SAULNIER AND TURNBULL BECOME FIRST NOVA SCOTIANS EVER NAMED TO NATIONAL WOMEN'S OLYMPIC TEAM
Dec. 22, 2017
CALGARY, Alta. — For the first time ever, Nova Scotia will be represented on the Canadian women’s Olympic team.
On Friday, Jill Saulnier and Blayre Turnbull were named to the national women's Olympic team roster. It was the first time a player from the province was ever named to the national women’s Olympic team.
Saulnier, a 25-year old forward from Halifax, has been skating with the national women’s team since October 2014. She is currently a member of the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL).
Turnbull, a 24-year old Stellarton native, is a teammate of Saulnier’s on the Inferno where she also plays forward.
(PHOTO: Turnbull, left, and Saulnier pose for a photo on Friday.)
Troy Ryan, Spryfield, N.S., is also an assistant coach with the team.
“It was an extremely difficult decision narrowing down our roster due to the depth of talent on our team; we are excited to move forward with the 23 players chosen to represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games,” said head coach Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont). “These players have worked hard to earn this moment and we are confident that they will be able to inspire and unite our country as they set their sights on a fifth straight gold medal for Canada.”
(PHOTO: Spryfield's Troy Ryan will serve as an assistant coach on the women's Olympic team.)
The team nominated was selected by Schuler, alongside Melody Davidson (Oyen, Alta.), Hockey Canada’s general manager of National Women’s Team Programs, with support from assistant coaches Dwayne Gylywoychuk (Winnipeg, Man.), Ryan, and goaltending coach Brad Kirkwood (Calgary, Alta.), along with consultation from Hockey Canada’s chief executive officer, Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.), and Hockey Canada’s president and chief operating officer, Scott Smith (Bathurst, N.B.).
“It is a tremendous accomplishment to be chosen to represent your country at the Olympic Games,” said Renney, who was a member of the Canadian Olympic Team in 1994, where he guided the Canadian Olympic Men’s Hockey Team to silver as head coach. “We are thrilled with the 23 players selected and we know they will wear the Maple Leaf with great pride and will leave nothing to chance in their preparation for PyeongChang.”
The Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team will look to win its fifth-straight gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games when the puck drops in South Korea on Feb. 11.
“Canada’s strong tradition of hockey talent is on display here, there is so much talent and depth on this team,” said Isabelle Charest, PyeongChang 2018 Team Canada Chef de Mission. “I am excited to watch them defend their gold medal in PyeongChang and can’t wait to cheer them on.”
PyeongChang 2018 will mark the sixth time women’s hockey has been part of the Olympic Winter Games. In addition to its four gold medals, Canada’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team also claimed silver in 1998 in Nagano, Japan.
“Women’s hockey is one of Canada’s most successful events every Olympic Games and our Canadian athletes have never failed to win a medal since women’s hockey was added to the program in 1998,” said the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “This includes gold medals at the last four Olympic Winter Games and with a reputation like that, all eyes will be on Canada in PyeongChang. Be sure to cheer on these great women as they make Canada proud.”
Prior to heading to PyeongChang, the team will resume its Esso Series schedule with five games against Alberta Midget Hockey League opponents in the New Year.
The Olympic women’s hockey tournament opens on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Kwandong Hockey Centre and culminates on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Canada is scheduled to compete in Group A and begins preliminary-round play on Sunday, Feb. 11.
Hockey Nova Scotia would like to congratulate Jill and Blayre on making history. We would like to wish Jill, Blayre and Troy all the best at 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea!