Nicole Gass and Christy Blackburn, two defenders, should make up for the departure of national team captain Livia Altmann (Colgate University) and Kirsti Hakala (retirement). The past four seasons, Gass played for the Colgate Raiders in the US college league ECAC. The defender from Québec scored 44 points (seven goals and 37 assists) in 138 games.
The 18-year-old Christy Blackburn played for the Thompson-Okanagan Lakers, a youth team in British Columbia, for three years. In 106 games for them, she scored 45 points (16 goals and 29 assists). Just like Auston Matthews, she will spend a “gap year” in Switzerland before joining a college team.
Forward Rebecca Kohler from Ontario has the experience of playing for the Canadian U18 and U20 national team. The 22-year-old clinched both a gold and silver medal with the U18 team. The past four years, she played for the University of North Dakota (NCAA) and put up 89 points (36 goals and 53 assists) in 142 games. She will replace Anja Stiefel, who has signed with Luleå. (dmo/bsc)