Forward Marie-Philip Poulin leads a Canadian Olympic women’s hockey roster that, for the first time since 2006, will not include goalie Shannon Szabados.
Poulin, the 30-year-old team captain, and fellow forward Rebecca Johnston are each going to a fourth Olympics after winning gold in 2010 and 2014 and silver in 2018.
Szabados, 35, started all three of those Olympic finals against the U.S. but in May was not named to Canada’s centralization roster to train for the Games.
“I am still training, working out etc but my little one [daughter Shaylyn] is only 8 months so between having her and covid severely limiting any real opportunities to compete I knew I was no where near where i needed to be to be at Olympic level,” Szabados wrote in an email then. “That coupled with just wanting to be a mom right now, that little girl is my #1 priority at the moment and it wasn’t the right time to make a comeback.”
Canada may have lost the 2018 Olympic final to the U.S. in a shootout, but last August at the world championship, it beat the U.S. in a major final for the first time in seven years. Poulin scored the golden goal in overtime in Calgary, the latest in a string of clutch goals in 13 years with the national team.
Canada also boasts the MVP from the 2018 Olympics and 2021 Worlds, forward Mélodie Daoust, and veteran forwards Brianne Jenner and Natalie Spooner.
Ann-Renée Desbiens succeeded Szabados as the No. 1 goalie, playing in the medal round at the world championship tournament.
Notable skaters not on the Olympic team include forward Meghan Agosta, who played in the last four Olympics but neither world championship in this cycle, and defender Laura Fortino, who led the team in ice time at the 2018 Olympics and 2019 Worlds. Neither Agosta nor Fortino was named to the national team pool last year.
Defender Meaghan Mikkelson, a three-time Olympian, is the most notable cut from the 2021 national team pool. She missed the world championship after June knee surgery, returning in November.
In Beijing, the U.S. and Canada will play in the last game of pool play. If each team wins the rest of its games, they would play again in the Olympic final.
• Goaltenders: Kristen Campbell (Brandon, Man.), Ann-Renée Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.) and Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta.)
• Defence: Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont.), Ashton Bell (Deloraine, Man./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA), Renata Fast (Burlington, Ont.), Jocelyne Larocque (Ste. Anne, Man.), Ella Shelton (Ingersoll, Ont.), Claire Thompson (Toronto, Ont.) and Micah Zandee-Hart (Saanichton, B.C.)
• Forwards: Emily Clark (Saskatoon, Sask.),Mélodie Daoust (Valleyfield, Que.),Sarah Fillier (Georgetown, Ont./Princeton University, ECAC), Brianne Jenner (Oakville, Ont.), Rebecca Johnston (Sudbury, Ont.), Emma Maltais (Burlington, Ont./Ohio State University, WCHA), Sarah Nurse (Hamilton, Ont.), Marie-Philip Poulin (Beauceville, Que.), Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont.), Jill Saulnier (Halifax, N.S.), Natalie Spooner (Scarborough, Ont.), Laura Stacey (Kleinburg, Ont.) and Blayre Turnbull (Stellarton, N.S.)
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My Story: Here’s how I defied the odds & redefined success while falling short of making Team Canada for Beijing 2022 pic.twitter.com/W2TTG6wpv4
— Meaghan Mikkelson (@Mikkelson12) January 11, 2022