Team Canada goalie Shannon Szabados makes a save during second period action against Team Finland at the IIHF Womens World Ice Hockey championships in Ottawa on April 5, 2013.
CALGARY -- The oldest player on the Canadian women's hockey team is ready for the grind of chasing her fourth Olympic gold medal.
Jayna Hefford was one of 27 players invited Thursday by Hockey Canada to come to Calgary on Aug. It will be the fifth time the 35-year-old forward from Kingston, Ont., moves west to become an Olympian.
She's one of the 24 out-of-province players who will leave behind school, jobs, club teams, family and friends for seven months to pursue a spot on Canada's Olympic women's hockey team. The roster includes 22 players who took the silver medal at the world championships in Ottawa earlier this month, plus another five. Hefford, Hayley Wickenheiser of Shaunavon, Sask., and Montreal's Caroline Ouellette are the most veterans forwards among the 15 invited. Hefford and Wickenheiser, 34, have played for Canada in every Winter Olympics since women's hockey made its debut in 1998.
The invited players will be under the constant scrutiny of Church, as he tries to find the players who can win another gold medal.
Hefford knows from previous experience how stressful and exhausting the months are heading into the Games, yet she loves it.
The winter the Canadian women are centralized in Calgary is the closest they come in their hockey careers to living the life of an NHL player. Church had a 23-player roster for the world championship, but the International Olympic Committee hasn't yet increased the size of the women's hockey rosters from 21 to 23 for Sochi. International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel did not know at the women's world championship whether the IOC would allow for two more skaters per country in Sochi.
The Canadian women will be based at Winsport, also known as Canada Olympic Park, on the west side of Calgary.
Canada's women's ice hockey team players Gillian Apps, from left, Jayna Hefford, Catherine Ward, Marie-Philip Poulin and Haley Irwin pose for a photograph during a training session ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia Thursday on Feb. SOCHI, Russia -- Recognizing his player were physically and mentally spent, Kevin Dineen held out a credit card.
And so the Canadian women began refilling their empty tanks for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Canada opens defence of its three straight Olympic gold medals in women's hockey Saturday against Switzerland. The Canadian women have played almost 50 games since they began training full time in Calgary in August. The final three weeks of preparation were gruelling by design to further battle harden them for Sochi.

On the team's final weekend in Canada before departing for Austria, the women lost to a midget triple-A team Jan. While the women were driven similarly hard in their last phase of training before 2010 and 2006, there were more emotional stressors this time. They had to adjust on the fly to Dineen, an NHL coach and former player who was fired by the Florida Panthers in November. Playing games exhausted and losing would make any athlete question the plan, but veterans of previous Olympic teams assured the rookies there was a point to their pain. A simple night of dinner and drinks marked the start of the women's taper towards Sochi and it was welcomed.
In a thrilling gold medal game, Team Canada beat Team Sweden 3 to 0 to take top honours in mena€™s hockey. Team Canada captain Sidney Crosby celebrates with other Canada players after defeating Team Sweden to win the gold medal in Olympic final action at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Sunday, Feb. Stack was named to the United States women’s ice hockey team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, which will be her Olympic debut. SOCHI, Russia -- Canada captured a historic fourth Olympic gold medal in women's hockey Thursday with a 3-2 overtime win over the United States in a thrilling championship final. Marie-Philip Poulin scored the winner on a power play at 8:10 of overtime for her second of the game. Trailing 1-0 after two periods and down two goals deep into the third, Canada scored twice in the final 3:26 of the regulation and suddenly the gold that had been slipping away was within reach again.
With Shannon Szabados pulled from Canada's net for an extra attacker, forward Kelli Stack's attempted empty-netter that would have sealed the gold for the Americans hit the post.
In overtime, Canadian defender Catherine Ward was serving a cross-checking minor and American forward Jocelyne Lamoureux a slashing minor when Canada's Hayley Wickenheiser took off on a breakaway.
Duggan beat Szabados with a wrist shot over the Canadian goalie's glove shoulder at 11:57 of the second. With four straight gold medals in women's hockey Wickenheiser, Jayna Hefford and Caroline Ouellette joined Soviet biathlete Alexander Tikhonov and German speedskater Claudia Pechstein as gold medallists in four consecutive Winter Games.
The Swiss defeated Sweden 4-3 earlier for Switzerland's first Olympic medal in women's hockey. Shannon Szabados is about to do something she rarely does, which is play a full season with female hockey players. The women arrive in Calgary on May 20 for physical testing and depart later that week for a boot camp in British Columbia.
Poelten, Austria, was that all 21 players on the Canadian women's hockey team were involved in whatever they charged to the coach's plastic. 17, rode the bikes hard for an hour after practice the following day and then had less than 24 hours to recover before an afternoon game Jan.

12 meant Canada was without a head coach for five days less than two months out from the opening ceremonies.
Poelten, Dineen gave the captain's 'C' to Caroline Ouellette even though Hayley Wickenheiser had worn it since 2007. It was at that point Dineen staged an intervention by giving the players two days off from the ice and the aforementioned credit card. The women won their next game in Austria 8-1 against a male under-20 team for their first victory under Dineen. She is part of the women’s national field hockey team of her country named the Black Sticks Women, and participated at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Unfortunately, athletes are not immunized from psychological disorders like burnout, which is the most likely reason she got dropped from the team. In her freshman year, she scored 54 points, and in 2008-2009 she posted 59 points in 35 games. She is playing for Netherlands and has helped her team to win gold medals in 2008 Olympic games. Carpenter deflected a cross-ice pass from Hilary Knight past Szabados's left pad at 2:01 of the third.
Meghan Agosta-Marciano of Ruthven, Ont., was Canada's leading scorer and tournament MVP in Vancouver. It is an Olympic sport, part of the the Winter Olympic Games, and also a symbol of the winter sports. With respect to every one of the team members, enjoy some of the hottest hockey players in the Canadian team! Samantha started to play for the national selection being only 18 years old, however, she is currently taking a break from the team for the whole 2013. Kelly is born January 13th 1988 in Brooklyn Heights, USA, and started playing hockey at age 4.
Kelli Stack won gold with Team USA in 2008 and 2009, scoring 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 games. Since field hockey isn’t the most popular sport in the US (or anywhere else), you can also bet on super bowl.

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