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Canadian women's under-18 hockey roster announced for cancelled world championship

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CALGARY — Hockey Canada named its roster for the world under-18 women's hockey championship even though the tournament was cancelled.

Jade Iginla, daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla, was among the three goaltenders, seven defenders and 13 forwards named to the Canadian team Thursday.

The Jan. 8-15 championship in Sweden was called off Dec. 24 because of concerns over the COVID-19 virus.

The International Ice Hockey Federation was criticized for cancelling the women's under-18 championship a second straight year while the men's under-20 championship in Alberta was about to get underway for a second year.

The junior men's championship in Edmonton and Red Deer halted after four days because of rising numbers of infections.

The IIHF indicating it would try to hold the junior men's championship later in 2020 puts the organization under pressure to do the same for the under-18 women.

"Our disappointment of not competing in the championship this month does not overshadow the dedication and hard work our athletes and staff put in to be ready to compete,” said Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada's director of operations.

“It is crucial for the development of these athletes, as well as the growth of the women’s game, to be able to hold this tournament, and we remain hopeful there is an opportunity for them to showcase their talents and represent Canada on the world stage in the near future.”

Holly Abela, Avi Adam, Jocelyn Amos, Jordan Baxter, Madison Chantler, Tessa Holk, Emerson Jarvis, Reichen Kirchmair, Alex Law, Emmalee Pais, Karel Prefontaine and McKenna Van Gelder join Iginla at forward.

Maya D'Arcy, Brooke Disher, Piper Grover, Tova Henderson, Sarah MacEachern, Alyssa Regalado and Sarah Swiderski round out the defence. Hailey MacLeod, Lucy Phillips and Mari Pietersen were the goaltenders selected.

Olympic gold medallists Vickie Sunohara (2002, 2006) and Tara Watchorn (2014) were named assistant coaches to Howie Draper of the University of Alberta Pandas.

Hockey Canada also announced the women's world championship roster after the 2020 tournament in Nova Scotia was cancelled, in order to recognize the effort of making the team.

Canada's under-18 team won gold in 2019 in Obihiro, Japan in a 3-2 overtime win over the United States, but lost 2-1 in OT to the Americans in the following year's final in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The 2021 and 2022 championships in Linkoping and Mjolby, Sweden, were then cancelled. Canada has won five gold medals in the history of the tournament.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press