Canada’s girls’s hockey staff is bent on replicating the success of its soccer counterparts on the world stage.
The hockey gamers have been up early at their Calgary resort and glued to the eating room tv when Canadian girls beat Sweden in penalty photographs to say Olympic soccer gold in Tokyo earlier this month.
“We wished to get on the ice proper after that recreation. We have been all fired up,” Canadian hockey captain Marie-Philip Poulin informed The Canadian Press.
“For us watching the soccer recreation, it was wonderful. These ladies actually stood collectively. It’s a distinct sport, however on the identical time, we do all the identical sacrifices, we do all that onerous work for that second.
“I feel they actually impressed us.”
Simply two weeks after the soccer triumph in Tokyo, Canada opens the ladies’s world hockey championship Friday in opposition to Finland in Calgary.
Canadian groups have received gold in 10 world championships, however not since 2012 in Burlington, Vt.
Canada misplaced to host Finland in a semifinal in Espoo, and didn’t attain the ultimate for the primary time, within the final world championship held in 2019.
The Canadians completed third. The US edged Finland in a shootout to say a fifth straight world title.
Canada downed the Finns 4-1 in Wednesday’s pre-tournament recreation and faces them once more within the event opener.
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The host nation then meets Russia on Sunday, Switzerland on Tuesday and concludes the preliminary spherical Thursday in Pool A in opposition to the People.
The Czech Republic, Japan, Germany and promoted Hungary and Denmark are in Pool B.
The quarterfinals are Aug. 28 adopted by the Aug. 30 semifinals and the medal video games Aug. 31.
No tickets have been bought for the preliminary spherical at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre, however Hockey Canada hasn’t dominated out spectators for playoffs.
Each the 2020 and 2021 girls’s championship in Nova Scotia have been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The relocation and rescheduling of the 2021 event to Calgary in late summer time is an uncommon begin in Canada’s preparation for February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
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Twenty-nine girls arrived in Calgary in late July for “centralization.”
Hockey Canada’s normal apply six to seven months out from a Winter Video games is to centralize the ladies collectively in Calgary for coaching and video games to be able to select prime performers for the Olympic roster.
A world championship off the hop had head coach Troy Ryan shortly selecting his 25-player roster.
“Having the world championship on the entrance finish of your centralization, there’s no template for that undoubtedly,” he mentioned. “Any time you’re deciding on a national-team roster, it’s additionally a few physique of labor.
“Troublesome selections, however ones we have been snug making at this level.”
Poulin and assistant captains Brianne Jenner, Blayre Turnbull and Jocelyne Larocque lead a Canadian aspect intent on reclaiming girls’s hockey supremacy over the following seven months.
Poulin performed just some shifts in Espoo due to a knee harm that will have nonetheless hampered her in 2020 had that world championship gone forward.
“Whereas it actually sucked we couldn’t play that world championship, time heals loads,” mentioned the 30-year-old from Beauceville, Que.
“It actually helped me be capable to maintain myself bodily and mentally.”
A 3rd of Canada’s roster makes its world championship debut in Calgary — goaltender Kristen Campbell, defenders Ashton Bell, Claire Thompson, Ella Shelton and forwards Victoria Bach, Emma Maltais and Kristin O’Neill.
That’s vital turnover on what’s been historically a veteran squad.
Ahead Jessie Eldridge of Barrie, Ont., was added to the centralized roster in July. Veteran defender Meaghan Mikkelson is sidelined with an undisclosed harm.
Mikkelson, Eldridge, defender Micah Zandee-Hart and ahead Julia Gosling have been left off the world championship roster.
“We’re very optimistic they’ll compete throughout centralization and in the end, hopefully discover themselves on roster spots for the Olympics,” Ryan mentioned.
Canada has performed simply seven worldwide video games within the greater than two years because the final world championship, going 4-3 in opposition to the U.S. in 2019-20.
Pandemic restrictions not solely eradicated worldwide and home video games for months, however even group skates the place the Canadian gamers lived weren’t allowed at occasions.
The gamers invested the additional time into bodily health. Each gamers and administration say the ladies posted the very best scores of their lives in health testing upon arrival in Calgary.
“Everybody did the arduous work on their very own and when it got here time to come back collectively, we’re able to go,” Poulin mentioned.
© 2021 The Canadian Press