Rare good news for the best female hockey players on the planet: the 2021 World Championship will finally take place. The International Ice Hockey Federation has announced that the tournament will be staged at a venue in August, which still needs to be confirmed.
Initially, the event was to begin in the next few days in Nova Scotia, but to everyone’s surprise, the provincial government announced last week that due to health conditions, it is no longer a question of a meeting of this magnitude.
The International Federation (IIHF) has confirmed that the new version of the tournament will take place in Canada. According to our information, Alberta is the preferred province. In Red Fear and Edmonton, where World Juniors were held last December and January can be used.
Joined minutes after news of the tournament’s postponement, Quebec goalkeeper Ann-Renée Desbeans spoke of a “balm” over the disappointment of the last few days. The Canadian team was in the middle of selection camp, right in Nova Scotia, and were preparing to play their final intra-team game when the sudden cancellation of the World Cup was announced. At that time, no Plan B was mentioned.
Desbeans says the result is “certainly good news”. It does not stop that “we will believe it when it takes place”. In any case, “There, we are a bit more eager to resume training!” She laughs.
It is difficult to blame the guardian for his caution. Because last week, the sky was falling on his head, and on all the players who were going to participate in the tournament, really.
The 2020 World Cup, also scheduled in Nova Scotia, had already gone from hunting to hunting, like many international events such as the COVID-19 epidemic. With the exception of a series of exhibition games between Canada and the United States last year – the “rivalry” series – more than two years have now passed through the last major international meet, namely the World Cup 2019.
So we understand how violent the slap was due to the 2021 repeal, especially since the indicators were favorable and the Canadian team’s preparations were going well.
Asked by Press Earlier this week, the four Quebec women present at the camp filled the players with dismay and disbelief when their coaches gathered to share the sad news with them.
Back home, each tried to absorb the shock they could. In order to clear the air before returning to Montreal, the Dasslains returned to their original area of Charlevix, so that training could resume. For his part, Lauren Rougue took refuge in the Laurentians to escape “what’s happening” [passait], change one’s mind “.
Like many others, nothing was awaited at his home, as he planned to spend the next few weeks at the tournament in maritime.
Canadian players had invested time and energy in their preparations. First at Calgary’s first training camp in January, followed by Halifax in March. He was in his thirties at the time, as college-aged players in the United States could not join him at the time. A full squad of about 50 players was eventually assembled for the high-intensity selection camp.
Participants in each phase have stopped counting days of separation at home or hotel, and have made several COVID-19 tests necessary by traveling between provinces. During the camps, a bus took them from the hotel to the arena.
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Evoque without a filter caused a “massive disappointment”, says Ann-Sophie Bayt, who posed for an inevitable “interrogation” as she made her way from Halifax to Montreal.
“At some point, when you are already on the ground and you get hit again, it is more difficult to get up,” she explains. It’s been 14 months since we played a single match, we trained every day to perform on the international stage, and finally another slap … ”
Laurienne Rougeau also regrets that “every time we think we’re taking a step forward, we go back three”. She and her sisters want, she recalls, “a chance to play”, echoing the lack of a top-tier American professional league.
Optimistic, he said it was necessary to believe that IIHF and Hockey Canada would find a solution – which ultimately happened.
day to day
Like others, Baitz advocated caution, despite the good news on Friday. “We live a little from day to day,” she says. I will do the best things that can be in the best shape for the future, both physically and mentally. ”
The sequel is, in all likelihood, not ideal for the Canadian team, which is among those who have not been able to fully accommodate the IIHF logically.
Initial plans called for the 2022 Beijing Games to serve as the springboard to define the Olympic team. As it happens at the end of each Olympic cycle, selected athletes were scheduled to settle in Calgary in September to work. Till the games together.
The championship in August implies that centralization begins a month earlier, which is not without effect for those who have obligations outside of hockey.
The mother of a young boy, Malody DeVause, emphasized that the situation “complicates things” for her. “But I like to see the positive side, namely, the fact that we are going to prepare for an extra month before the Games”, he deserves.
“It is important to understand and adapt to the reality of other countries,” she says. The IIHF was not spoiled for the election, as it had to squeeze its tournament between the Tokyo Summer Games and qualifying matches, this fall, for some teams that do not yet have a ticket to Beijing. So we came back on 20 to 31 August.
This conclusion is still a relief, Daoust agrees.
“It is very difficult to be unknown, never know what to expect or when the next game will happen … We were nothing.” Finally having a date, it will help the players to concentrate. I am not concerned with the flexibility in this group. it’s exciting! ”
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