VANCOUVER, BC – Hockey Canada is welcoming 142 of the nation’s top women’s hockey players to Calgary for a National Women’s Team selection camp ahead of the IIHF Women’s World Championship in August. Among the 142 are seven U SPORTS players getting a chance to play among the country’s elite.
The camp, set to take place from Aug. 3-14, brings together athletes vying for spots on Canada’s National Women’s Team, Canada’s National Women’s Development Team and Canada’s National Women’s U18 Team as a start to the 2022-23 season.
“This is a great opportunity to bring all three groups together in one place and start to envision what the next four years will look like,” said Gina Kingsbury, director of hockey operations, in a statement.
“We are coming off a very successful season, and we are looking to continue building on that. We have a full complement of experienced staff to lead our camps but having our Olympic athletes able to play leadership roles where they can mentor and share their experience is a positive step in our journey towards the 2026 Olympic Winter Games in Milan.”
Among the group is UBC goaltender Kate Stuart, and her teammate Rylind MacKinnon, while Concordia’s Emmy Fecteau and Emilie Lavoi also make the roster. The duos will be joined by UNB standout goalie Kendra Woodland, Montreal’s Audrey-Ann Veillette and Trinity Western’s Amy Potomak.
Stuart has yet to play a game with the Thunderbirds, transferring to UBC from the NCAA’s Boston Univesity but is destined to star with Graham Thomas’ team in the coming season as they look to defend their Canada West title. The Chilliwack-born backstop played four seasons with the BU Terriers, including a final season where she posted a .921 save percentage in 18 games.
Her new teammate, Rylind MacKinnon, has been a stalwart on the UBC defence over the last several seasons and played significant minutes in their run to the Canada West Championship. She scored 20 points in 21 games from the blueline.
For UNB’s Kendra Woodland, there is little surprise that she is back in Team Canada colours after being selected for Team Canada FISU Games roster for the cancelled Lucerne 2021 Games. Additionally, Woodland represented Canada’s U18 team at the World U18 Championships in 2018 before joining head coach Sarah Hilworth and the Reds.
Dalhousie Tigers head coach Troy Ryan is the head coach of the Canadian NWT and helped select the selection camp roster. At the same time, fellow U SPORTS coaches Kori Cheverie (TMU) and Caroline Oullette (Concordia) also likely played a role.
While the chances are slim that any U SPORTS players earn a spot on the Senior Women’s National Team ahead of the World Championships, they could earn future opportunities with the development program.