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Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women's Olympic team

Canada's Rebecca Johnston, left, and United States' Monique Lamoureux-Morando vie for the puck during the first period of a Rivalry Series hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. CHRIS CARLSON/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CALGARY — Hockey Canada’s roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women’s hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end.

Of the 28 invitees announced Wednesday to congregate in Calgary this summer to start preparing for Beijing, 10 forwards, three defenders and one goaltender won a silver medal in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where Canada lost in a shootout to the U.S. in the gold-medal game.

Women’s Olympic hockey rosters are 23 players, including three goaltenders, compared to the men’s 25-player rosters.

Canada’s goaltenders announced Wednesday were Ann-Renée Desbiens of La Malbaie, Que., Kristen Campbell of Brandon, Man., and Emerance Maschmeyer of Bruderheim, Alta.

Desbiens posted an 18-save shutout in a 5-0 win over Russia in her lone start in Pyeongchang.

Veteran defenders Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne, Man., Meaghan Mikkelson of St. Albert, Alta., and Renata Fast of Burlington, Ont., were among the nine blue-liners invited.

Defenders Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont., and Micah Zandee-Hart of Saanichton, B.C., were among the final cuts from the 2018 squad and have been given another chance to make the Olympic team.

Forwards Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que., Melodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., Brianne Jenner of Oakville, Ont., Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont., Hamilton’s Sarah Nurse, Toronto’s Natalie Spooner, Laura Stacey of Kleinburg, Ont., Blayre Turnbull of Stellarton, N.S., Saskatoon’s Emily Clark and Jill Saulnier of Halifax played for Canada in 2018, and are among 16 forwards on the roster.

Poulin, Mikkelson and Johnston are two-time Olympians having won Olympic gold in 2010.

Defenders Ashton Bell of Deloraine, Man., Jamie Bourbonnais of Mississauga, Ont., Ella Shelton of Ingersoll, Ont., and Claire Thompson of Toronto were also named to the centralization roster.

Forwards Victoria Bach of Milton, Ont., Sarah Fillier of Georgetown, Ont., Julia Gosling of London, Ont., Emma Maltais of Burlington, Ont., Kristin O’Neill of Oakville, Ont., and Jamie Lee Rattray of Kanata, Ont., are among players hoping to make their Olympic debuts in Beijing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.