To no one’s surprise, Ste. Anne native Jocelyne Larocque, regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, was named this week to Canada’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team that will represent the country at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 4-20 at Beijing, China.
For Larocque, one of the veteran leaders and assistant captain of the team, it will be her third Olympics. She is one of six players on this year’s squad that won Olympic gold for Team Canada in 2014 at Sochi, Russia.
She is also one of 13 players headed to Beijing that were on the silver medal winning team for Team Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics at PyeongChang, South Korea. Ste. Anne’s Bailey Bram, a lifelong friend of Larocque was also a member of that silver medal winning team in 2018, but Bram has subsequently retired from the national team program.
The national women’s hockey team is currently training and is centralized in Calgary, where they have been training for the past several months. They also played a number of exhibition games in the fall against the national teams from the U.S. and Finland.
Two other Manitobans were also named to the team, goaltender Kristen Bell from Brandon and Ashton Bell from Deloraine, who is following in the footsteps of Larocque starring on defence at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
The women’s hockey tournament will take place Feb. 2-16, as Canada aims for its fifth gold medal overall when it opens preliminary round action against Switzerland on Feb. 3.