January 29, 2006
Captain Cassie's on the job
Veteran wears 'C' for Turin
CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

Just as she did in 2002, Cassie Campbell will get to know the Olympic referees pretty well.

Campbell was named the captain of the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team yesterday for the Turin Olympics, an honour the veteran forward held at Salt Lake City, where Canada captured the gold medal.

Hayley Wickenheiser and Vicky Sunohara were named the assistants, giving them letters for the second straight Winter Games.

As the squad prepares to depart today for a five-day camp in Val Pellice, Italy, Campbell said she's humbled to wear the 'C' again.

"It's exciting because I look at the three people with letters and any one of us could be chosen captain," said Campbell, who has been Canada's captain in international competition since 2001.

"To be chosen is great but, at the same time, it doesn't make me feel any different than anybody else.

"It just allows me to talk to the refs more than anybody."

Campbell, who hails from Brampton, Ont., didn't expect her teammates to bestow the 'C' on her again.

"It was a real big deal my first time and I never expected it to be given back to me, so to get the nod again is still a big deal," said the veteran of more than 150 international games.

Campbell and head coach Melody Davidson said Cheryl Pounder and Caroline Ouellette also could wear letters.

A veteran presence on the club is a huge intangible, just like it was during the 2002 Olympics, when the powerful Canadians trailed Finland 3-2 heading into the third period of the semifinal.

"I remember just saying to the girls, 'For some reason, we're being challenged a lot this year ... I don't know why. I'm not saying we deserve it but we have the abilities to overcome it and there's no question in my mind,' " recalled Campbell of the contest in which Canada rallied for a 7-3 win.

"And I think coming back in that semifinal was a huge boost leading up to the gold-medal game."

Some would say shoddy officiating caused plenty of adversity for the women in winning that gold with 3-2 over the U.S.

The U.S. had 12 powerplays, including eight in row at one point.

Still they fought through.

"That goes back to our leadership and it was a great group that time. It wasn't just me," said Campbell.