Newspaper article The Canadian Press

The Other Tournaments: Canada Up for Three World Championships in Helsinki

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

The Other Tournaments: Canada Up for Three World Championships in Helsinki

Article excerpt

Canada up for three world titles in Helsinki

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HELSINKI - Canada could leave Helsinki, Finland, with not one, but three world titles.

Although most of the attention has been lavished on Canada's men's junior hockey team, the Canadian senior and junior ringette teams are also competing in Finland at their respective world championships.

"Our expectations are to win, to succeed," said Jackie Gaudet, the captain of Canada's senior ringette team, which has lost to Finland in the Sam Jacks Cup final at the past four tournaments. "It's always been Canada-Finland and they've been close for the most part in the past. You look back and you think of things you could've done better, big differences in the team.

"This year I feel we're ready to do it."

Ringette was invented in northern Ontario in 1963. It's played by women on a hockey rink with a centre, two wingers, two defenders and a goalie. Sticks are about the same length of a hockey stick, only with no blade. Instead of a puck, a ring is used.

The sticks have tapered ends, with tips designed to increase the lift and velocity of a wrist shot. Ringette sticks are reinforced to withstand the body weight of a player because a ring carrier leans heavily on their stick to prevent opposing players from stripping them of the ring. The sticks are flexible and lightweight to bend without breaking.

Finland has won the senior world title six times, always beating a Canadian team. Canada has won the world championship twice, with Canada West and Alberta claiming the crown once each.

"I wouldn't see it as an upset or the underdogs winning. I don't see it that way at all," said Gaudet. "They're going to be tight games. It will be a good game for fans to watch if you've never seen ringette or only seen it at the lower levels. …

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