CIS Women’s Hockey Well Represented in Gold-Medal Final

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

OTTAWA (CIS) - Ten current or former members of CIS women’s hockey programs will be going for gold on Tuesday night when Team Canada faces its archrival from the United States in the gold-medal final of the 15th IIHF world championship at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

In total, 13 players or coaches associated with CIS schools are participating in the 2013 tournament, including 10 with Canada, two with Germany and one with Russia (complete list below).

The Canadian squad, which is looking for its second straight IIHF title and its 11th banner overall, is led by head coach Dan Church from York University, who is accompanied behind the bench by assistants Danielle Goyette from Calgary and Lisa Haley from Ryerson. All three occupied the same positions a year ago when Canada captured gold in Burlington, Vermont.

Carleton’s Marc Power (skating coach) and York’s Adam Douglas (strength and conditioning coach) are also part of the Canadian staff.

On the ice, CIS will be represented in the championship final by one current all-star and four former university standouts.

All-world forward Hayley Wickenheiser joined the Calgary Dinos in 2010-11. The Team Canada captain has since been named an all-Canadian in each of her three seasons with the Dinos, including CIS player-of-the-year honours in her varsity debut, and led Calgary to the first CIS title in program history in 2011-12.

Goaltender Charline Labonte and defenceman Catherine Ward, both former McGill Martlets, also merited all-Canadian status in each of their CIS seasons.

Labonte, who starred for the Martlets from 2006 to 2012 (excluding a year off for the 2010 Olympics), is the only player in CIS women’s hockey history to earn the maximum five selections on the first all-Canadian unit. She also helped McGill reach the CIS podium in each of her five campaigns, including three national titles, one silver medal and one bronze.

Ward spent three seasons with the Martlets from 2006-07 to 2008-09 and was voted a first-team CIS all-star every year. She was the CIS rookie of the year in ‘06-07 and national championship MVP in ‘08-09.

Forward Caroline Ouellette played seven games for the Concordia Stingers in 2000-01, while forward Jayna Hefford spent one season with the Toronto Varsity Blues in 1996-97, one year before women’s hockey was added to the CIS program.

Ouellette and Hefford, both alternate captains on the 2013 IIHF squad, are now assistant coaches with Concordia and Toronto, respectively.

Going into tonight’s final, Hefford (2-4-6) and Ward (1-5-6) have both tallied six points in four games, including two points apiece in an 8-1 semifinal win over Russia on Monday night.

Ouellette (0-1-1) and Wickenheiser (0-0-0) have both been slowed down by injuries and have suited up in three and two contests, respectively.

Labonte earned a 16-save shutout against Switzerland in her only outing of the tournament last Wednesday.

Between them, Wickenheiser, Labonte, Ward, Ouellette and Hefford have won 12 Olympic gold medals and 23 world titles. They were all part of the IIHF championship team a year ago in Vermont.

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