CALGARY, Alta. –
Hockey Canada has added national team alumna Courtney Birchard
(Mississauga, Ont.) as an assistant coach for Canada’s National Women’s
Development Team at the Nations Cup in Füssen, Germany, Jan. 3-6, 2018.
Birchard joins the coaching staff as a replacement for Matt Desrosiers
(Port Colborne, Ont./Clarkson University, ECAC), who has had to step down
for personal reasons. She will be working alongside head coach Noémie Marin
(Acton Vale, Que./John Abbott College, CEGEP), assistant coach Carla
MacLeod (Calgary/Edge School, CSSHL) and goaltending consultant Gord
Woodhall (Winnipeg/Winnipeg, MFMHL) – as well as Gina Kingsbury (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.), director
of national women’s team programs for Hockey Canada.
As a player, Birchard represented Canada at three IIHF Women’s World
Championships, winning one gold (2012) and two silver medals (2013, 2015).
She has worn the Maple Leaf numerous times, playing more than 60 games as
part of Canada’s National Women’s Team, and over 20 games as part of
Canada’s National Women’s Development Team. A graduate of the University of
New Hampshire, Birchard played with the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder for five
seasons before joining the Ice Dream Kosice in Slovakia for the 2017-18 season.
“First and foremost, we want to thank Matt for his work to this point,
including during a very successful summer camp in Calgary last August. We
wish him all the best and hope to work with him again soon,” said
Kingsbury. “It is always a pleasure to welcome fellow national team players
to our coaching staff as they progress through their on- and off-ice
careers within the game. Courtney’s experience as a player and her
familiarity with our women’s program and the expectations of the program
will be an asset to our staff and our players as we look to represent
Canada with pride at the Nations Cup.”
Earlier this month, Hockey Canada unveiled a 21-player
roster, consisting of two goaltenders, seven defencemen and 12 forwards,
selected for the Nations Cup.
Canada will open the 2018 Nations Cup against Finland at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m.
PT on Jan. 3. The
schedule also has the team facing Russia on Jan. 4 before the tournament culminates
with the gold-medal game at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on Saturday, Jan. 6.
A pre-tournament game is also planned for Dec. 30 against Austria.
Canada has won gold 11 times at the Nations Cup (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016).