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Women’s Hockey Wednesday: Who’s in goal for Team Canada?

Plus recaps from the CWHL’s opening weekend and the NWHL’s international games

Emerance Maschmeyer makes a save on an American player at the Women’s World Championships 2016
Could we see Emerance Maschmeyer in Team Canada colours again soon?
Chris Tanouye

Story of the week

Shannon Szabados’ long, trail-blazing road has never been easy: ‘She always has to prove herself’ – The Athletic

The story of the week is not actually this Shannon Szabados profile behind the Athletic’s paywall. It’s what this part of the profile implies:

A middle-aged gentleman wanders over to check out the morning's on-ice session, two dozen swirling players in helmets and masks.

“So who's this?”

The Canadian women's squad, he is told.

Suddenly he's dying to know something else: “Which one is Szabados?”

From this anecdote, Cruikshank implies Szabados is on the ice for practice with Team Canada, although he never says it straight out, or dates the anecdote. Why’s that important?

Shannon Szabados has played a total of 40 minutes as Team Canada prepares for the Olympics. It was back in their first game of the “Icebreaker series” against teams in the boys Alberta AAA Midget Hockey League on September 21.

The goalie who backed her up in that game, playing 18 minutes in relief, was Geneviève Lacasse. Lacasse played the other three games of the Icebreaker series, which took place in the AMHL’s preseason. When the team moved on to the “Esso series” — which is also against the AMHL, but during the league’s regular season — Lacasse played just the first two periods before being replaced by Ann-Renée Desbiens.

Of the 13 games that Team Canada has played in their centralization schedule, Desbiens has started six, sometimes with no backup listed.

Emerance Maschmeyer and Erica Howe — who were left off the centralization roster but named as “support” whose first priority would be their CWHL clubs — have both been called into service. Maschmeyer, currently the starting goalie for the Montréal Canadiennes, was the listed backup for Lacasse’s games of the Icebreaker series and started the Esso series game on October 7th. Howe, who shares the crease for the Markham Thunder, was listed as backup for a game on October 12th. To be clear, these players are travelling to Alberta from Montréal, QC and Stouffville, ON respectively, mostly to sit on the bench for Team Canada.

On Monday night, Team Canada played an exhibition game against the boys Team Alberta U16s. Desbiens was listed as the backup goalie. The starter? The two Team Alberta goalies, Garin Bjorklund and Sebastian Cosse, played for both teams, switching teams midway through the game.

There’s a slim possibility that coach Laura Schuler thinks this trial by fire is something Desbiens needed — Ann-Renée has had two very high-stakes losses, one only a few months ago in the NCAA championship game. Team Canada is 4-1-1 (the AMHL allows ties) in games where Desbiens is the starter, so if this is a test, she’s passing it. Still, she’s going to need a backup.

Hockey Canada has not publicized any injuries that Szabados or Lacasse have suffered. However to not even list backups in more than one game, much less whatever Monday night’s nonsense was, raises a whole whack of questions.

Canada will face Team USA on Sunday at 2 pm, their first real test as a team. Conveniently, it takes place in Québec City, close enough for Maschmeyer to make an appearance if needed. Maybe it won’t. Maybe Szabados has been practicing with the team all along and will be well-rested and in net on Sunday afternoon. The game will be televised on both TSN2 (tape-delayed to 7:30pm) and the NHL Network. If there are serious problems with Team Canada’s goalie situation they’ll be in the spotlight very soon.

International hockey

Potter to lead Slovakia
Four-time world champion turns to coaching

Team Russia on the 2017 NWHL Tour | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
Today we will take a look at the roster that the coaching staff has selected for the overseas trip. Read on!

Women’s Hockey Update: October 16th, 2017 | CONWAY'S RUSSIAN HOCKEY BLOG
Today, we go into more depth on the team’s first couple of games in North America (and a very interesting start to the series it has been, too), and present you with the promised brief preview of the amateur women’s hockey season in Russia.

Tara Watchorn announces retirement from Canada’s National Women’s Team
2014 Olympic gold-medallist to focus on coaching career

Hockey takes on USA Women’s Olympic squad – Est. 1933
With a large audience, the UT men’s hockey team took on the USA Women’s Olympic hockey team in an action-packed game on Friday night.

