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Team Canada: Women’s World Championship Roster

April 1, 2012

After a successful series of exhibition games in the nation’s capital against midget AAA boys’ teams and the US women’s national team, Team Canada announced its final roster for the Women’s World Championships today. Startling was the absence of Cherie Piper’s name.  The high-scoring, three-time Olympic gold medallist will be left at home in favour of newcomers Bailey Bram and Vicki Bendus, both playing in their first world championships. Rookie defencemen include Laura Fortino, Lauriane Rougeau and Courtney Birchard.

It shows the depth of Canada’s program, when it feels it can afford to cut a veteran of four world championships and three Olympic Games. Head coach Dan Church said, “It was the smallest of margins. It’s difficult to let a veteran player like that go, who has had an impact in the past. The other players were just slightly better over selection camp.” This may be in order of a shake-up to get the women’s team back on its feet after three straight losses to the USA at the worlds. I hope that if that is the case, the gimmick works, because Piper brings more than just her on-ice skills.

That is not to say that Team Canada won’t field a wealth of experience. Returning goalies Charline Labonté and Shannon Szabados are more than equal to the task.  Tessa Bonhomme, Catherine Ward and Meaghan Mikkelson will anchor the defence and the forward corps is led by the seemingly ever-present Hayley Wickenheiser complemented by Gillian Apps, Jayna Hefford, Caroline Ouellette, and newer forces Meghan Agosta and Marie-Philip Poulin.

Canada has always expected to win and on paper, per usual, the team is strong in all areas. Whether it can combine all its parts to achieve the gold is yet to be determined. Canada has a further exhibition game in Vermont against Sweden on the 5th of April prior to starting the preliminary round on the 7th against the USA.

Congratulations and good luck  to the members of Team Canada and its staff:

  • *Charline Labonté, McGill University
  • Geneviève Lacasse, Providence College
  • *Shannon Szabados, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Courtney Birchard, Brampton (CWHL)
  • *Tessa Bonhomme, Toronto (CWHL)
  • Laura Fortino, Cornell University
  • *Jocelyne Larocque, Manitoba Maple Leafs
  • *Meaghan Mikkelson, Alberta (CWHL)
  • Lauriane Rougeau, Cornell University
  • *Catherine Ward, Montreal (CWHL),
  • *Meghan Agosta, Montreal (CWHL)
  • *Gillian Apps, Brampton (CWHL)
  • Vicki Bendus, Brampton (CWHL)
  • Bailey Bram, Mercyhurst College
  • *Jayna Hefford, Brampton (CWHL)
  • *Haley Irwin, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Brianne Jenner, Cornell University
  • *Rebecca Johnston, Cornell University
  • *Caroline Ouellette, Montreal (CWHL)
  • *Marie-Philip Poulin, Boston University
  • *Natalie Spooner, Ohio State University
  • *Jennifer Wakefield, Boston University
  • Hayley Wickenheiser, University of Calgary
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