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Growing up Team Canada

Canada’s “super six” lead the way from U18 world championship to Olympics

Kristen Lipscombe
|
February 20, 2014

They may be among the youngest Olympians on Canada’s National Women’s Team, but they’re no rookies.

In fact, these six players, who combine for an average age of just 22.7 years old, are already groundbreakers in the female game.

Blue-liners Laura Fortino, Lauriane Rougeau and Tara Watchorn, along with forwards Brianne Jenner, Marie-Philip Poulin and Natalie Spooner all made the cut for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team during the team’s inaugural season in 2007-08.

And before being centralized in Calgary, Alta., for the full season leading up to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, all six had already experienced training and skating out of Hockey Canada’s home arena – at the first-ever IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship held six years ago.

“I just remember having chills,” Jenner, 22, said of pulling on her Team Canada jersey for that very first time. “You dream about it when you’re a kid.”

Really though, then 16-year-old Jenner was still a kid when she took to the ice with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, first for a three-game series against the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team that took place in Ottawa, Ont., in August 2007, and then in the new year at the 2008 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship, which was hosted at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena and Norma Bush Arena in Calgary, the long-time headquarters for Hockey Canada.

“It was great to have the first-ever U18 worlds on home soil, and we had a lot of fans at every one of our games,” she recalled. “That was my first chance to play in front of lots of people.”

Jenner went on to captain Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the next summer’s three-game series in Lake Placid, N.Y., and the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Füssen, Germany.

Since then, she has been a constant in Canada’s National Women’s Program, becoming one of the youngest players centralized in Calgary leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., travelling overseas with Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team, playing in five 4 Nations Cup tournaments and joining Canada’s National Women’s Team at two different world championships.

That includes winning the gold medal with Canada at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Burlington, Vt., where she played the sport she loves at the highest possible level, just four years after first wearing that maple leaf.

“We have the same extensive testing in the U18 program, and summer training schedules as the senior program, so it gives you a taste of what’s expected,” Jenner said of how working her way through the Team Canada system prepared her for the world’s biggest sporting stage at Sochi 2014.

“You get experience at international tournaments,” she said, “and you’re also prepped on what it takes off-ice.”

The teammates Jenner has climbed Canada’s National Women’s Program ladder alongside agree completely.

“When you play at those levels, you’re playing with the best girls at that age, and no matter what, you have to bring your best,” Fortino, 23, said of competing with both Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team and Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team, now referred to as Canada’s National Women’s Development Team. “It helps you, in every way, come out of your comfort zone.”

Fortino also played at those first two under-18 world championships, claiming silver at both, as well as at the two most recent senior world championships, earning gold in Burlington and silver at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Ottawa, Ont.

“It has helped me mature and learn a lot about myself, as a person and a player,” she said, adding, “I’m fortunate to have had great teammates.”

That includes Spooner, also 23, who had five world championships behind her before heading to this year’s Olympics, additionally claiming silver at the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship in Winterthur and Zurich, Switzerland.

Like five of her fellow Olympic first-timers, Spooner’s Sochi journey started with wearing the red and white on Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team.

“It was really cool to be on the first-ever U18 team,” she said. “It made me realize, like, ‘Wow, I can actually do this, and I can actually make the U22 team or the senior team, and go to the Olympics.’ ”

“It kind of makes your dream a bit more reachable, I think, knowing that there’s a path to get there.”

So how do little girls with big dreams follow in the footsteps of Canada’s youngest true veterans, the original “super six” to take the road from Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team to the Olympic Winter Games?

“If you want to make … and stay on this team, you have to always be developing,” Jenner said. “When you’re a young kid coming in, just take in all you can, learn from the coaches, learn from the veteran players, and remember that there’s always a goal to work towards.”

“Just go out there and try your best,” Spooner added. “Just keep playing hard and do everything they ask, and in the end, as long as you did your best, then you know you have no regrets, and whether you make it or not, you should be proud.”

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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© HHOF | Images On Ice

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

GAME STATISTICS | LIVE BLOG

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.

