Poulin, Spooner headline Canada’s roster for November games vs. U.S.

Canada's Marie-Philip Poulin skates during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. (Vincent Ethier/CP)

CALGARY — Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse lead the Canadian women’s hockey team into two games against the United States in November.

USA Hockey and Hockey Canada are holding a joint women’s camp Nov. 4-10 near Pittsburgh with exhibition games scheduled for Nov. 8 and Nov. 10.

Both federations are trying to backfill their national teams’ seasons with extra competition.

The Canadian Women’s Hockey League folded after last season and national-team players from both countries are among 200 who have boycotted the U.S.-based NWHL.

The annual international Four Nations Cup in November involving Canada, the U.S., Sweden and Finland was cancelled this year because the host Swedish women’s team is in a dispute with its federation.

Hockey Canada has scheduled an additional seven four-day camps this winter for the Canadian women in Montreal, Toronto and Kitchener, Ont., as well as giving the players access to three coached skills sessions per week in the regions they live, compared to one last season.

Thirty Canadian players are skating this week at a second camp in Montreal.

Canada’s 23-player roster for the Pennsylvania games at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township was chosen by head coach Troy Ryan, associate coach Perry Pearn, head scout Melody Davidson and national women’s teams director Gina Kingsbury.

"This is a unique season for our national team," Kingsbury said Wednesday in a statement.

"The opportunity to play the United States will complement the variety of camps and programs we have scheduled to ensure our athletes are competing at the highest level.

"Working with USA Hockey on this series will not only provide fans an opportunity to watch the best players from both countries, it will benefit our program as we continue to evaluate our athletes in advance of the world championship."

Canada is the host team of the 2020 women’s world championship in Halifax and Truro, N.S.

Canada’s Pennsylvania roster is minus a few notable names such as Rebecca Johnston, Brianne Jenner and goaltender Shannon Szabados and includes half a dozen women playing for NCAA schools.

Canada will also face the reigning world and Olympic champion Americans in the Rivalry Series that opens Dec. 14 in Hartford, Conn.

A second date was announced this week for Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 8, 2020.

Hockey Canada has yet to name its rosters for those games.

Laura Stacey, Sarah Filler, Melodie Daoust, Emily Clarke, Loren Gabel, Ann-Sophie Bettez, Blayre Turnbull, Kristin O’Neill, Victoria Bach and Emma Maltais round out Canada’s forwards for the Pennsylvania series.

Renata Fast, Lauriane Rougeau, Jocelyne Baroque, Erin Ambrose, Micah Zandee-Hart, Ella Shelton and Claire Thompson were the defenders named to the roster.

Genevieve Lacasse, Ann-Renee Desbiens and Emerance Maschmeyer were the goaltenders selected.

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