Canadian women’s team named for upcoming world championship

Marie-Phlip-Poulin-Les-Canadiennes

Marie-Philip Poulin. (Steven Senne / AP)

CALGARY — Canada’s national women’s hockey team is out for redemption at the upcoming world championship being held later this month in Calgary.

Hockey Canada announced on Thursday the 25 players selected that will suit up for the 2021 IIHF women’s world championship that opens Aug. 20.

Eight new faces will join a group of veterans in an attempt to overcome its worst showing in tournament history and dethrone the United States, which has won the last five world championships from 2013 to 2019.

The 2020 tournament in Halifax was cancelled due to the pandemic.

The Canadians have won 10 world championships — the most of any nation — but haven’t finished at the top since 2012. They have eight silvers, and one bronze that came last time out in 2019 when they missed the tournament final for the first time in history after being upset by host Finland in the semifinals.

The Americans have nine titles with their recent run of success and 10 silvers, with the 2019 edition being the only gold-medal game in 19 tournaments to not have Canada against the U.S. The Americans beat the Finns for gold while the Canadians downed Russia to round out the podium.

Victoria Bach, Ashton Bell, Kristen Campbell, Sarah Fillier, Emma Maltais, Kristin O’Neill, Ella Shelton and Claire Thompson will make their world championship debuts as part of the Canadian contingent, which includes three goaltenders, seven defence and 15 forwards.

“It has been a challenging 16 months for our athletes and staff, but we have never lost sight of our goal of competing for a world championship on home ice,” said Gina Kingsbury, director of hockey operations.

“We have had few opportunities to train together as a group, but our training camp has been high tempo and competitive. We are confident in our group. We are a team full of skill, youth and veteran leadership that will give us the best chance to compete for a gold medal.”

The 10-team tournament will see Canada, Finland, Russia, Switzerland and the United States in Group A, while Group B is comprised of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary and Japan.

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