PyeongChang – One Year Out! (Hockey)
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Venue: Gangneung Hockey Centre
Competition Dates: February 10-25
Events: 2 (1 men, 1 women)
Canadian Olympic Team: Olympic.ca
Canada is heading into the 2018 Olympic Games as defending back-to-back Olympic gold medallists in both men’s and women’s hockey. There is not a hockey-playing nation in the world that won’t be working to end Canada’s gold medal run in hockey at next year’s Winter Olympic Games.
Both the men’s and women’s Olympic hockey teams will likely feature numerous Manitoban players, most of whom will be looking to add another gold medal to their collections.
In the last decade, the United States have been victorious in the vast majority their match-ups against Canada. In fact, Team Canada has only won two of the last nine World Championships.
Despite their results at non-Olympic events, the Canadian team has looked unstoppable on the Olympic stage, clinching gold at every Games since 2002. Canada’s women’s hockey team will be looking to win their fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang.
Canada’s Olympic roster is expected to be announced shortly after the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championships which will run from March 31 to April 7, 2017.
In 2018, there is a possibility the world’s best will not be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games. The National Hockey League may not allow their players to compete for their countries at the 2018 Olympic Games.
Discussions surrounding the NHL’s participation in the Games between the NHL, IOC, and IIHF are still ongoing, though NHL players are hopeful they will be able to represent their countries as the world looks on next year in South Korea.
Manitobans to Watch
Jocelyne Larocque | Bailey Bram | Halli Krzyzaniak | Brigette Lacquette
Jocelyne Larocque is a defenceman from Ste. Anne, MB. Jocelyne was the first female player to play in the Winnipeg High School Boys League, and has been playing with the Canadian National Team since 2009. Larocque has five World Championship medals with Canada, as well as an Olympic gold medal from the 2014 Sochi Olympic games. The Brampton Thunder captain will be looking for a spot in Canada’s starting lineup in PyeongChang.
Also from Ste. Anne, MB. is forward Bailey Bram. Formerly playing for the Mercyhurst Lakers with younger sister Shelby, Bailey Bram has played for Team Canada at the last four World Championships. Bailey was one of the National Team’s last cuts leading up to the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014, where Canada struck gold. Currently, Bailey is an assistant captain with a star-studded Calgary Inferno team. Bram should make her Olympic debut in PyeongChang.
Halli Krzyzaniak is a defenceman from Neepawa, Manitoba. Halli currently plays for the University of North Dakota and has spend the last two years with Team Canada, winning medals with the team at the last two World Championships. The 22-year-old could be a late addition to Canada’s 2018 Olympic team.
Also with the Calgary inferno, Brigette Lacquette made her senior national team debut with Canada in 2015, and has won a medal with Canada at each of the last two World Championships. The defenceman from Dauphin could make a spot for herself on Canada’s Olympic team.
Jenelle Kohanchuk is a hockey player from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Jenelle attended Boston University for four years, playing with Canada’s U22 roster before making her senior national team debut in 2014 at the 4 Nations Cup. Jenelle currently plays as a forward with the Toronto Furies.
Manitobans to Watch
Jonathan Toews | Duncan Keith | Patrick Sharp
Chicago Blackhawks centre and captain Jonathan Toews was born and raised in Winnipeg, honing his hockey skills on his backyard rink in St. Vital. The three-time Stanley Cup winner has led Canada’s team to back-to- back Olympic gold medals, and is a lock-in for Canada’s Olympic hockey team .
Chicago Blackhawks alternate captain Duncan Keith was born in Winnipeg before moving to Fort Frances at a very young age. Like Toews, Duncan Keith has an impressive resume that includes three Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals. Keith is arguably Canada’s best defenceman, and should accompany Toews to their third Olympic Games together in 2018.
Dallas Stars alternate captain and forward Patrick Sharp was born in Winnipeg, though calls Thunder Bay his hometown. Sharp, formerly with the Chicago Blackhawks, has also won three Stanley Cups, and won Olympic gold with Team Canada in 2014 at his first Olympic Games.
Other Manitobans to watch: Alexander Steen, Travis Zajac
DID YOU KNOW?
There are 22 Manitoban-born hockey players currently playing in the NHL.