Canadians ready for drop of puck

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

The girls are back in town, and they're ready to play some hockey.

The Canadian women's hockey team has concluded its training camp in Dauphin and played its exhibition game in Selkirk.

The players got to Winnipeg late Saturday night and spent yesterday signing autographs at Fan Fest before attending a kickoff celebration at the Legislature.

Today they get down to brass tacks: practice at 10:30 a.m. at MTS Centre to prepare for their opener tomorrow night against Switzerland.

"We're so excited, because we know it's getting closer to the first game," veteran forward Danielle Goyette said. "And as a team, that's what you want to do. You want to play the real game, the real championship, and see what's going to happen."

Despite winning gold at last year's Winter Olympics, Canada isn't considered the defending champs. That honour goes to the U.S., which beat Canada 1-0 in a shootout at the last world championship, in 2005.

Goyette said they won't have any trouble getting geared up for their opener. After all, it's been more than a year since they've played in an event of this magnitude.

"We're used to it," she said. "In women's hockey we don't play 80 or 90 games a year. That's why for us to come to a world championship, and waiting for the first game, it's no different.

"We're getting better every game, and it's good to see, because we want to get ready for the first game. We're not taking anybody for granted, because anything can happen on the ice."


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