October 4 - The Canadian women's ice hockey squad which will be looking to defend their Universiade title at Trentino 2013 has been announced by Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) today.
University of Alberta head coach Howie Draper will lead the team in Trentino, where he will be assisted by Isabelle Leclaire from reigning CIS champions the University of Montreal and Rachel Flanagan of the University of Guelph.
Mike Kraichy from Hockey Alberta will act as team manager, with the University of Saskatchewan's Scott Cyr as equipment manager while athletic therapist duties will be performed by Crissy McPhee of the University of Ottawa.
In all, a squad of 20 players will head to northern Italy looking to make it three Universiade titles in-a-row following the sport's introduction to the Games programme in 2009.
At Harbin 2009 the Canadian side overcame hosts China 3-1 in the final and followed that victory up with a 4-1 triumph over Finland in the 2011 final in Erzurum, Turkey.
Kim Deschênes, who captained the University of Montreal to the CIS title in March of this year, is the only player in the squad who will be returning from the 2011 side.
The forward named most valuable player (MVP) in Erzurum will be joined by Montreal teammates Josianne Legault, Sophie Brault and Élodie Rousseau-Sirois, while CIS Championship runners-up the University of Calgary will be represented by Jenna Smith.
McGill University accounts for three of the squad in the form of Gabrielle Davidson, Katia Clément-Haydra and Brittney Fouracres while the University of Western Ontario and the University of British Columbia each have two players in the squad with Katelyn Gosling, Kelly Campbell and Tatiana Rafter and Christi Capozzi respectively.
The University of Guelph also has two representatives on the Canadian team with Amanda Parkins and Jessica Pinkerton making the trip to Trentino as will Alex Normore and Jenna Pitts of St Francis Xavier University.
They will be joined by Laura Brooker of Wilfred Laurier University, University of Queen's Morgan McHaffie and Caitlin MacDonald of the University of Manitoba.
"We chose a team that we feel will provide a high degree of speed and offensive power," said Draper, who has led the University of Alberta to a record seven national titles since women's hockey was added to the CIS programme 16 years ago.
"We also wanted to ensure that the players coming would play the game with intelligence and skill at both ends of the ice.
"The group represents these qualities extremely well."
Canada will be up against Great Britain, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United States when the Trentino 2013 ice hockey preliminary round gets underway on December 10.
The Canadians have a formidable Universiade record, winning 14 from 14 matches over the two Games.
"We have high expectations for this group that culminate with capturing a gold medal obviously," added Draper.
"It will be a priority for us to strive for growth in team efficiency with each game that we play.
"Along the way, we want to represent our country and CIS in a positive light while displaying the competitive drive and determination that has come to be synonymous with Canadian ice hockey players."
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