As expected, the Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team will be older than the U.S. roster.
Hockey Canada announced its final three cuts and the official 21-woman team for Sochi on Monday.
It’s led by six-time Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser, largely regarded as the greatest player in women’s hockey history. Wickenheiser, 35, has won three Olympic gold medals, one silver and competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics for Canada in softball.
She’s also the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women’s hockey history and one of two women’s players in EA Sports’ NHL 13 video game (the other is retired American Angela Ruggiero).
Canada has won the last three Olympic golds and took silver to the U.S. in the first Olympic women’s hockey tournament in 1998. The U.S. is the reigning world champion and has won two straight games over Canada this fall after Canadian coach Dan Church resigned.
Former NHL player Kevin Dineen now coaches Canada and would be the first male Olympic coach for the women’s hockey team. The U.S. is coached by Katey Stone, who would be the first women’s coach for the U.S. Olympic Team.
The average Canadian women’s Olympic hockey player age is 26 years old. The U.S.’ average age will be about 24 once it makes its final cuts and names its team on Jan. 1.
The Canadian roster includes 12 Olympians from 2010, six Olympians from 2006, three Olympians from 2002 and two Olympians from 1998.
The U.S. roster will include a maximum of 12 Olympians from 2010, one from 2006, one from 2002 and none from 1998.
Here’s the full Canadian roster:
Shannon Szabados — 2010 Olympian (shut out U.S. in 2010 Olympic gold-medal game)
Charline Labonte — 2006, 2010 Olympian
Meaghan Mikkelson — 2010 Olympian
Catherine Ward — 2010 Olympian
Hayley Wickenheiser — 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 Olympian
Jayna Hefford — 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 Olympian
Caroline Ouellette — 2002, 2006, 2010 Olympian
Meghan Agosta-Marciano — 2006, 2010 Olympian
Gillian Apps — 2006, 2010 Olympian
Marie-Philip Poulin — 2010 Olympian (scored both 2010 Olympic gold-medal game goals)
Haley Irwin — 2010 Olympian
Rebecca Johnston — 2010 Olympian
Video: U.S., Canada brawl in exhibition