Marie-Philip Poulin, Sarah Fillier headline Team Canada roster for IIHF Women’s Worlds

Three goalies, seven defenders and 13 forwards were selected for the tournament.
The team is headlined by captain Marie-Philip Poulin, Natalie Spooner — who leads the PWHL in goals — Sarah Fillier and long-time starting goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens. Ella Shelton, who scored the first goal in PWHL history and leads the league in scoring among defenders, will also feature on Canada’s blueline with Toronto’s top pair Jocelyne Larocque and Renata Fast.

Twenty players are returning from the 2023 World Championships roster that won a silver medal. Two players will make their tournament debuts — cousins Julia and Nicole Gosling.

“We are extremely excited and confident in these 23 players, a group with championship experience, veteran leadership, character and youth, and we are excited for the journey to begin,” general manager Gina Kingsbury said in a release on Thursday afternoon.

The 10-team tournament will begin on April 3 in Utica, N.Y. Team Canada will open the tournament on April 4 against Finland, face Switzerland on April 5 and play Czechia on April 7 before a rivalry game against reigning world champions, the United States the following day.

The U.S. roster has yet to be selected — 39 players were invited to a final selection camp that will take place March 27-30 before the tournament starts.

Turnover from 2023

There aren’t many new faces on Team Canada, and therefore, not too many significant cuts. Micah Zandee-Hart (PWHL New York), has been a mainstay on Canada’s blue line since her worlds debut in 2019. She missed the start of the PWHL season after summer surgery and appears to have been passed on the blue line depth chart by Ashton Bell, who was cut from last year’s roster, and Nicole Gosling, a standout from Clarkson University.

Along with her cousin, Julia Gosling will make her world championship debut. She’s coming off a 51-point senior season with St. Lawrence in the NCAA, which ranked ninth in points-per-game in the nation.

Claire Thompson hasn’t been on the national team since the 2023 World Championships, while she attends medical school, but it’s worth noting she is not on Canada’s 2024 roster. Neither is Rebecca Johnston, who played last year and did not declare for the PWHL Draft.

Patty Kazmaier finalists

Canada’s roster will feature two of the top 10 players in women’s college hockey this season. Fillier and Danielle Serdachny were announced as top 10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award on Thursday morning.

Since her world championship debut in Calgary in Aug. 2021, Fillier has been a star for Team Canada, winning two world championships and Olympic gold. She’s one of the very best players in the world with an impressive combination of speed, skill and poise with the puck. She’s coming off a career-high 30-goal season at Princeton, which ranked second in the NCAA.

Serdachny, meanwhile, made her worlds debut in 2023, and played mostly a depth role. She was stellar in her final season at Colgate this year with 57 points in 36 games, which ranked fifth in the nation. Serdachny also made an impact in two Rivalry Series games for Canada, scoring twice, including the overtime winner in December to help kickstart Canada’s comeback to win the series in seven games.

Why Corinne Schroeder didn’t make the roster

It appeared that Schroeder was going to have an opportunity to crack Team Canada at a major tournament for the first time in her career. In February, she made the Rivalry Series roster over Kristen Campbell, but did not get any game action. Since then, Campbell has been excellent for PWHL Toronto, which has appeared to shut the door on Schroeder once again.

It’s a testament to how hard it is to make Team Canada that a goaltender who performs as well as Schroeder has still can’t crack the roster. She was the PHF Goaltender of the Year in 2022-23 and has been stellar in the PWHL this season. Schroeder has the best save percentage and goals-against average among starting goalies in the league.

Canada has remained committed to a goalie depth chart of Desbiens, Emerance Maschmeyer and Campbell, and has been successful over the last few years — Desbiens has only lost one gold medal game as Canada’s No. 1 (2023).

It would take something unforeseen — like injury, retirement, or a major drop in performance — for Canada to change its goalie core at this point.

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