Why hockey nicknames are crucial for Canada’s Four Nations Cup team

There are five Sarahs on the women’s national team roster for this year’s Four Nations Cup, prompting us to wonder how they identify each other.

“It’s hockey,” quipped a colleague, first names don’t matter and instead a ‘y’ is attached to the last name or an abbreviation of. Hey, sometimes the abbreviation just sticks (see more below).

Canada won the 2014 Four Nations Cup with 3-2 SO win over the USA.

Canada won the 2014 Four Nations Cup with 3-2 SO win over the USA.

Four of the Sarahs will skate their senior national team debut when the tournament takes place November 4th to 8th in Sundsvall, Sweden. Of course, Canada’s squad has plenty of veteran talent with seven Sochi Olympians including three-time Olympic gold medallist forward Meghan Agosta and clutch sniper Marie-Philip PoulinLaura Fortino and Lauriane Rougeau will lead the d-corps.

“We’re excited about the group chosen to represent Canada, and we’re looking forward to getting on the ice in Sweden for the first time together as a team this season,” said Laura Schuler, Canada’s head coach.

Meghan Agosta

Meghan Agosta in Sochi

The Canadians are two-time defending champions, they will compete against the USA, Finland, and Sweden. Canada has won the tournament 14 times.

Back to nickname examples for the rookies: Aldergrove, BC’s Sarah Potomak is most likely ‘Pots’ considering the problematic outcome from adding a ‘y’; Sarah Nurse, who is the cousin of pro Darnell Nurse and basketball star Kia Nurse, is probably ‘Nursy’. Forward Sarah Lefort converts to ‘Fortsy’, while d-man Sarah Edney as ‘Eddie’ may employ the delightful hockey habit of transforming truncated names into completely different names entirely. Hopefully the only rookie not named Sarah, Clarkson Golden Knight Renata Fast, is just ‘Fast’ because it sounds cool.

Four Nation’s Cup: Canada’s full roster

Note: The above nicknames are not verified and entirely funjecture.

Paradise, NL’s Sarah Davis (Davey) is the fifth Sarah but not a rookie, she suffered the disappointment of winning silver at last year’s worlds. Hockey Canada calls Four Nations an ‘evaluation opportunity’ for the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Champions which are in Kamloops.

Canada plays Finland on November 4th to open the tournament. The bronze and gold medal games are November 8th. The full schedule is here.

Cover photo: Laura Fortino (Matt Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)