Hockey Canada has announced the roster for the upcoming 4 Nations Cup, held this year on home ice in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and the two GTA CWHL teams are well represented.
Unsurprisingly, all of the Canadian Olympians on the GTA teams—Natalie Spooner, Sarah Nurse, Renata Fast, Laura Stacey, Laura Fortino, and Jocelyne Larocque—are present on the roster. Spooner, Fortino, and Larocque are senior team veterans; Larocque will actually be the oldest skater on the team, and the second-oldest player after goalie Shannon Szabados. The other three players, while younger, have all been to the 4 Nations Cup multiple times (this will be Fast’s fourth, and Nurse and Stacey’s third).
In exciting news for Toronto Furies fans, newly drafted goalie Shea Tiley will be joining them, playing in her first tournament with the senior team. While both Toronto’s Brittany Howard and Markham’s Victoria Bach were invitees at the Fall Festival, Hockey Canada’s adorably picturesque-sounding name for pre-tournament camp, neither made the final cut. Howard scored an assist, and Bach had a goal and an assist.
The 4 Nations Cup is one of the two big annual events for the senior team, a tournament featuring Canada, the United States, Finland, and Sweden. In non-Olympic years, it’s a key event in terms of determining rosters for the World Championships in the spring. It’s also frequently an entry point to the senior team for younger players, as might be guessed from the inclusion of eighteen-year-old forward and Princeton University freshman Sarah Fillier.
The tournament, which officially begins on November 6th and runs through to the 10th, is smack-dab in the second month of the CWHL season. Fortunately for anyone worried that the Thunder or Furies might end up playing severely shorthanded, their last pre-tournament games are October 27th and 28th respectively, and neither team resumes play until the weekend following 4 Nations. We’ll be free to watch Spooner score goals with a differently-colored maple leaf on her chest—and conveniently, according to Hockey Canada, the medal games will be broadcast live on TSN.