Meaghan Mikkelson of St. Albert is one of seven players who will make their Olympic debut with the Canadian women’s national hockey team.
Mikkelson, 24, cracked the 21-player line-up on defence but is equally adept at playing forward. She was originally among nine candidates trying to secure one of six spots on Canada’s blueline for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in February. A member of the national team since 2007, the former Wisconsin Badger and Edmonton Chimo competed at the IIHF World Women’s Championships as a forward in 2008 and as a defenceman in 2009 for the Canadian silver medalists.
Mikkelson also split time between forward and defence with the NCAA championship-winning Badgers during her collegiate career.
The former first team All-American has impressive hockey bloodlines. Her father, Bill, played four seasons in the NHL in the early 1970s and brother, Brendan, is a defenceman in the Anaheim Ducks’ system.
In preparation for the Olympics, the national team has scheduled games against clubs in the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League. Several games count in the league standings.
Tickets are going fast for the much-anticipated Jan. 10 tilt between Canada and the first-place St. Albert Raiders. The puck drops at 6 p.m. at Performance Arena. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youths under 12 and seniors and are available at St. Albert Source for Sports stores.
It’s the first game of the new year for the Olympic gold medal contenders. It’s also three days before the Olympic flame comes through St. Albert and 30 days before the Olympics begin. Canada opens defence of its gold medal Feb. 13 against Slovakia.
The St. Albert Sabres lost back-to-back games for the first time this season in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League.
Saturday in Sherwood Park the Sabres (13-4-5) fell 5-1 to the Flyers (14-2-5). It was St. Albert’s third loss in three games against the Flyers. Period scores were 1-0 and 2-1 for the Flyers. Shane Bowzaylo scored for the visitors. Shots were 32-20 for the Flyers. Mitchell Martell (five goals against on 27 shots in 46 minutes) and Landon Bow (five saves) split the netminding duties.
The next day the Sabres went down to defeat 6-4 to the SSAC Southgate Lions (15-5-2) at Millwoods Arena. The Lions led 3-0 after the first and 5-2 after two periods. Taylor Fontaine, Jake Mykitiuk, Bowzaylo and Sebastien Auray scored. Bow was replaced by Martell after giving up five goals on 19 shots. SSAC goalie Jordan Papirny faced 34 shots.
The weekend results dropped the Sabres from first to third in the nitro north division. The Flyers are first and SSAC is second.
The next game for the Sabres is Jan. 3 versus the Spruce Grove PAC Saints (9-9-3) at 3:45 p.m. at the Tri-Leisure Centre.
The St. Albert Slash and the Calgary Flyers battled to a 3-3 draw Sunday in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League.
Slash captain Melissa Kueber scored twice and added one assist and Jessica Kampjes tallied once and picked up two assists. Eliza Snider also chipped in with a pair of helpers for the home team. Shots were 26-20 for St. Albert. In net was Tyler Lisitza (6-3-4, 2.06 GAA).
In league play the Slash (10-7-6) are third in the north standings and the Flyers (17-3-3) are the top south division team.
In league scoring, Kampjes (11-15-26 in 23 games) is tied for seventh place, Kueber (11-10-21 in 18 games) shares 17th place and Krystal Reithmayer (4-13-17 in 23 games) is tied for the 27th spot.
League play resumes Jan. 4 for the Slash against the Calgary Chaos (9-11-4) at 4 p.m. at Performance Arena.