CWHL

Recaps

Montreal 5, Boston 2: Les Canadiennes Start Season on the Right Foot | Sports – The Link
The atmosphere at the Bell Complex in Brossard was electric on Saturday evening.

CWHL: Dominant first period lifts Les Canadiennes over Boston Blades - Eyes On The Prize
Boston's comeback effort comes close, but fails to overcome Montreal's four-goal first period.

Recap: Furies edged out by Thunder in home opener 1-0 - Pension Plan Puppets
A disappointing start to the season had some bright spots.

Recap: Furies get revenge and first win of the season 2-1 over Thunder - Pension Plan Puppets
GTA rivals sit tied for second in the CWHL standings.

After a busy summer, the CWHL is hoping for a big winter in 2017-18 - The Globe and Mail
The Canadian Women's Hockey League has made bold moves, paying its players for the first time and adding two China-based teams

CWHL poised for ‘record year’ with season set to start – The Athletic (subscription)
It’s at about this time of year, ever since she was a kid, that Hayleigh Cudmore begins to feel a ping of excitement.

CWHL 2017-18 Season Preview: Calgary Inferno - The Ice Garden
The Calgary Inferno lost some talent, but added some more too - will it be enough?

Getting to know Taryn Baumgardt of the Calgary Inferno
The second edition of our Inferno profile pieces features one of those new faces, Taryn Baumgardt, the Inferno’s fifth overall selection in the 2017 CWHL entry draft.

CWHL 2017-18 Season Preview: Vanke Rays - The Ice Garden
What can we expect from Cayley Mercer, Brooke Webster and the Vanke Rays in 2017-18?

NWHL

Beauts' Victory Over China Offers Much Insight
The success of the Buffalo Beauts October 9th victory over Team China is indicative of the deep talent housed within this hockey club.

Whale Open Pre-Season Against Russian Olympians – DFP Sports
The Connecticut Whale had come together only 3 times prior to this meeting with the Russian National Team Sunday afternoon at Terry Conners Ice Rink.

NCAA

Div I Polls: USCHO | Ice Garden

2017-2018 NCAA Women's Hockey KRACH Calculator - BC Interruption
Because hockey math is the best math

Yale Falls to McGill in Exhibition Test – DFP Sports
The Yale women’s hockey team hosted McGill in an exhibition contest Saturday afternoon.

Women's ice hockey: Freshman's 38-save debut leads Maine to big win over No. 10 Robert Morris | NCAA.com
The line of Daria Tereshkina, Brooke Stacey, and Tereza Vanisova combined for all five (!) of Maine's goals, and freshman goalie Loryn Porter won her NCAA debut as Maine upset Robert Morris.

GOPHERSPORTS.COM Gulstene Embraces Challenges of College Game :: University of Minnesota Official Athletic Site :: Women's Ice Hockey
The Official Athletic Site of the University of Minnesota - Freshman goaltender Alex Gulstene is right at home in Maroon & Gold with the Gophers.

Women's ice hockey: More zeroes for Colgate's Liz Auby, who continues her record-setting start | NCAA.com
Sophomore goaltender Liz Auby tallied her fourth consecutive shutout and third straight to open the 2017-18 season as the nationally ranked No. 8/8 Colgate women's ice hockey team rolled to a 3-0 win over the nationally ranked No. 6/5 Northeastern at Class of 1965 Arena.

Merrimack goalie cited by Hockey East | Local Sports | eagletribune.com
Samantha Ridgewell of the Merrimack College women’s ice hockey team has been named the Women’s Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week.

USports

TOP 10 TUESDAY — U SPORTS
U Alberta, UBC and McGill are your top 3 in this week’s women’s hockey poll

Berthiaume looking forward to X-Women’s hockey season | The Chronicle Herald
Ben Berthiaume has one less iron in the fire this time around.

Laurentian women look to leaders | Sudbury Star
They don't drop the puck on the women's hockey season for more than a week, but the Laurentian Voyageurs have already become a close-knit group, according to captain Ellery Veerman.

AWIHL (Australia)

Women’s Hockey 101: Australian Women's Ice Hockey League - The Ice Garden
Women’s hockey in Australia has a longer history than you think.