Superstars of CWHL Excited About 2013 IIHF Women's Worlds

Mark StaffieriContributor IIApril 3, 2013

Furies player Jenn Wakefield in the Livestrong Canada jersey getting high fives, Photo by Wayne Cuddington of the Ottawa Citizen, Obtained from:
Furies player Jenn Wakefield in the Livestrong Canada jersey getting high fives, Photo by Wayne Cuddington of the Ottawa Citizen, Obtained from:

While the Clarkson Cup may have wrapped up a legendary 2012-13 CWHL season, there is still hockey left for several stars in the CWHL. The 2013 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships shall be contested in Ottawa, Ontario. CWHL stars from Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland and the United States shall proudly represent their home countries while aiming for the gold medal.

In the legendary history of the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships, Canada has never lost the event on home soil. The winning streak of the Canadian contingent at home has spanned generations (1990, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2007).

For Meghan Agosta-Marciano of the Montreal Stars, the first back-to-back winner of the Angela James Bowl, the streak is one that is taken seriously. “It is super important. When I think of Canada, I think of nothing but gold.”

A super rookie with the Toronto Furies, Jennifer Wakefield is looking forward to the opportunity to represent her home country again. The 2013 edition of the IIHF Women’s Worlds holds very special meaning to her, as it will mark her first time competing for IIHF World Gold on Canadian soil.

“We feel that we have prepared for the Women’s Worlds in Ottawa for a long time. We had the training camp in Ottawa back in January. There is a huge buzz around the city and it is exciting for us to come. We definitely want another gold after beating the Americans in Vermont (last year). We are looking forward to winning in Canada.”

Genevieve Lacasse, the 2013 CWHL Goaltender of the Year, will also be representing Canada on home soil for the first time. “I am really excited to go out there. We are going to work hard and play as a team. We will take it period by period, game by game, that is when we play at our best. To win the gold in Ottawa, so close to home, it would be awesome.”

Montreal Stars veteran forward Sarah Vaillancourt is familiar with United States head coach Katey Stone. Vaillancourt played for Stone when she competed for the Harvard Crimson. While Stone is a rival at the upcoming worlds, she holds a great respect for her.

“She is a dear friend and an old coach. We are still in contact and she has helped me throughout a difficult time. When I get on the ice, obviously we will play against each other. It is hockey, we are used to it. We always play against our friends.”

One of her friends on the Stars will be donning the United States sweater at the Women’s Worlds; Julie Chu. Of note, Chu was also a teammate of Vaillancourt at Harvard where both won the Patty Kazmaier Award.

With Vaillancourt unable to compete at the 2012 IIHF Worlds due to injury, Chu was happy to see her put the injuries behind her in 2013, “I am so proud of her to comeback. We both have a great hockey background and I look forward to playing good hockey against her.”

When the Canadian contingent competes in their preliminary contest with the United States, the match will feature a unique component. Canada’s women shall don black and yellow jerseys as part of a fundraising effort for the Livestrong foundation.

The excitement of that contest is not lost on 2013 Clarkson Cup Most Valuable Player Catherine Ward, “We are very excited for the Canada-US game. It’s pretty exciting to wear those new jerseys for such a great cause.”

While having never lost the IIHF Women’s Worlds on home soil adds to the intrigue, Ward is looking forward to gracing the ice, “It makes it exciting. No matter where we are in the world, there is pressure to win gold. Last year in Burlington, Vermont, there were so many Canadian fans there, it felt like home ice. The pressure is always there.”

"All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated"