August 17, 2009

Saints to Represent Canada; Guay Named Team Captain

CALGARY, Alta. -- St. Lawrence senior defenseman Britni Smith, junior forward Karell Emard and former St. Lawrence standout Annie Guay have been named to Canada's National Under-22 Team, it was announced by Hockey Canada. Guay, who returned to Canada’s Under-22 Team this season as an overage player after playing for the team from 2003-07, was named the team's captain.

Canada’s National Under-22 Team will take part in a three-game series against Canada’s National Women’s Team from August 17-20 at Father David Bauer Olympic Arena in Calgary.

The Under-22 roster 23 players – three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 12 forwards – selected by head coach Margot Page (Stevensville, Ont./Appleby College, Can. HS) and assistant coaches Jim Fetter (Waterloo, Ont./Wayne State University, CHA) and Stephanie White (Toronto, Ont./Ryerson University, GBWHL).

Canada’s roster was selected following a seven-day camp from August 6-14 in Calgary, attended by 41 of the top under-22 female hockey players in Canada – five goaltenders, 14 defensemen and 22 forwards. The camp included games between two Canadian teams – Red and White – and Sweden’s national women’s team.

The roster includes 12 players (Bendus, Bettez, Birchard, Blais, Bram, Deluce, Fridfinnson, Kessler, Knox, Rougeau, Smith, Spooner) who played for Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team during the 2008-09 season, and three players (Fortino, McKeough, Wong) who won a silver medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Fussen, Germany.

Four players selected to the team (Bettez, Blais, Guay, Hosier) had previously used up their under-22 eligibility. These players were eligible for Canada’s National Women’s Team, but were not selected for centralization ahead of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. As Hockey Canada does not operate a program for identified senior players that have not been centralized, these four players will train with the under-22 program for the 2009-10 season. All four players previously played for Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team.

“The selection camp held in Calgary was incredibly competitive, which made selecting a team extremely difficult,” said National Women’s Under-22 Team head coach Margot Page. “We are confident the 23 players we have chosen will represent themselves and the under-22 program well and we are looking forward to three exciting games against Canada’s National Women’s Team.”

The 2009-10 season for Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team will include the three-game series against Canada’s National Women’s Team in Calgary from August 17-20, as well as the 2010 MLP Cup in Germany in early January. The roster announced Saturday will not be Canada’s team for the 2010 MLP Cup. Player evaluations will continue during the early months of the 2009-10 season, and a final roster will be named in December.

The National Women’s Under-22 Team is a key component of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which, along with the under-18 program, helps identify, evaluate and develop female hockey players for Canada’s National Women’s Team.