Over the past month, TSN has been unveiling the ‘playing’ rosters of the all-time Canadian teams. The network worked its way through the seven current Canadian National Hockey League cities before landing on both the National Men’s and the National Women’s teams.
Following the mold of the previously released all-time teams, the Canadian National Women’s all-time squad featured four forward lines along with one spare, three defensive pairings plus one spare, as well as three goaltenders and additionally one ‘Foundational Player’. Amongst those named to the team were Manitobans Jennifer Botterill and Jocelyne Larocque.
Jennifer Botterill, 41, of Winnipeg, made her presence felt as captain of the highly successful Harvard University women’s team in the early 2000s, where she racked up an incredible 157 goals, 340 points and 96 penalty minutes in just 113 games. With Canada, the high-flying forward won three olympic golds, five Women’s World Championship gold medals, as well as four silver medals between the Olympics and world championships.
Jocelyne Larocque, 32, grew up in Ste. Anne, before moving to Calgary to compete with the Oval X-Treme for three seasons. She then travelled south to the University of Minnesota Duluth, where she put up 19 goals, 105 points and 278 penalty minutes in the NCAA. The 5-foot-6, 140-pound rearguard has one olympic gold to go along with an olympic silver medal, one Women’s World Championship gold, five silvers and one bronze.
The geographical breakdown heavily favoured those from Quebec (10 players), while Ontario was a close second with eight players chosen from the province. Manitoba and Saskatchewan each had two players selected, while Alberta saw one representative. British Columbia, the Maritimes and the Far North were left off the map. Geraldine Heaney – a representative from Great Britain (Northern Ireland) – was also featured as a prominent player for Team Canada over the years.
TSN also announced its ‘final cuts’ with one player per position on the ice that would have been next in line to a place on the team. Of the six highlighted players, one had Manitoban roots. Netminder Sami Jo Small (Winnipeg) played for the National Women’s Team from 1999-2004, earning two olympic gold medals, one olympic silver, four Women’s World Championship golds and one first place finish in the now defunct Canadian Women’s Hockey League.
Of the six omissions, TSN had voters submit their thoughts on who the most significant omission was from the list of snubs. Small ran away with it with 33 percent of the votes. Current Team Canada forward Rebecca Johnston ranked second. Judy Diduck, Carla MacLeod, Stacy Wilson and Sarah Vaillancourt made up the other positional snubs. Mel Davidson was voted in as Head Coach of the dream team.