CALGARY, AlbertaCourtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario), Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) and Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) – all of whom will be sophomores on the 2008-09 University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team – are among 40 athletes who have been invited to the National Women's Under-22 Team selection camp from Aug. 10-17 at York University in Toronto. The announcement was made Tuesday by Hockey Canada.

Birchard and Wakefield were part of last year’s National Women’s Under-22 Team that finished with a 7-0 record – the first perfect season in the history of the U-22 program – and won a gold medal at the European Air Canada Cup. In that tournament, Wakefield recorded two goals and four assists while Birchard tallied three points. All three UNH Wildcats competed at last year’s selection camp.

Herman, the reigning Hockey East Goaltending Champion, will be one of four goalies at the U-22 selection camp. She had a record-setting year in net for the Wildcats in which she broke the UNH single-season records for wins (29) and goals-against-average (1.07), while her marks in save percentage (.938), shutouts (nine) and minutes (2026:45) ranked third. With those statistics, Herman was No. 3 in the nation in GAA and wins as well as fourth in minutes and fifth in save percentage.

Wakefield, the Hockey East Scoring Champion and Rookie of the Year, ranked No. 2 nationally in rookie scoring (1.39 ppg) and No. 10 overall in points per game. She was also No. 4 in goals (0.82 gpg). Wakefield netted a team-high 27 goals and finished second in points (46), power-play goals (seven), plus/minus (+37) and shooting percentage (.196).

Birchard, also one of 24 forwards invited to camp, recorded 21 points on eight goals and 13 assists in 28 games for the ‘Cats. She tallied five points in four postseason games, including a three-point effort (1g, 2a) in the Hockey East semifinal against Boston University and an assist on the only goal scored in the league title game.

As rookies in 2008, this triumvirate helped lead New Hampshire (33-4-1) to its fifth consecutive Hockey East regular-season title and third straight league tournament championship. The Wildcats also advanced to the Frozen Four for the second time in three years.

These 40 players were chosen to be part of the selection camp based on evaluations done by Hockey Canada regional scouts during the 2007-08 season. The athletes attending camp are eligible to represent Canada at the 2009 MLP Cup (formerly the Air Canada Cup) in Ravensburg, Germany in early January. The camp will also be utilized to select 22 players for a three-game series against the U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team in Pierrefonds, QC in late August.

The National Women's Under-22 Team selection camp will see the 40 players split into two teams that will compete with a team of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) all-stars in a series of games.
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