Quotes:
“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 HockeyCanada.ca, 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

NR.007.22
|
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 HockeyCanada.ca/Auction.

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 HockeyCanada.ca/Foundation.

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Women’s Olympic Preview: Canada vs. United States

Wednesday, February 16 | 11:10 p.m. ET | Beijing, China | Gold Medal Game

February 16, 2022

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. UNITED STATES (FEB. 16)

TV: CBC | Stream: CBC.ca

A rematch four years in the making, Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team faces its long-time rivals from the United States in the gold medal game at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

LAST GAME

Canada got points from 16 different players (including all 13 forwards) and racked up 61 shots on goal in a 10-3 semifinal win over Switzerland. Marie-Philip Poulin scored twice and Sarah Nurse recorded four more assists, tying Hayley Wickenheiser’s 2006 record for helpers in an Olympic tournament with 12. Brianne Jenner made a little history of her own, closing out the scoring with her ninth goal, equalling the Olympic record.

The Americans started slow against the Finns in their semifinal, but Cayla Barnes got the scoring started on the power play early in the second period and the U.S. never looked back, earning a 4-1 victory. Barnes and Hilary Knight finished with a goal and an assist each.

LAST MEETING

In their 163rd all-time meeting just seven days ago, Canada used a second-period flurry to earn a 4-2 victory in the preliminary-round finale. Ann-Renée Desbiens was the big story, making 51 saves to set a Canadian Olympic record for stops in a game (men’s or women’s hockey). Jenner, Jamie Lee Rattray and Poulin (on a penalty shot) scored 5:25 apart late in the middle frame to turn a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead. Jenner finished with a pair of goals, Poulin added a goal and a helper and the Canadians killed five of six U.S. power plays.

WHAT TO WATCH

While the talk has been mostly focused on Canada’s outstanding offensive production – the team tops the tournament in goals (54), shooting percentage (17.4%) and power play (45.5%) – it’s the rookie-laden defence that has been the secret weapon. Claire Thompson and Erin Ambrose are the highest-scoring defencemen ever in a single women’s Olympic tournament (Thompson – 2-10—12; Ambrose – 4-5—9) and all seven D have at least two points. Their ability to generate offence from the blue line has been a major contributor to Canada’s success, but against the scoring threat the Americans pose, Canada’s defensive line will be critical.

The Americans will need to either slow down the record-setting Canadian offence, or keep up. The U.S. has been getting offence from up and down the lineup, with the usual suspects of Knight (5-4—9), Amanda Kessel (2-5—7) and Kendall Coyne Schofield (3-3—6) leading the way. That balanced production (seven players averaging at least a point a game) will need to continue if the U.S. hopes to defend its 2018 gold.

A LOOK BACK

While Canada has the all-time edge with 92 wins in 163 games, this rivalry is about as even as they come. Need proof? In the last 12 meetings between the rivals, six of those games have needed overtime (Canada has won four, with Poulin getting the GWG in three), and since the 2018 Olympics, the teams have split their 22 matchups almost down the middle (Canada has an 12-10 edge).

There have been nine Olympic meetings since 1998, with the Canadians winning six of those. Canada and the U.S. split their 2018 contests – Genevieve Lacasse made 44 saves in a 2-1 prelim win, before the Canadians dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker in shootout in the gold medal game.

All-time record: Canada leads 92-70-1 (20-17 in OT/SO)
Canada goals: 448
United States goals: 395

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Women's Olympic Recap: Canada 10, Switzerland 3

Poulin scored twice and Nurse added four assists as Canada downed Switzerland to advance to play for gold

February 14, 2022

GAME STATISTICS | LIVE BLOG

BEIJING, China – Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team punched its ticket to the gold medal game at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, downing Switzerland 10-3 in semifinal action Monday (Sunday night in Canada).

• Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) scored a pair of goals to lead the offence.
• Claire Thompson (Toronto, Ont.) recorded a goal and two assists, and Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont.) added a goal and a helper. The pairing are the highest-scoring defencemen ever in a single women’s Olympic tournament (Thompson – 2-10—12; Ambrose – 4-5—9). Both also finished +8 in the game.
• Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.) also had a goal and an assist. Her late goal gives her nine for the tournament, tying the all-time record (Meghan Agosta and Stephanie Marty, 2010).
• Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont.), Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S.)Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont.),Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask.) and Emma Maltais (Burlington, Ont.) also scored goals.
• Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) had four assists. Nurse has 12 helpers and 16 points in the tournament, tying Hayley Wickenheiser (2006) for the all-time assist record, and sitting just one point back of Wickenheiser’s scoring record (2006).
• Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont.) recorded three assists.
Turnbull, Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont.),Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que.),Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont.),Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont.) and Jill Saulnier (Halifax, N.S.) had one assist each.
All 13 Canadian forwards recorded at least a point.
• Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) finished with 10 saves.
Canada outshot Switzerland 61-13.

Next Game:
Gold medal game vs. USA/FIN – Wednesday, Feb. 16 (11:10 p.m. ET/8:10 p.m. PT)

Quotes:
“I think in the first period, we were a little disconnected on our breakouts, and we straightened that out. Some of our penalty kills where Switzerland was able to score a couple power-play goals, it wasn’t that we were disjointed as a penalty kill, I think we were still thinking offensively. We were trying to make too many plays in the defensive zone and not focusing on our clears. When you don’t play with that urgency, teams will make you pay for it.”
- Head coach Troy Ryan (Spryfield, N.S.) on a slow start and special-teams play

“We all can move our feet and that is one of our biggest strengths as a defensive corps. As ‘D’ pairings, we really complement each other and, at the root of it, I honestly believe we’re having so much success because we’re all so easy going. We have so much fun when we play and support one another. Everyone goes out each shift and plays free and knows that the girls on the bench are supporting them.”
- Fast on the strength of the defensive unit

“Our line [Maltais-Saulnier-Stacey] has been working really hard through the whole tournament and just trying to do the right things. It feels good to be rewarded as a line, not just as an individual. It is really cool to get your first goal and really great to share the moment; you could see just how happy everyone was and it’s a great feeling.”
- Maltais on scoring her first Olympic goal

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

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Women’s Olympic Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

Sunday, February 13 | 11:10 p.m. ET | Beijing, China | Semifinal

February 12, 2022

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWITZERLAND (FEB. 13)

TV: CBC | Stream: CBC.ca

Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team enters its Olympic semifinal against Switzerland leading the tournament in goals for (44 in five games), goals against (just five), power play (a 50% success rate) and penalty kill (92.6%), and it has already beaten the Swiss once. Needless to say, momentum is on their side.

LAST GAME

Canada last laced up against Sweden in the quarterfinals on Friday morning, getting a full team effort (points from 16 different skaters) in an 11-0 win. Brianne Jenner and Sarah Fillier stayed neck-and-neck atop the goal-scoring race, netting a hat trick each to give them eight apiece in the tournament. Marie-Philip Poulin (in her 150th game) and Sarah Nurse each posted four assists, and Claire Thompson’s three assist performance gave her a new Olympic record for points by a defenceman in a single tournament (nine and counting).

The Swiss booked their spot in the semifinals with a 4-2 win over ROC on Saturday. Alina Muller was the hero, scoring the game-winner with 2:27 left – just 30 seconds after the Russians had tied the game – and adding an empty-netter to clinch it.

LAST MEETING

It was all Canada in the Olympic opener on Feb. 3. Two-goal games from Fillier, Laura Stacey, Natalie Spooner and Blayre Turnbull helped Canada to a 12-1 win. Spooner and Thompson finished with five points apiece for the Canadians, who tied their all-time Olympic high with 70 shots on goal (previously done Feb. 16, 2002 vs. Sweden).

WHAT TO WATCH

In her second Olympic appearance, Sarah Nurse has made every second count in Beijing. Returning from a lower-body injury that cost her almost two months of centralization, the Hamilton, Ont., native has racked up 12 points in five games (4-8—12), including a hat trick against Finland and the four-assist effort against the Swedes. Nurse has found a home on the left side of Canada’s top line alongside Poulin and Jenner; the trio has combined for 22 points across three games since Nurse joined against ROC in the prelims.

