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Breaking down Team Canada’s roster for IIHF Women’s Worlds

The 23-player roster was announced on Monday and we’ve got some Thoughts About It

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 5 - Canada v United States Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

On Monday morning, Team Canada announced its roster for the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships that will be held in Plymouth, Michigan. 23 players were chosen to represent the red and white, announced via a snazzy video on Team Canada’s Twitter.

The full roster includes:

Goaltenders:

Genevieve Lacasse
Emerance Maschmeyer
Shannon Szabados

Defense:

Jocelyn Larocque
Lauriane Rougeau
Laura Fortino
Meaghan Mikkelson
Halli Krzyzaniak
Erin Ambrose
Renata Fast

Forwards

Meghan Agosta
Rebecca Johnston
Jennifer Wakefield
Bailey Bram
Brianne Jenner
Haley Irwin
Natalie Spooner
Emily Clark
Marie-Philip Poulin
Blayre Turnbull
Sarah Davis
Sarah Potomak
Laura Stacey

Four players - Ambrose, Fast, Stacey, and Potomak - will make their Worlds debut in 2017, although Ambrose and Potomak were also a part of the Team Canada squad that defeated Team USA in the two-game December series just a few months ago.

16 players (Agosta, Bram, Clark, Davis, Fortino, Jenner, Johnston, Krzyzaniak, Larocque, Maschmeyer, Mikkelson, Poulin, Rougeau, Spooner, Turnbull, Wakefield) were on last year’s Worlds roster, but with the new additions come several notable snubs.

With the return of Szabados (she also played during the December series but wasn’t at last year’s Worlds) comes the departure of Charline Labonté. Hockey Canada decided to stick with Lacasse and rising star Maschmeyer, who had her breakout performance at last year’s Worlds.

Labonté is likely nearing the end of her career with Team Canada. She’s 34 years old and would be the oldest player on the roster had she been named. But it’s likely she’ll still join Canada as they begin their centralization process for Pyeongchang.

A glaringly obvious snub is Patty Kazmaier finalist Ann-Renée Desbiens, who is having yet another banner year with Wisconsin. But then again, Canada’s so stacked in net that it’s not surprising she missed the cut.

Also missing from the roster are Tara Watchorn and Bridget Lacquette and forwards Hayley Wickenheiser (retirement) Jamie Lee Rattray, and Jillian Saulnier (And of course, Ann-Sophie Bettez is also missing, but we’ve accepted the fact that she’ll never make the roster and we’ll just keep yelling into the void about it).

Watchorn is one of the older players still with Team Canada, but she’s still been excellent for a rebuilding Boston team. Watchorn, along with Lacquette, Rattray and Saulnier will all nearly certainly be in the mix for centralization, but their absence on this team is interesting. Rattray was nearly a point-per-game player for Brampton this year, though the Thunder struggled after last year’s breakout season. Saulnier was fifth for Calgary in points and Lacquette was the second best scoring defender behind Mikkelson.

So Canada’s banking on young players like Fast and Ambrose, who had excellent rookie seasons with the Toronto Furies, to step up and take the place of missing players, though interestingly, there are barely any players still in college who made the roster.

Canada has struggled winning the gold medal at the last couple of Worlds, so we’ll see if this roster can get the job done in the last Worlds tournament before the Olympics. (!!!!)