. rivalry

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team, please visit, or follow through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Men's Olympic Recap: Sweden 2, Canada 0

Tomkins finished with 24 saves, but Canada saw its run in Beijing come to an end in the quarterfinals

February 16, 2022


BEIJING, China – Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team has been eliminated from the 2022 Olympic Winter Games after falling to Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

• Matt Tomkins (Sherwood Park, Alta./ Frölunda HC, SHL) made 24 saves.
• Mark Barberio (Montréal/Ak Bars Kazan, KHL) led all Canadian skaters with five shots on goal. Maxim Noreau (Montréal/ZSC Lions, NL) and Adam Tambellini (Edmonton, Alta./ Rögle BK, SHL) had three shots apiece.
• Owen Power (Mississauga, Ont./University of Michigan, Big Ten) led all skaters in ice-time with 24:54.
Sweden outshot Canada 26-22.


“There was a lot of adversity, but every team had to go through that. At the end of the day, our group was pretty resilient. They never got rattled or frustrated, they just rolled with the punches. We came [to Beijing] with a great group of players that combined youth and veterans, and everyone seemed to come together so quickly. As a coach, I just wish our team would have been rewarded with something better than what we are left with.”
- Head coach Claude Julien (Orleans, Ont.) on being eliminated

“Consistency is always one of those things that you strive for in a tournament like this. We had some moments in all our games that were better than others, and maybe at times we didn’t have the amount of consistency that we would have liked. Our team competed hard and there were a lot of moments where we were really solid. Tonight was just one of those games where we knew that one or two plays could make the difference, and we had chances that we came close to capitalizing on. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.”
- Captain Eric Staal (Thunder Bay, Ont./Iowa, AHL) on finding consistency

“When you have a chance to play together more often, you get familiar with your teammates, you know who you are going to play with and who is going to be on the power play. We know how hard it is to come together quickly and find success, especially at a tournament like this. Our guys did a really good job, and we became such a tight-knit group over a short period of time. We had a great group with veteran leadership and young talent, but we just needed to get inside [Sweden’s] defenders more and create some more traffic around the net.”
- Noreau on establishing chemistry

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team, please visit, or follow through social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Game-worn Olympic hockey jersey auction now open

Support grassroots hockey and bid on game-worn jerseys from Beijing 2022 until Feb. 21

February 16, 2022

BEIJING, China – Hockey fans across the world can own a piece of Hockey Canada history and bid on game-worn jerseys from Canada’s women’s and men’s Olympic hockey teams.

Bidding will remain open until Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT at

Proceeds from the online auction benefit the Hockey Canada Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Foundation and will be invested in programs to grow the game at the grassroots level in Canadian communities.

As Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team prepares for tonight’s gold medal game, fans can join the excitement of the Games and bid on game-worn jerseys from captain Marie-Philip Poulin, tournament scoring leader Sarah Nurse, first-time Olympian Sarah Fillier and the rest of Team Canada.

The online auction for Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team is also open, with game-worn jerseys available of captain Eric Staal, No. 1 NHL draft pick Owen Power, Kent Johnson and the other 22 members of the Canadian roster.

“All month, hockey fans from coast to coast to coast have been cheering on Canada’s men’s and women’s teams at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games as they proudly represent our country,” said Donna Iampieri, executive director of the Hockey Canada Foundation. “Now, they can own a piece of hockey history and support the development of grassroots hockey across Canada.

“Proceeds from the online auction will help establish a legacy for our Olympic hockey teams that goes well beyond the Games and inspires the next generation of hockey players to chase their Olympic dreams.”

Through the auction, hockey fans have already raised over $35,000 for grassroots hockey.

For more information on the Hockey Canada Foundation, please visit

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For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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Calgary Canucks (AJHL) vs. Melfort Mustangs (SJHL)| Centennial Cup
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10