Hockey Canada announced their roster for the 2019 IIHF Women’s World Championships, held this year in Espoo, Finland, and both the Markham Thunder and Toronto Furies are well-represented.
As usual, the six GTA Canadian Olympians—Laura Stacey, Laura Fortino, Jocelyne Larocque, Sarah Nurse, Renata Fast, and Natalie Spooner—have made the roster. This will actually be Sarah Nurse’s first World Championships; she’s attended the 4 Nations Tournament multiple times, but never Worlds. Thunder forward Jamie Lee Rattray, who got an injury call-up back to the national team at 4 Nations last fall, has played her way into a roster spot at Worlds from the get-go. Rivalry Series attendees Victoria Bach and Brittany Howard are not on the roster; neither is Shea Tiley, who was Team Canada’s third goalie at 4 Nations. The omission of Bach is especially puzzling considering the season she’s having. She’s tied for second in the CWHL in goals scored and is leading her team in points by a seven-point margin.
However, in news that should be exciting to any women’s hockey fan, Montréal Canadiennes star Ann-Sophie Bettez will be attending her first senior-level IIHF tournament after a truly impressive performance on Canada’s top line at the Rivalry Series. Bettez is 31 years old, and while none of us really understand why Hockey Canada waited so long, I’m thrilled she’s finally going to be able to represent her country at the biggest tournament of the year. If Canada knows what good is, they’ll reunite that top line of Bettez, Marie-Philip Poulin, and Rebecca Johnston that functioned like a terrifying, well-oiled hockey machine in February vs Team USA.
Canada will open Worlds play on April 4th against Switzerland. TSN and RDS will broadcast all of Canada’s games, and hopefully some of the other ones as well, and we’ll have coverage of the whole tournament here on PPP.