SPORTS

Women's world hockey championship: Canada has 12 returnees

03/12/2015 03:47 EDT | Updated 05/12/2015 05:59 EDT
More than half of Canada’s roster for the upcoming women’s world hockey championship in Malmo, Sweden will be comprised of 2013 silver medallists.

Hockey Canada on Thursday unveiled the 23-player roster, with 12 having finished second in Ottawa: Forwards Bailey Bram, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner and Jennifer Wakefield along with defencemen Laura Fortino, Jocelyne Larocque, Lauriane Rougeau, Courtney Birchard and goalie Genevieve Lacasse.

Irwin, Jenner, Johnston, Poulin, Spooner, Wakefield, Fortino, Laroque, Rougeau, Lacasse and blue-liner Tara Watchorn were also members of the Canadian squad that won gold at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

That experience should bode well for a team that will have 10 players competing at their first world championship.

“We will have a young roster … but the players we have named today have experienced success at all levels, be it with Canada’s national women’s under-18 team, Canada’s national development team or Canada’s national women’s team,” head coach Doug Derraugh said in a statement released by Hockey Canada.

Canada will hold a pre-tourney camp from March 18-24 in Toronto that will include two exhibition games against midget triple-A teams from Ontario.

“We’re looking forward to a strong pre-competition camp and will be ready before leaving to Sweden,” Derraugh said. “We are excited to get on the ice in Malmo to represent our country.”

Canada opens vs. U.S.

The world championship begins March 28, with Canada facing United States, which held Canada to 16 shots in a 3-2 victory in the 2013 final.

It was the 15th straight time Canada and the U.S. have met for the world title, and the outcome kept with the pattern since 2010, where neither team has been able to string together consecutive wins. Canada downed the Americans 3-2 in a shootout during the preliminary round.

Canada will conclude preliminary-round play against 2013 bronze medallist Russia (March 29) and Finland (March 31.)

The semifinals will be contested April 3, with the bronze and gold games slated for April 4.

Canada won’t have veteran forward Hayley Wickenheiser in the lineup this time after it was announced in February the four-time Olympic gold medallist and Canada's all-time leading scorer would have season-ending foot surgery.

The 2013 tourney marked the first time Wickenheiser, who was playing in her 12th world tournament, failed to register a point in the world championship. She missed three games with back spasms.

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