There are a number of local players that have been named to the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team.
Hamilton’s Laura Fortino and Sarah Nurse, Burlington’s Renata Fast and Oakville’s Brianne Jenner have been named to the 23-player roster by Hockey Canada.
“It was an extremely difficult decision narrowing down our roster due to the depth of talent on our team; we are excited to move forward with the 23 players chosen to represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said head coach Laura Schuler. “These players have worked hard to earn this moment and we are confident that they will be able to inspire and unite our country as they set their sights on a fifth straight gold medal for Canada.”
Fourteen players on the club won the gold medal at the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
“It is a tremendous accomplishment to be chosen to represent your country at the Olympic Games,” said Tom Renney, Hockey Canada’s chief executive officer who was a member of the Canadian Olympic Team in 1994 where he guided Canada to silver as head coach.
“We are thrilled with the 23 players selected and we know they will wear the Maple Leaf with great pride and will leave nothing to chance in their preparation for PyeongChang.”
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games will be held from Feb. 9 to 25 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Canada will try to win its fifth-straight Olympic women’s hockey gold medal when the tournament begins on Feb. 11.
“Women’s hockey is one of Canada’s most successful events every Olympic Games and our Canadian athletes have never failed to win a medal since women’s hockey was added to the program in 1998,” said the Kent Hehr, minister of sport and persons with disabilities.
“This includes gold medals at the last four Olympic Winter Games and with a reputation like that, all eyes will be on Canada in PyeongChang. Be sure to cheer on these great women as they make Canada proud.”
Canada’s roster includes three goaltenders, six defencemen, and 14 forwards:
Goaltenders: Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin, WCHA), Geneviève Lacasse (Kingston, Ont./Calgary, CWHL), Shannon Szabados (Edmonton, Alta.)
Defencemen: Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont./Toronto, CWHL), Laura Fortino (Hamilton, Ont./Markham, CWHL), Brigette Lacquette (Mallard, Man./Calgary, CWHL), Jocelyne Larocque (Ste. Anne, Man./Markham, CWHL), Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alta./Calgary, CWHL), Lauriane Rougeau (Beaconsfield, Que./Montreal, CWHL);
Forwards: Meghan Agosta (Ruthven, Ont.), Bailey Bram (Ste. Anne, Man./Calgary, CWHL), Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask./University of Wisconsin, WCHA), Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que./Montreal, CWHL), Haley Irwin (Thunder Bay, Ont./Calgary, CWHL), Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont./Calgary, CWHL), Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont./Calgary, CWHL) Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./University of Wisconsin, WCHA), Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que./Montreal, CWHL), Jillian Saulnier (Halifax/Calgary, CWHL), Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont./Toronto, CWHL), Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont./Markham, CWHL), Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S./Calgary, CWHL), Jennifer Wakefield (Pickering, Ont./Linköping HC, SWE).