Haley Irwin returns to Canadian women's hockey team for Four Nations Cup
Roster for November 1-5 tournament named on Friday
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Haley Irwin will play for Canada's women's hockey team for the first time in two years at next month's Four Nations Cup.
The 28-year-old forward from Thunder Bay, Ont., won Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014, but has been sidelined with long-term injuries, including a concussion. Irwin's last games with Canada were at the 2014 Four Nations Cup.
She was among 24 players named Friday to Canada's squad for the international women's hockey tournament Nov. 1-5, 2016 in Vierumaki, Finland.
Second-ranked Canada opens tourney against the Finns
Defending champion United States, ranked first ahead of Canada in the IIHF women's rankings, No. 3 Finland and No. 5 Sweden round out the tournament. Canada opens against the Finns on Nov. 1.
The Canadian team includes 13 players from the victorious Olympic team of 2014, including overtime heroine Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que.
Forward Laura Stacey of Kleinburg, Ont., will make her national-team debut.
Most returning players competed in Kamloops
There are 15 players on the roster from the team that fell 1-0 in overtime to the U.S. in the final of April's women's world championship in Kamloops, B.C.
Head coach Laura Schuler of Toronto will evaluate players in Vierumaki for possible inclusion on her roster for the 2017 world championship.
"This is a proven group of players that have all represented Canada on the international stage," Schuler said in a Hockey Canada statement Friday.
"This event marks another opportunity for our players to show us they have what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf."
Canada has won the tournament 14 times in its 21-year history.
Canada's goaltenders in Finland will be Emerance Maschmeyer of Bruderheim, Alta., Genevieve Lacasse of Kingston, Ont., and Erica Howe of Orleans, Ont.
Canada's defenders are:
- Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont.
- Courtney Birchard of Mississauga, Ont.
- Renata Fast of Burlington, Ont.
- Hamilton's Laura Fortino
- Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne, Man.
- Lauriane Rougeau of Beaconsfield, Que.
- Tara Watchorn of Newcastle, Ont.
Rounding out the forwards:
- Meghan Agosta of Ruthven, Ont.
- Bailey Bram of Ste. Anne
- Jessica Campbell of Rocanville, Sask.
- Melodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que.
- Sarah Davis of Paradise, N.L.
- Brianne Jenner of Oakville, Ont.
- Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont.
- Winnipeg's Jenelle Kohanchuk
- Jamie Lee Rattray of Kanata, Ont.
- Natalie Spooner of Toronto, Ont.
- Jennifer Wakefield of Pickering, Ont.