Four years ago, the defenceman was a late cut from Canada's Olympic team, and so the last couple of days were "very, very nerve-wracking", as she put it, waiting to find out if she'd be among the 23 players who'll suit up for Team Canada at the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea. While the Canadians pulled out the unlikely win in Sochi for a fourth consecutive Olympic gold, the Americans responded by winning the next three world championships. They are fast, aggressive in the offensive zone and have dependable goaltending.
"Canada's strong tradition of hockey talent is on display here, there is so much talent and depth on this team", said Isabelle Charest, PyeongChang 2018 Team Canada Chef de Mission.
They are also very hungry for Olympic success.
Team USA fell 3-2 in overtime against their northern rivals at the Sochi Olympics. "It's gold or bust for us".
"Obviously coming in my first couple of years I was one of the young ones and then as I've progressed I think your role changes, your experience, the kind of player that you are and the person that you've become", Mikkelson said.
Members of the Canadian women's hockey team recount how two inches of steel shifted momentum and helped the team win an Olympic gold medal in Sochi. If she falters, Canada has faith that Geneviève Lacasse, making her second trip to the Olympics, and the rookie Desbiens can get the job done.
The team nominated was selected by Schuler, alongside Melody Davidson (Oyen, Alta.), Hockey Canada's general manager of National Women's Team Programs, with support from assistant coaches Dwayne Gylywoychuk (Winnipeg, Man.), Troy Ryan (Spryfield, N.S.), and goaltending coach Brad Kirkwood (Calgary, Alta.), along with consultation from Hockey Canada's chief executive officer, Tom Renney (Cranbrook, B.C.), and Hockey Canada's president and chief operating officer, Scott Smith (Bathurst, N.B.). "We can rely on any one of them". Among the defenders, only Larocque has scored a goal in Olympic competition.
Up front, Canada is led by Poulin, who will most likely be named team captain.
The St. Albert defenceman is playing for a spot at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games despite the glowing Olympic resume and seven appearances at the IIHF worlds with Team Canada.
The 22-year-old was a student at the academy between 2012 and 2014 before heading to university in Wisconsin, where she has one more year of NCAA eligibility.
Canada opens its latest golden defence on February 11 against whatever is left of the Russian women's program, which recently had six players banned for doping transgressions.
If Canada has a wild card, it could be Natalie Spooner.