For Switzerland, all eyes are on Müller. In her third Olympics despite being just 23 years old, the Swiss star has been involved in eight of her team’s 10 goals in the tournament, scoring three times and setting up five others to leave her tied for seventh in scoring with Canada’s Jamie Lee Rattray. Müller has 21 points across her three Games, including the game-winning goal in Switzerland’s historic bronze medal game victory in 2014, when she became the youngest player ever to win an Olympic medal.

A LOOK BACK

While the Swiss women’s program has made huge strides, including Olympic bronze in 2014, Canada continues to own the head-to-head history, winning all 14 meetings.

At the Olympics, the Canadians have posted a quartet of wins, including the triumph 10 days ago – Hayley Wickenheiser and Cherie Piper had a goal and two assists each in a 10-1 win in 2010, Johnston scored once and added two helpers in a 5-0 prelim win in 2014, and Natalie Spooner netted a pair in a three-goal first period as part of a 3-1 semifinal win in Sochi.

All-time record: Canada leads 14-0
Canada goals: 121
Switzerland goals: 3

--

LARGE:

GAME PREVIEW: CANADA VS. SWITZERLAND

One win away from a spot in a seventh-straight gold medal game, Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team takes its top-ranked offence into a semifinal showdown with Switzerland.

Related Links:

2022 Olympic Winter Games (Women)

Canada vs. Switzerland

MEDIUM:

Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

One win from the gold medal game, Canada takes its top-ranked offence into a semifinal showdown with Switzerland.

SMALL:

Preview: CAN-SUI

Canada takes its top-ranked offence into a semifinal against the Swiss.

BADGE:

Preview: Canada vs. Switzerland

One win from the gold medal game, Canada takes its top-ranked offence into a semifinal against the Swiss.

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© Canadian Olympic Committee

Women's Olympic Recap: Canada 11, Sweden 0

Brianne Jenner and Sarah Fillier recorded hat tricks, helping Canada book a semifinal spot with an 11-0 victory.

February 11, 2022

GAME STATISTICS | LIVE BLOG

BEIJING, China Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team spread around the offence on Friday, getting points from 16 of 19 skaters in an 11-0 quarterfinal win over Sweden at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

  • Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.) and Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont.) each recorded a hat trick. Both have eight goals in the tournament, one off the Olympic record (Meghan Agosta and Stephanie Marty had nine in 2010).
  • Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) and Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.) posted four assists apiece.
  • Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont.) , Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont.),Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont.),Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S.) and Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask.) also scored.
  • Claire Thompson (Toronto, Ont.) had three assists, while Rattray,Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont.) and Micah Zandee-Hart (Saanichton, B.C.) added two apiece.
  • Thompson has recorded nine points (1-8—9) in five games, surpassing Thérèse Brisson (5-2—7 in 1998) for the most by a Canadian defenceman in a single Olympics.
  • Ambrose, Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont.), Jocelyne Larocque (Ste. Anne, Man.), Jill Saulnier (Halifax, N.S.) and Ashton Bell (Deloraine, Man.) tallied an assist each.
  • Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta.) made 11 saves for the shutout.
  • Canada scored on each of its first four power-play opportunities and finished 4-for-7.
  • Canada outshot Sweden 56-11.

Next Game:

Semifinals – opponent, date and time to be determined

Quotes :

“The biggest thing is just being organized and knowing when teams play. What we do is keep track of who is playing who in the other group and when it looks like things might settle out a little bit you start to focus on the potential teams you play. We break down games from both pools and we are as prepared as we can be through video, and you can generally see what they have done throughout the event and you build your game plan around that.”
- Head coach Troy Ryan (Spryfield, N.S.) on preparing for an opponent Canada hasn’t played since 2018

“To be honest, it caught me by surprise and made me realize I’m getting older (laughs), but it’s pretty special. I couldn’t ask for better teammates and a group to be a part of. To be part of the Team Canada environment is a privilege and I’m very lucky to be part of it.”

