Loading articles...

'Something we need to recognize': Canada's worlds roster released despite cancellation

Last Updated Mar 13, 2020 at 7:41 am MDT

Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse were named to Canada's roster for the 2020 Women's World Championships, which was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva via AP)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Disappointment.

That was the sentiment across all folds of Hockey Canada after learning the upcoming world women’s hockey championship in Nova Scotia was being cancelled due to concerns over the spreading coronavirus.

Of course, officials understood the health of everyone involved had to come first, but they also wanted to make sure the hard work of those vying for a coveted spot on the Canadian roster was recognized.

“They have worked tremendously hard this year, probably harder than they’ve ever worked in terms of extra mini-camps, really trying to compensate for the fact the majority of our players didn’t have a league to play in this year,” Hockey Canada’s director of female hockey teams Gina Kingsbury said. “All of this in preparation in the hope of being able to win a gold medal on home soil here in April.”

And that’s why Hockey Canada released its 23-player roster for the tournament — to give the team the recognition it deserves.

“It’s a great honour to be named to this roster,” Kingsbury, who suited up for Canada at six editions of the worlds. “There’s enormous talent in our country, and to be one of 23, it’s something we need to recognize.”

READ MORE: Professional women’s hockey: Where are we now?

Three players were set to make their world championship debuts: Victoria Bach, Sarah Fillier and Claire Thompson.

“It’s a special and important moment for them,” Kingsbury said of the trio.

The worlds was supposed to be the marquee event of 2020 in women’s hockey. It’s been a tumultuous year for the sport, with the folding of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League last spring, combined with the lack of movement for one professional league.

“It’s not something we can dwell on,” Kingsbury added. “I think the only thing we can do moving forward is that we continue this moment that the Professional Women’s Hockey Association has created, that Hockey Canada has been able to provide with mini-camps and continue with this growth moving forward to next year.”