Poulin leads Team Canada in quest for third straight women’s hockey title

Team Canada Sarah Nurse, left, is congratulated by teammates Rebecca Johnston, right, and Marie-Philip Poulin, centre, after she scored against Team USA during first period action. (Jacques Boissinot/CP)

CALGARY — Captain Marie-Philip Poulin will lead an experienced squad when Canada seeks its third straight women’s world hockey title next month.

Hockey Canada released its 23-player roster for the tournament, which runs April 5-16 in Brampton, Ont.

Eighteen players selected to the roster were part of Canada’s championship team last year in Denmark.

All players except forward Danielle Serdachny, 21, have appeared in a world championship before.

Sarah Fillier, who led Canada with 11 points last year in Denmark and was named to the all-tournament team, is among the forwards that will help Canada seek a third straight title for the first time since it won the first eight world championships between 1990 and 2004.

The other returnees from the 2022 tournament are: defender Erin Ambrose; goaltender Kristen Campbell; forward Emily Clark; goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens; defender Renata Fast; forward Brianne Jenner; defender Jocelyne Larocque; forward Emma Maltais; goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer; forward Sarah Nurse; forward Kristin O’Neill; forward Jamie Lee Rattray; defender Ella Shelton; forward Laura Stacey; forward Blayre Turnbull; and defender Micah Zandee-Hart.

Forwards Rebecca Johnston and Natalie Spooner and defenders Claire Thompson and Jaime Bourbonnais round out the roster.

Canada has defeated the archrival United States in the last two would championship finals, with a 3-2 overtime win in Calgary in 2021 and 2-1 victory last year in Herning and Frederikshavn, Denmark.

Canada also downed the U.S. 3-2 in the 2022 Olympic final as part of what has been an impressive run by the women’s national team.

The 10-team tournament features Canada in Group A with Czechia, Japan, Switzerland and the United States, while Group B includes Finland, France, Germany, Hungary and Sweden.

Canada will open against Switzerland on April 5.

“Our staff had some very difficult decisions selecting this roster and that speaks to the depth that we have within our program,” said head coach Troy Ryan in a statement. “We are confident that we have assembled a talented roster with a great deal of character and leadership. Our entire staff is excited to have the opportunity to work with each of these athletes as we begin this journey toward a World Championship.”

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