Campbell River’s Olivia Knowles has been named to another national team roster.
A product of the Campbell River Minor Hockey Association, Knowles grew up playing with local Tyees teams until Bantam, at which point she moved to Penticton to join the Okanagan Hockey Academy, where she has played since 2014.
The 16 year-old 5’9” defenceman was a member of Team BC during the 2014-15 season, playing for the squad during both the Canada Winter Games in Prince George and helping tim earn a fourth place finish at the 2015 National Women’s U18 Championships in Huntsville, Ont.
She went on to be named to Team Canada this past August, when the team went to Lake Placid, N.Y. to take on Team USA for a three-game exhibition series.
Knowles will now rejoin her Team Canada U18 teammates for the 2016 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in St. Catharines, Ont. from Jan. 8 to 15. Team Canada has won four gold medals at the tournament since 2010 – capturing silver last year in Buffalo – and melody Davidson, general manager of national women’s teams programs, says she expects this year’s squad to compete for another.
“It has been a long evaluation process for the coaches and scouting staff as well as the players, but we have assembled a team that has some experience at this championship,” Davidson says. “We’ve seen the players’ growth and development from selection camp, against the United States with their club teams, and most recently at nationals; we believe they’ll be ready to compete for a gold medal in St. Catharines.”
Canada’s fist match of the tournament will be against Russia at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Jan. 8, followed by games against the Czech Republic and the U.S. in the preliminary round.
The gold medal game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT on Jan. 15., just nine days before Knowles’ 17th birthday.