Four members of Wisconsin's 2013-2014 Frozen Four team as well as an incoming freshman have been invited to participate in the Canadian women's Olympic strength and conditioning camp that will take place over five days this weekend in Ontario. The camp will consist of off-ice fitness sessions and on-ice training.
Freshman goalie Ann-Renée Desbiens, Junior Blayre Turnbull, freshman Sarah Nurse, freshman Melissa Channell and future Badger Emily Clark will be part of a 49-woman group that will be taking the first steps to becoming the Canadian National team that will compete for gold in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018.
Canada, like the U.S., centralizes its team approximately one year prior to the games starting. The player pool is housed in one city and plays and practices exclusively within its team for those months leading up to the games.
Clark has the most Team Canada experience, having earned gold medals at both the 2012 and 2013 U-18 IIHF World Championships. Channell and Desbiens have spent time with Canada's U-22 squad. Nurse played on the U-18 squad. It's a bit of validation for Turnbull, who was in camp four or five years ago as a U-18. Her much-improved play with the Badgers this past season clearly put her back on the radar.
Turnbull is the only player from Nova Scotia to be invited to the camp. A newspaper from her province has some extensive background on Turnbull's national team career as well as some quotes from the Badger assistant captain about getting a second chance.