WOMEN'S HOCKEY PLAYERS COMPETE DURING HOLIDAY BREAK
STEFANIE MARTY
DURHAM, N.H. – The No. 1 ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team may be on break for the holidays, but a handful of UNH Wildcats will be participating either at national camps or in international competition in the upcoming weeks.

Freshman forwards Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) and Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) will skate on Canada’s National Women’s Under-22 Team that will be competing in the European Air Canada Cup that takes place Jan. 2-6 in Ravensburg, Germany. Only one player on the team is younger than these two UNH skaters, both of whom competed at Canada’s Under-19 camp this past summer; Wakefield went on to compete on the Under-22 Team in the Four Nations Cup.

Freshman skaters Julia and Stefanie Marty (Nussbaumen, Switzerland) will also be competing at the European Air Canada Cup. The twin sisters have been members of the Swiss National Team since 2003 and that includes the 2006 Olympics.
Canada plays against pool members Russia (Jan. 3) and Germany (Jan. 4); Finland, Sweden and Switzerland comprise the other pool. The top two teams from each pool advance to the semifinals (Jan. 5) and the medal games will be played Jan. 6.

The 2007 USA Hockey Women’s Holiday Camp, which began earlier this week and runs through Jan. 1 at the Olympic Center (Lake Placid, N.Y.), will include UNH defensemen Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Maggie Joyce (Hudson, Ohio). Associate head coach Erin Whitten Hamlen, a former USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year, will be present as a coach at the camp.

Bellamy, who has competed at the Four Nations Cup each of the past two years, and Joyce are among 34 players who will be looking to earn their way onto the U.S. contingent for the 2008 IIHF World Women's Championship, which runs from April 4-12 in Harbin, China. Whitten Hamlen will serve as an assistant coach on the 2008 U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team that will compete in the first-ever International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's Under-18 Championship, to be held from Jan. 7-12 in Calgary, Alberta.

New Hampshire resumes the 2008 season Jan. 5 at Brown University. The Wildcats’ next home game is Jan. 19 (2 p.m.) vs. Providence College; tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com.
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