Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Senior women's national hoops team wheeling into Winnipeg this spring

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Canada's national senior women's wheelchair basketball team, coached by Bill Johnson of Winnipeg, announced Tuesday it will centralize in Winnipeg this spring and released its preliminary roster of 14 players.

The 12-player senior men's wheelchair basketball team's roster was also announced and it includes Joey Johnson of Lorette.

The pool of 26 athletes, chosen at a selection camp last week in Las Vegas, will represent Canada as the two teams prepare for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

The women's team, which will be cut to 12 for the Games, will be based in Winnipeg beginning on June 4.

The senior men's team is the defending Paralympic silver medalists and is looking for its third gold medal and fourth consecutive podium finish in London.

The senior women's team last medalled at the Paralympics in 2004 where it took home bronze, a fourth consecutive Paralympic podium finish which included an unprecedented three consecutive gold finishes in 1992, 1996, and 2000.

-- Christina Souza, the first-year setter with the women's volleyball team, and Kevin Oliver, a forward with the men's basketball team, have been named the Smitty's Bisons athletes of the week.

Souza, who had 55 assists and 22 digs, helped lead the No. 6-ranked Bisons (9-3) to a pair of straight-set victories in a road sweep of the Regina Cougars last weekend to start the second half of the 2011-12 Canada West season.

Oliver averaged a double-double of 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds last weekend in a home-court sweep of the Regina Cougars.

-- Goaltender Kristen Hunt of the Pembina Valley Hawks has been named the Selkirk Keystone Source for Sports-Reebok Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League player of the week.

Hunt backstopped the Hawks to a pair of wins, including a shutout, and made a combined 45 saves while only allowing one goal. The Grade 10 Winnipeg product has a record of 10 wins and one loss with three shutouts. Her 1.67 goals against average is the third best in the league.

-- Pembina Valley Hawks goaltender Jordan Taylor, 17, scored a goal in the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League last week to be named the Chicken Chef West Division player of the week.

He is the first goaltender known to score a goal in the league.

Friday the 13th was good luck for Taylor, a native of LaSalle. With just under a minute remaining and trailing 3-1 against Pembina Valley, the Interlake Lightning pulled their goaltender in favour of an extra attacker. On a cross-ice dump-in, Taylor got the puck and shot it the length of the ice into the open net.

Lodie Ipeelie, 16, of the Norman Northstars has been named the DEKALB East Division player of the week after he scored twice, once on the power play and once shorthanded, to help the Northstars battle to a 3-2 shootout loss to the Parkland Rangers last Thursday.

Ipeelie, a native of Iqaluit, Nunavut, is sixth in team scoring with seven goals and 11 assists.

-- Fifth-year middle blocker Lauren Sears of the University of Winnipeg Wesmen women's volleyball team has been named the Canada West female athlete of the week.

Sears, the Wesmen captain, led No. 2-ranked Winnipeg (12-2) to a two-match sweep of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies last weekend.

Sears recorded a match-high 16 kills in a straight-sets victory last Friday and had a match-high 20 kills in Saturday's 3-1 victory.

The Wesmen are second in the Canada West conference.

-- Ashley Prest

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2012 C2

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