Team Canada’s short list for women’s Olympic hockey announced

Hockey Canada gave fans the down low on the 28 players being centralized in Calgary throughout the 2017-18 season, in preparation for PyeongChang 2018.

Nagano 1998 Olympic silver medallist Laura Schuler will pass on the torch, as she becomes the first alumnae to lead Team Canada behind the bench at the Olympic Winter Games.

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Laura Schuler talks to the team during the gold-medal game of the women’s world hockey championships, April 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The centralization roster has three goaltenders, nine defenders, and 16 forwards. It features 14 players who won gold at Sochi 2014 and also includes 21 players who captured silver at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship in Plymouth, Michigan.

Here’s a look at the 28 players named to Canada’s National Women’s Team.

Goalies: Ann-Renée Desbiens, Geneviève Lacasse and Shannon Szabados

Defenders: Erin Ambrose, Renata Fast, Laura Fortino, Micah Hart, Halli Krzyzaniak, Brigette Lacquette, Jocelyne Larocque, Meaghan Mikkelson and Lauriane Rougeau

Forwards: Meghan Agosta, Bailey Bram, Emily Clark, Mélodie Daoust, Haley Irwin, Brianne Jenner, Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Nurse, Amy Potomak, Sarah Potomak, Marie-Philip Poulin, Jillian Saulnier, Natalie Spooner, Laura Stacey, Blayre Turnbull and Jennifer Wakefield

Canada’s Meghan Agosta scores during the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship gold medal game April 7, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Kryk

All 28 players on the centralization roster will be kick starting their training with fitness testing in late May. For the month of August, the players, along with the staff, will be coming together on a full-time basis with Hockey Canada as part of the preparation for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

As for Canada’s final 23-player roster for PyeongChang 2018, that will likely be finalized in late December.

Laura Schuler plays for Team Canada

Schular was announced as head coach for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games on Wednesday alongside assistant coaches Dwayne Gylywoychuk, Troy Ryan and goaltending consultant Brad Kirkwood.

She is not new to the coaching scene either. Schular has served as head coach for Canada’s National Women’s Team since the 2015-16 season and was the head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team that won gold at the 2014 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship. She claimed gold at the same event in 2013 as an assistant coach. As a player, Schuler won three gold medals with Canada’s National Women’s Team at the IIHF World Women’s Championship in 1990, 1992 and 1997.