Canada’s ladies’s hockey staff is bent on replicating the success of its soccer counterparts on the world stage.
The hockey gamers had been up early at their Calgary lodge and glued to the eating room tv when Canadian ladies beat Sweden in penalty pictures to assert Olympic soccer gold in Tokyo earlier this month.
“We wished to get on the ice proper after that sport. We had been all fired up,” Canadian hockey captain Marie-Philip Poulin informed The Canadian Press.
“For us watching the soccer sport, it was superb. These women actually stood collectively. It’s a special sport, however on the identical time, we do all the identical sacrifices, we do all that onerous work for that second.
“I believe 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 gained 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. America edged Finland in a shootout to assert a fifth straight world title.
Canada downed the Finns 4-1 in Wednesday’s pre-tournament sport and faces them once more within the match 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 had been offered 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 ladies’s championship in Nova Scotia had been cancelled due to COVID-19.
The relocation and rescheduling of the 2021 match to Calgary in late summer season is an uncommon begin in Canada’s preparation for February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
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Twenty-nine ladies arrived in Calgary in late July for “centralization.”
Hockey Canada’s normal observe six to seven months out from a Winter Video games is to centralize the ladies collectively in Calgary for coaching and video games with a view to select high 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 positively,” he stated. “Any time you’re deciding on a national-team roster, it’s additionally a few physique of labor.
“Tough choices, however ones we had been snug making at this level.”
Poulin and assistant captains Brianne Jenner, Blayre Turnbull and Jocelyne Larocque lead a Canadian aspect intent on reclaiming ladies’s hockey supremacy over the following seven months.
Poulin performed only a few shifts in Espoo due to a knee harm that may 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 quite a bit,” stated the 30-year-old from Beauceville, Que.
“It actually helped me be capable of care for 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 had been left off the world championship roster.
“We’re very optimistic they’ll compete throughout centralization and finally, hopefully discover themselves on roster spots for the Olympics,” Ryan stated.
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 instances.
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 laborious work on their very own and when it got here time to come back collectively, we’re able to go,” Poulin stated.
© 2021 The Canadian Press