Women’s Hockey Icon Jennifer Botterill Retires

Hockey Canada announced Monday that Jennifer Botterill, one of only four Canadians to take part in all four Olympic women’s hockey tournaments and a three-time Olympic gold medallist, is retiring from Canada’s national women’s team.

Botterill played 184 games in a Team Canada jersey – third all-time behind Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford – recording 65 goals and 109 assists for 174 points, good for fifth all-time. She also played nine games for Canada’s national women’s under-22 team, winning a gold medal at the 1998 Christmas Cup in Germany before captaining the team in a three-game series against the United States in August 1999.

The Winnipeg, Man., native won 16 gold medals during her 14-year career (1997-2010) with Canada’s national team, including three at the Olympic Winter Games (2002, 2006, 2010), five at the IIHF World Women’s Championship (1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007) seven at the 3 Nations/4 Nations Cup (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) and at the 2005 Torino Ice Tournament.

Botterill was named Most Valuable Player at the 2001 and 2004 IIHF World Women’s Championships, took home Top Forward honours as well in 2001 and earned a spot on the Media All-Star Team at the 2004 IIHF World Women’s Championship and 2006 Olympic Winter Games. On February 25, 2010, Botterill set up Marie-Philip Poulin for the gold medal-winning goal at the Vancouver Olympics in what proved to be her final international game.

“I will always be grateful for all that hockey has given me in my playing career,” said Botterill. “I will forever treasure the experiences and opportunities that have come my way through this game. Thanks to all my teammates, coaches and trainers that have supported me over the years. I am very excited to start another chapter in my life and look forward to the possibilities that are ahead of me.”

“Throughout her career with Canada’s national women’s team, Jennifer Botterill has been a role model for young girls playing hockey across the country, and I am sure she will continue to do so even in retirement,” said Bob Nicholson, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. “We wish her the best in her future projects, and look forward to working with her to help continue to grow the women’s game. Her infectious smile and cheerful personality will be missed in the dressing room and on the ice.”

At the club team level, Botterill twice won gold at the Esso Women’s Nationals, in 2005 with the Toronto Aeros and 2008 with the Mississauga Chiefs, and was the first recipient of the Angela James Bowl as leading scorer of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League in its inaugural 2007-08 season, when she also picked up the league’s Top Forward award.

She spent four seasons at Harvard University (1998-2001, 2002-03), recording 319 points in 107 games and winning the Patty Kazmaier Award as the top player in U.S. women’s college hockey in 2000-01 and 2002-03, making her the only player to win the award twice. Botterill, who scored the overtime winner for Harvard to give it the American Women’s College Hockey Alliance national championship in 1999, finished her college career with at least one point in 106 of her 107 career games, including a record 80 games in a row.