“I am so honoured and excited to be named to the 2014 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team,” Johnston tweeted Monday. “I can't wait to play in Sochi, Russia!”
Johnston was part of the gold-medal winning team from the 2010 Games in Vancouver, along with fellow Sudburian Tessa Bonhomme, who was cut from the team last month. Canada has won gold at three consecutive Olympics.
Hockey Canada announced the full 21-player Olympic roster for the Games, which take place Feb. 7-23. The women’s team includes three goaltenders, six defencemen and 12 forwards.
The roster includes 12 players from the Vancouver Games, six players from the 2006 Olympics in Torino and three players from the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.
“Narrowing our roster down was extremely difficult due to the depth of the female game in our country, but we’re absolutely thrilled to announce the 21 players who will defend our gold medal in Russia,” Canada’s National Women’s Team head coach Kevin Dineen said in a release Monday. “We’re confident the players who will travel this final stretch on the Road to Sochi will do so with passion, perseverance and performance that will make all Canadians proud.”
Sochi will mark the fifth time women’s hockey has been part of the Olympic Winter Games. In addition to its three gold medals, Canada’s National Women’s Team also claimed the silver medal at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, the inaugural event for the female game.
“Congratulations to all 21 of our players on being named to the Canadian Olympic Team,” Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson said in the release. “We look forward to seeing all of your hard work pay off when the puck drops in Sochi, and we know that you will represent our country with heart and soul, both on and off the ice.”
The women’s hockey tournament runs from Feb. 8, when Canada takes on Switzerland on the opening day, and culminates Feb. 20 with the gold medal game. In the Olympic preliminary round, Canada faces Finland on Feb. 10 and the United States on Feb. 12. Quarterfinals are set for Feb. 16, while semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 17.
Before heading to Russia, Canada faces off against the United States in the final two games of a six-game exhibition series. The puck drops at 4 p.m. Dec. 28 at the Xcel Energy Centre in St. Paul, Minn., and then again at 7 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
For more information on Canada’s National Women’s Team, go to www.hockeycanada.ca/nwt.