The Delta Hockey Academy is welcoming Canada’s U18 women’s national team to its Planet Ice training facility this weekend for a mini-training camp in preparation for the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship — Jan. 6-13 in Obihiro, Japan.
Team Canada will hit the ice in the Canadian Rink on Saturday night (6:45-8:45 p.m) Two more training sessions are scheduled for Sunday — 11 a.m.-to-1 p.m. and 7-8:45 p.m.
The camp will conclude on Monday with an exhibition game against the B.C. Minor Midget Hockey League's Valley West Giants at 11:30 a.m.
The public is invited to attend all three days.
The national team’s 23 player roster was finalized earlier this month with the evaluation process including last summer’s three-game series against the United States.
Two B.C. players made the final cut — forwards Anne Cherkowski (Vernon) and Jennifer Gardiner (Surrey). Ontario leads the way with 11 players on the roster.
“Our staff has done an excellent job evaluating talent at the under-18 level through our summer camps, at our three-game series against the United States in August and with their club teams throughout the season,” said Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of women’s national teams. “We’re excited to head to Japan with 21 players who gained international experience in the summer, four players who can provide leadership from their experience at the 2018 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship and two new athletes who will without a doubt strengthen our team.”
Canada will open the 2019 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship against Sweden on Jan. 6. The schedule also has Canada matching up against the United States and Russia to round out the preliminary round on Jan. 7 and 8, respectively, before the tournament wraps up with the gold medal game on Jan. 13.
Canada will look to earn its first gold medal since 2014, having won gold four times (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), silver six times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017) and bronze once (2018).