December 23 - Hockey Canada today revealed the 21-strong women's ice hockey squad nominated to compete at Sochi 2014 as the nation attempts to win its fourth-straight Winter Olympic gold medal.
A number of Vancouver 2010 and Turin 2006 champions, including Shannon Szabados, Charline Labonté, Marie-Philip Poulin, Meaghan Mikkelson, Catherine Ward, Meghan Agosta-Marciano, Rebecca Johnston, Gillian Apps and Haley Irwin, as well as triple Olympic champions Caroline Ouellette, Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford, feature on the line up.
World Championship gold medallists Geneviève Lacasse, Jocelyne Larocque, Lauriane Rougeau, Laura Fortino, Jenn Wakefield, Brianne Jenner and Natalie Spooner also feature on the squad led by coach Kevin Dineen, while World Championship silver medallist Tara Watchorn and former under-18 world champion Mélodie Daoust complete the team nominated to travel to Sochi next year.
"Narrowing our roster down was extremely difficult due to the depth of the female game in our country, but we're absolutely thrilled to announce the 21 players who will defend our gold medal in Russia," Dineen said.
"We're confident the players who will travel this final stretch on the road to Sochi will do so with passion, perseverance and performance that will make all Canadians proud."
Hockey Canada President and chief executive Bob Nicholson also congratulated the team.
Sochi 2014 will mark the fifth time women's ice hockey has been part of the Winter Olympic programme and, as well as gold medals from Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010, Canada has a silver from the inaugural competition at Nagano 1998.
"Our Canadian women have a tremendous record when it comes to achieving results at the Olympic Games and the players nominated to represent our nation in Sochi will certainly carry on that tradition of excellence," Canadian Olympic Committee President Marcel Aubut said.
"On behalf of the entire Canadian Olympic family, I want to congratulate each player nominated and wish them all the best as they continue their preparations to defend Olympic gold."
The Sochi 2014 women's ice hockey tournament is due to run from February 8, when Canada take on Switzerland on the opening day, and conclude on February 20 with the gold medal match.
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