- Poulin on playing in her 150th career game

“Sometimes when you’re playing with Nurse and Poulin, they’re just great players and they’re able to find me. On the third one, Micah just made a great back-door pass, but I’m just trying to be ready to shoot the puck off the pass and luckily some of those are going in.”

- Jenner on her hat trick

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

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Women’s Olympic Preview: Canada vs. Sweden

Friday, February 11 | 8:10 a.m. ET | Beijing, China | Quarterfinal

Bernadette Larose
|
February 11, 2022

GAME NOTES: CANADA VS. SWEDEN (FEB. 11)

TV: CBC | Stream: CBC.ca

It’s on to the playoff round for Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team, which faces an old friend it hasn’t seen in a while in the quarterfinals – it’s Canada vs. Sweden for the first time in more than three years, and first time in 12 at the Olympics.

LAST GAME

It was a historic preliminary-round finale for the Canadians, as Ann-Renée Desbiens made 51 saves (a new Canadian Olympic record) in a 4-2 victory over the U.S. Brianne Jenner led the offence with a pair of goals,

Marie-Philip Poulin scored the first penalty-shot goal by a Canadian woman at the Olympics and Natalie Spooner inched closer to the women’s Olympic records for assists (12) and points (17). She’s got nine helpers and 11 points in four games.

Sweden took a 3-1 decision over Denmark to close out its preliminary play, finishing third in in Group B to grab the eighth and final playoff spot. Emma Nordin scored early and Lisa Johansson netted the winner late in the second period for the Swedes, who got 25 saves from Emma Söderberg.

LAST MEETING

Canada last faced Sweden at the 2018 4 Nations Cup in Saskatoon, Sask., where then-18-year-old Sarah Fillier made her national team debut in Canada’s 6-1 win. Mélodie Daoust led the way with a pair of goals and an assist, Marie-Philip Poulin added a goal and two helpers, and Rebecca Johnston chipped in with four assists.

WHAT TO WATCH

Everybody’s favourite workhorse Jamie Lee Rattray has proven time and time again why her scrappy presence is so important for the Canadians. After not being selected for Canada’s Olympic roster in 2018, Rattray turned her setback into an opportunity. A Swiss army knife as the 13th forward, Rattray has slotted in seamlessly with Fillier and Spooner on the second line after the injury to Daoust, scoring in each of the last three games – including the game-winner against the Americans.

For the Swedes, Söderberg has backstopped the team into the playoffs, playing every second of the preliminary round and posting a .951 save percentage (137 of 144), good for fourth among all puck-stoppers. Sweden will need to find its offence if its hopes to spring the colossal upset; it scored just seven goals in the prelims (one on a penalty shot), and has converted on just two of 12 power plays.

A LOOK BACK

The head-to-head history is one-sided, with Canada winning 76 of 79 contests since the teams first met at the 1990 IIHF World Women’s Championship. In Olympic competition, Canada is perfect in five tries, including the most memorable meeting in the 2006 gold medal game after the Swedes upset the Americans in a semifinal shootout. Canada claimed its second Olympic gold in Turin, with Gillian Apps, Caroline Ouellette, Cherie Piper and Jayna Hefford netting goals in a 4-1 victory.

Of the current Canadian roster, Poulin leads the way with 31 points (15-16—31) in 21 games played against the Swedes, followed by Spooner (14-6—20 in 17 GP) and Rebecca Johnston (8-11—19 in 22 GP).

All-time record: Canada leads 76-2-1 (0-1 in SO)
Canada goals: 492
Sweden goals: 68

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Women's Olympic Recap: Canada 4, United States 2

Desbiens finished with 51 saves and Jenner scored twice to help Canada to a win over the U.S. in the prelim finale

February 08, 2022

GAME STATISTICS | LIVE BLOG

BEIJING, China – Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team closed out a perfect preliminary round at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games on Tuesday afternoon (Monday night in Canada), getting three goals in 5:25 late in the second period to earn a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the United States.

• Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) made 51 saves, setting the record for most stops in an Olympic game by a Canadian goaltender (men’s or women’s hockey).
• Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.) scored a pair of goals.
• Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont.) netted the game-winning goal.
• Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.) converted a shorthanded penalty shot (the first successful penalty shot by a Canadian woman at the Olympics) and added an assist.
• Canada extended its winning streak in the preliminary round to 19 games, dating back to 2002.
• Canada scored on its lone power-play opportunity, and killed five of six U.S. advantages.
• The United States outshot Canada 53-27.

Next Game:
Quarterfinals – opponent, date and time to be determined

Quotes :
“First off you congratulate the team on winning the [group in the] preliminary round. As a team you have to talk and share the successes that have made it worthwhile, but the biggest thing is that we know we didn’t play our best game. It’s great that we were able to win, but we have to go back to the drawing board and look at some of the areas we can improve, in particular our puck management. [We will have to] just tighten up a bit and make some adjustments moving forward.”
- Head coach Troy Ryan (Spryfield, N.S.) on a perfect prelims

“It was a little bit of a messy win. I think our special teams were huge for us, our goaltender was huge and our defence blocked a lot of shots down the stretch. It was a good sign that we could find a way to win.”
- Jenner on the key to defeating the U.S.

“As a goalie you just need to give your team an opportunity to win. I know it might not have been the start we wanted as a team, but sometimes when your team needs you, you have to be there and that’s what I did today.”
- Desbiens on her 51-save performance

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

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Excellence on ice

Celebrating the Black Canadians who have worn the Maple Leaf at the Olympic Winter Games

Jason La Rose
|
February 07, 2022

With the drop of the puck in Beijing, another Olympic Winter Games is underway and another chapter of Team Canada hockey history is set to be written in China.

As part of Black History Month, let’s take a look back at the five Black athletes who have helped – and are helping – write that history.

DARREN LOWE

1984 – 7GP 2G 2A 4P (4th place)

The trailblazer, Lowe became Canada’s first Black Olympian at the 1984 Games in Sarajevo. The Toronto product scored twice – getting the Canadians even early in the third period of an eventual 4-2 win over Finland and counting the game-winner in an 8-1 win over Austria – and added a pair of assists, putting his name on the scoresheet in each of the first four games (all Canadian wins).

CLAUDE VILGRAIN

1988 – 6GP 0G 0A 0P (4th place)

Born in Haiti and raised in Quebec City, Vilgrain was a Team Canada staple in the mid-1980s, playing 145 games with Canada’s National Men’s Team from 1986-88. That run concluded in Calgary, where he went scoreless in six games in the home-ice Games.

JAROME IGINLA

2002 – 6GP 3G 1A 4P (gold medal)
2006 – 6GP 2G 1A 3P (7th place)
2010 – 7GP 5G 2A 7P (gold medal)

The 2021 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee was front and centre in a pair of games that will forever have a place in Olympic hockey lore. In 2002, the St. Albert, Alta., native scored twice and added an assist in a 5-2 gold medal game win over the U.S. that ended a 50-year drought for Canada. Eight years later, cries of ‘Iggy! Iggy! Iggy!’ rang in the ears of Canadian fans as Iginla set up Sidney Crosby for the Golden Goal in Vancouver.

P.K. SUBBAN

2014 – 1GP 0G 0A 0P (gold medal)

Has there ever been a better seventh defenceman? As part of a deep Canadian blue-line, Subban – the reigning Norris Trophy winner – got into just a single game in Sochi, playing 11:41 in a 6-0 prelim win over Austria.

SARAH NURSE

2018 – 5GP 1G 0A 1P (silver medal)

The first Black woman to wear red and white on the biggest stage in sports, Nurse netted just a single goal in PyeongChang, but it was a beauty in a big game – she wired home the game-winner in a 2-1 preliminary-round victory over the U.S. The Hamilton, Ont., product is back for a second Games in Beijing, eyeing a bigger role and a different finish.

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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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Schedule
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Prague & Ostrava, Czechia
Date: May 10 to 26
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Edmonton, Alta., Canada
Date: Aug 3 to 10