Three Okanagan Hockey Academy players have been selected by Hockey Canada to the 23-player roster for the Canadian National Women’s Under-18 team.
They will compete at the upcoming 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship. OHA players competing for Canada are Nara Elia of Saskatoon, Olivia Knowles of Campbell River and Saskatoon’s Sophie Shirley.
“We are very excited for Nara, Olivia and Sophie,” said OHA Female Prep head coach Jim Fetter in a press release. “All three are model student athletes on and off the ice and it’s great to see them rewarded by being named to the Canadian National U18 team. We wish all three, as well as assistant coach Delaney Collins, the very best of luck in Czech Republic.”
The 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship takes place Jan. 7 to 14, 2017 in Prerov and Zlin, Czech Republic. Team Canada is slated to play Sweden, Russia and the U.S in preliminary round action. Also taking part is Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) Female Prep assistant coach Delaney Collins (Pilot Mound, Man.), who will serve as an assistant coach with Team Canada.
Elia, 17, has registered 11 points (4-7-11) in 10 games with the OHA Female Prep team this season, while Knowles, 17, leads all CSSHL Female Prep blueliners with 11 points (4-7-10) in 10 games. Shirley, 17, sits second in CSSHL Female Prep scoring with 16 points (9-7-16) in 10 games.
Goaltender Alex Gulstene is expected to be named to Team U.S.A. At last year’s she led the U.S. to a 3-2 overtime win over Canada. In six games with OHA, Gulstene is 4-2-0 with a 1.81 goals against average and .934 save percentage.
This weekend, Penticton is hosting a Canadian Sport School Hockey League female varsity showcase Dec. 9 to 10 at the Training Centre. The OHA plays Banff on Friday and Saturday at 5:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. respecitively.