Canada's mighty mite

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

Team Canada trivia time: who's the most proficient goal-scorer on the women's national team?

Surprisingly, it's not Hayley Wickenheiser.

Danielle Goyette? Nope.

How about Jayna Hefford? Not quite.

If you guessed Katie Weatherston, you've noticed what most people don't: that the smallest player on this team is a big-time offensive weapon.

Though she's just 23 and stands no taller than your average fifth-grader, Weatherston has 22 goals in 31 games with Team Canada -- a torrid pace of .71 goals per game.

Not bad for someone coach Melody Davidson calls her "pesky forward."

"My role on this team is to be an energy player," Weatherston said yesterday, fresh off Tuesday's two-goal outing vs. Switzerland. "Try to get to that puck first. And do what I can to get the puck back when we don't have it."

Basically, Weatherston is your average buzz-saw on ice, throwing her 5-foot-2 frame into corners and scrums like it's overtime in the gold-medal final, every day.

Most of her 22 goals aren't coated in finesse, but hey, they all count, right?

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Weatherston's role model, growing up, was Wayne Gretzky.

Thing is, her coach talks about her more like she's Jordin Tootoo.

"She battles hard," Melody Davidson said. "Sometimes you're, like, 'Man, you drive me crazy.' They just go at it. Sometimes they are their own person, and sometimes you've got to remind them they're part of a team. But at the same time you don't want her on the other team."

Weatherston's approach might come from playing boys hockey growing up in Thunder Bay, when more than a few people told her she was in the wrong sport.

"People would sometimes say, 'You're too small, you're too small,' " she said. "You definitely can eliminate that factor, based on hard work, determination and what you make your role out to be. Size matters in certain areas, but if you're a shorter player you have to be a quicker player."

Davidson says Weatherston can actually play any role you ask her to.

"I really like coaching her because you can be direct, and you don't have to worry about how she might take it," the coach said. "She's a competitor, and she goes right after it."

JUNK OR TREASURE? Wickenheiser had mixed feelings over collecting her 250th career point against the Swiss Tuesday.

"I've got the puck," the Canadian captain began. "I threw the stick in the garbage because I couldn't hit the net."

Wickenheiser has been ringing so many shots off the goal posts of late teammates are starting to razz her about it.

"I think it's seven posts in three games," she said. "I hope the luck's going to change."

THE GERMANS ARE COMING: Davidson says tonight's game against Germany should be a little more physical than Tuesday's.

"Their federation is really committed to the program," the coach said. "They want to host the worlds in 2011, and they want a competitive team."


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