Toronto, ON- Hockey Canada announced a list of 35 women’s hockey players who will attend a selection camp ahead of the IIHF Women’s World Championships, scheduled for the spring in Nova Scotia. Two McGill Martlet graduates and a former Manitoba Bison have been named to the team, while coaches from Ryerson, McGill, Dalhousie and the University of Toronto are included on the coaching staff.
McGill graduates Ann-Sophie Bettez and Melodie Daoust are on the roster, while former Manitoba Bison Bridgitte Lacquette is also heading to the selection camp. All three are currently members of the PWHPA and have not played in league action recently, making this camp critical to their World Championship preparations. With their history on the National Team, all three are likely to make the tournament’s final roster.
Daoust captained the Martlets in 2017 and won the school’s Female Athlete of the Year Award three times during her U SPORTS career. While majoring in physical education, Daoust helped the Martlets to a trio of RSEQ championships and four berths to the U SPORTS National Championships.
While still a student-athlete, she won gold with Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic games before adding a second medal to her resume in 2018. At 29-years-old, she will be looking to crack the Canadian roster in the final major tournament ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
Bettez, 33, has been around Canadian women’s hockey for a long time, but only got her first National Team games in 2019 at the IIHF Women’s World Championships. Formerly a CWHL star, Bettez scored over a point-per-game in her seven years in the league before it folded in 2019. While it took a while to get into the national team picture, Bettez played for the Canadian university team at the 2011 FISU Winter Universiade in Turkey.
Both athletes won the U SPORTS Rookie of the Year and best female player awards during their time with the Martlets.
Also on the Canadian team is defender Bridgette Lacquette, the former University of Manitoba student-athlete who is now a member of the PWHPA Calgary Hub. Lacquette’s time in U SPORTS was brief, lasting only six games before leaving for the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA.
Ryerson Rams men’s hockey assistant coach Kori Chevrie was named to the team, joined by a head coach from just up Toronto’s Yonge Street, U of T’s Vicky Sunohara. Dalhousie’s Joe Johnston is also named to the team in the role of a goaltending consultant.
Chevrie, a former CWHL player herself, was the first woman to lead a men’s hockey team to a win in Canada when she coached the Rams to a victory over Lareutnian in the absence of Johnny Duco. Sunhorara, the 2019-20 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Coach of the Year, has plenty of national team experience, winning seven World Championships and two Olympic gold medals. A year ago, she coached the Varsity Blues to the OUA’s McCaw Cup title, beating the York University Lions in the final.
Both Cheverie and Sunohara are included in the NHL Coaches Association Female Coaches Development Program, which supports women’s coaches in hockey.
Dalhousie’s Joe Johnston is a goaltending consultant for the camp and has spent time with Hockey Canada. He joined the Tigers hockey program in 2005 and spent time with both the men’s and women’s teams as a goaltending coach. He was an assistant coach at the 2015 World Championships with Team Canada and his proximity to the tournament in 2021 makes him an ideal fit to return to the national team.
Ryerson equipment manager Alanna Goulden will also be joining the team in Nova Scotia.
U SPORTS is well represented at the national level on both sides of the bench, but other nations also highlight U SPORTS. Hungary’s Head Coach is Lisa Haley, head coach of the Ryerson women’s hockey team. The tournament is currently scheduled to start on April 7, but reports suggest it could be pushed back to May to allow for a more positive situation with the pandemic.