Dragflick Newsdesk : The Canadian Wolf Pack departs to Santiago with one objective in mind; qualify for the 2022 World Cup. This team is on the verge of making history.
The Canadian Women’s National Team last qualified for the Hockey World Cup in 1994, when the event was played in Dublin, Ireland. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Spain and the Netherlands. Head coach Rob Short put it simply; they have their objective, and they are going to do everything they can to achieve it.
“Our end-goal like all teams, is qualifying for the World Cup. We see this opportunity as exciting, and not a weight. This group is ready and so excited to play,” Short said.
In their last Pan American Cup performance, in 2017, Team Canada finished 4th. They will need to up that finish by at least one spot to secure a World Cup bid. With a top three finish, Canada will succeed in its qualification goal, and after winning a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, this team expects to be back in the title match competing for that gold.
Elise Wong joined the national team in 2019 after playing hockey at Princeton. She said the team understands the stakes and will be taking it one game at a time.
“The last two years have been full of uncertainty; that’s why it’s even more important that we can trust the work we’ve put in and focus in on our goals,” she said. “This would be the first time a Canadian women’s team has qualified for the World Cup since 1994, and we are excited to continue the legacy and continue showing the world what Canada can do.
The team is fresh off a successful November training tour that saw them defeat Pan Am rival USA in a five-game series, outscoring their neighbours to the south 9-2 in the process. The tour was great for developing team chemistry and Wong said it was key in building confidence heading into the major games.
“We had a very successful training tour in Chula Vista, sweeping the USA in the five-game series,” Wong said. “It was great to see our hard work pay off and has definitely given us confidence going into Pan Ams, especially with USA in our pool.”
The personnel-makeup of the team will look a little different than years past, notably missing Kate Wright, Dani Hennig, Holly Stewart and goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams. Former captain and long-time leader of the team, Wright, announced her retirement late last year.
The team returns half (9) of their roster from the 2019 Pan American Games, with the other half being a melange of junior development players taking the step up, indoor national team crossovers, and recruits from other development streams.
“Our team is a great collaboration of experienced veterans and younger players,” Wong added. Especially with the addition of players who have stepped up from the indoor team, NCAA, and U SPORTS.”
For coach Short, he comes into the Cup with many fond Pan American memories from his time as a player and hopes he can bring that experience to the sidelines in Santiago. Those memories include Pan American gold medals in both 1999 and 2007, qualifying for the Olympic Games.
“There are so many amazing memories, he said. “I hope to channel that feeling that I had over the years and the lessons learned. Now, it’s about helping the girls understand the importance of this great opportunity we have and then embrace it.”
The team begins their 2022 Pan American Cup campaign against Peru on opening day.
Canadian Women’s team Roaster :
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Canadian Women’s team Staff :
- Rob Short – Head Coach
- Kyle Marks – Assistant Coach
- Kelly Vanry – Team Manager
- Paul Mounter – Video Technician
- Shelaina Anderson – Medical Doctor
- William Marsh – Physiotherapist