Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Ivana Bilic (Coquitlam, BC) and Micah Hart (Saanichton, BC) have been named to Canada’s National Women’s Development Team for the 2016 Nations Cup, January 4 – 7, 2016 in Füssen, Germany.
The Nations Cup, formerly known as the Air Canada Cup, MLP Cup and Meco Cup, brings together Canada’s National Women’s Development Team and national teams from Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland for a four (4) day international tournament.
Canada’s roster was chosen by Melody Davidson, Hockey Canada’s general manager of national women’s team programs, and Hockey Canada’s team of regional scouts, along with head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk, assistant coaches Delaney Collins and Darren Turcotte, and goaltending coach Amanda Mazzotta.
“We’re looking forward to getting our team together on the ice overseas as we aim to defend our gold medal,” said Gylywoychuk. “These players have been working incredibly hard to prepare for this event and we believe we’ve selected a tremendous group to represent Canada.”
Players were selected based on their performances to-date with their club teams, as well as their performance at Canada’s National Women’s Team Fall Festival in September, and at Canada’s National Women’s Development Team selection camp and three (3) game series against the United States in August.
Bilic, a 5’7” defenseman, attended the Warner Hockey School in Alberta from 2010 to 2012. She was a member of Team BC, skating in the 2011 National Women’s U18 Championship in Saguenay, Quebec. She then moved on to Bemidji State University (BSU) in Minnesota, where she has played since the 2012-2013 season. During the 2014-2015 season with the BSU Beavers, Bilic led the NCAA in blocked shots (147) and led her team’s defense corps with 23 points, including a career-high five (5) goals and 18 assists.
Hart, a 5’8” defenseman, played for the Peninsula Minor Hockey Association (MHA) before moving to Penticton to attend the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA). She skated for OHA’s Midget Female team in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, and was a member of Team BC for the 2012 and 2013 National Women’s U18 Championships, as well as the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC. She was named to Canada’s National Women’s U18 Team for the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championships, helping Team Canada to gold (2014) and silver (2015) medals. She is currently playing her first season at Cornell University in New York, where she has one (1) goal, five (5) assists, and 20 blocked shots in 11 games.
Prior to their opening game, Canada’s National Women’s Development Team will play three (3) pre-tournament games in St. Pölten, Austria, facing Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Canada opens the tournament against Sweden at 6:00AM PT on January 4, 2016. They will also face Russia in the preliminary round at 6:00AM Pacific Time on January 5, 2016 before moving onto the medal round on January 7, 2016. The complete tournament schedule can be found here.
Canada is a 10-time gold-medallist at the Nations Cup, winning consecutive gold medals from 2003-2008, as well as 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015.