Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday that Cornell women’s hockey senior defenseman Cassandra Poudrier, junior forward Hanna Bunton and freshman defenseman Micha Hart will play for Canada’s National Women’s Development Team at the 2016 Nations Cup in Füssen, Germany.
Poudrier, Bunton and Hart were among the 22 players named to Canada’s roster that includes 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. The trio of Cornell hockey players was selected by a Hockey Canada general manager Melody Davidson, a team or regional scouts and the coaching staff.
“We’re looking forward to getting our team together on the ice overseas as we aim to defend our gold medal,” said Team Canada head coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk in a press release. “These players have been working incredibly hard to prepare for this event and we believe we’ve selected a tremendous group to represent Canada.”
Poudrier brings a decorated resume to the Canadian team. In her previous three years on the hill, Poudrier was named to the ECAC All-Tournament team in 2015, 3rd team All-ECAC Hockey and Ivy League honorable mention in 2014 and the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie team in 2013. Poudrier has nine points on three goals and six assists on the season.
In her first two years for Cornell, Bunton has made a quick impact for the Red. The 5-foot-9 forward was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and earned ECAC Hockey All-Rookie team honors during her freshman year in 2014. Bunton has been a strong presence offensively for Cornell this season, tallying eight goals and five assists in 12 games this season.
Hart is the youngest of the Cornell trio and is in her first year playing under head coach Doug Derraugh ’91. Hart played for the Okanagan Hockey Academy in the Junior Women’s Hockey League and spent two years on the Canadian U-18 team, which she captained in 2014-15 to a silver medal at the IIHF U-18 Women’s World Hockey Championship. Hart has six points on a goal and five assists this season.
The Cornell women’s hockey team (5-5-2, 1-2-2 ECAC) will head to Canton, N.Y. to play against St. Lawrence University in a mid-season match. The team will also travel on Saturday to Potsdam, N.Y. to compete against Clarkson University.
“They both have really good teams that compete really hard,” Poudrier said. “I think that our biggest weapon is once again our work ethic. We have a team that is ready to battle day in and day out, which makes it really hard to play against us. The team is excited to be playing league games this weekend.”
With both teams, the Red will place high emphasis on their opponent’s aggressiveness.
“Both teams are real aggressive,” Derraugh said. “Usually it’s a real fast-paced game with high-skilled players. It is going to be a fairly close matchup.”
The team is also looking to see what they can improve on at this point in the season
“Striving for consistency,” Derraugh said. “I think we have been inconstant in the first half of the season and we are now looking to work on this constancy as we go forward,” Derraugh said. “Number of areas we have been working on. Special emphasis has been placed on our defense system and special teams”
Senior forward Taylor Woods feels especially confident in the work her and the team have exhibited.
“I think our biggest weapon going into this weekend is that we have established ourselves to be a ‘blue collar’ team,” Woods said. “Every day players are coming in and working hard, doing what they need to do, and taking steps forward for the team. Playing our game for the full 60 minutes —being relentless, aggressive and coming wave after wave, will be our biggest weapon.”