We’ve covered the European teams, now it’s time for the favourites.
Team Canada lost to the US in the final for the third consecutive time in 2016. Now they’re back with their usual stacked team, a few rookies... and Shannon Szabados.
This is Szabados’ first season of international play since Sochi. In the two-game December series against Team USA she played a total of 111 minutes (starter Ann-Renée Desbiens went down with an injury only eight minutes into game one) and stopped 55 of the 60 shots she faced for a save percentage of 0.917 and GAA of 2.69. More importantly? Team Canada swept that series.
Seventeen of the 23 players played in the CWHL this season including co-leading scorer, league MVP and player-voted MVP Marie-Philip Poulin. (It’s possible you may have heard of her). The four rookies — Toronto Furies’ Erin Ambrose and Renata Fast, Brampton Thunder’s Laura Stacey and University of Minnesota’s Sarah Potomak — each have their own features on the Hockey Canada site.
There are lots of questions to ask with this team: who’s starting the tournament, Szabados or last year’s surprise star Emerance Maschmeyer? Are rookie d-pair Ambrose and Fast going to be trusted together or split up? How is Caroline Ouellette going to fare in her first tournament as assistant coach? Is a Canada vs USA medal game ever going to get decided in regulation again?
Of course, you don’t need me to tell you these things. TSN will be covering every Team Canada game live, so you’ll have the stellar TSN broadcasting team to tell you all about each player. Or at least one thing about each player. The same thing. Several times a game. For the whole tournament.
Because I don’t drink, and I don’t intend to let Rod Black drive me to drink, I have assembled a fun game for the Canada-supporting viewing public: Commentary Bingo!
Just right-click and “Save As” to download your own copy and follow along at home. Will we make it through game one without hitting blackout bingo? Only time will tell.
- One reference can’t count for more than one square.
- If a CWHL player is mistakenly referred to as if she’s a current college player, still counts. Also counts if Lacasse is mentioned as a Boston Blades player, the team she hasn’t been with for a year.
- “Juggler” only counts if it’s not metaphorical, or if the metaphor applies to Erin Ambrose.
- “Amy Potomak” counts if she’s mentioned by name, if “the Potomak sisters” are mentioned, or if Amy Potomak is in the crowd and they direct our attention to her.
- If Laura Stacey is mistakenly referred to as “Laura Clancy” it counts for the “King Clancy” square. (Yes, we know it sort of maybe rhymes, but she’s his great-granddaughter, not his daughter, Rod.)
- If Hayley Wickenheiser is actually at the game in question, that’s too easy. Comparisons to Wickenheiser, mention of specific plays or interviews from her career and general lamentation of her retirement all count.
Have fun! Alternatively, just turn off the sound and watch some damn good hockey.