Canada’s run of Olympic women’s hockey gold in hands of 23 named to team

3 goaltenders, 6 defencemen and 14 forwards will attempt to defend gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea

The Canadian women’s hockey team released three players and unveiled its roster for February’s Winter Olympics on Friday.

Head coach Laura Schuler named three goaltenders, six defencemen and 14 forwards to the team that will attempt to defend gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“When we made the final decisions, and we looked at what we needed to win gold, we felt these 23 people were going to be the 23 that we needed to have on the roster,” Schuler said.

Canada has won four consecutive gold medals in women’s hockey.

Twenty-eight players were invited in May to try out for the 2018 Olympic team. The players began training full time in August in preparation for the Winter Games.

Defenders Halli Krzyzaniak of Neepawa, Man., Micah Zandee-Hart of Saanichton and forward Sarah Potomak of Aldergrove, were the last cuts from the team Friday.

Forward Amy Potomak, also of Aldergrove, and defender Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont., were released Nov. 20.

“It’s such a hard process,” forward Marie-Philip Poulin said. “It’s bitter and sweet. We’re like a family. To see some girls leave, it’s always hard.”

The 2018 Olympic roster includes 14 players from the team that beat the United States 3-2 in an overtime thriller to win gold in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Goaltender Shannon Szabados, defender Meaghan Mikkelson, forwards Poulin, Haley Irwin, Rebecca Johnston and Meghan Agosta also won gold in Vancouver in 2010.

Agosta, who will be a four-time Olympian in Pyeongchang, is the lone member of the team that won gold in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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