Hockey season just starting for Canada’s future goaltenders

Three local prospects will join 12 other hopefuls at Hockey Canada’s second annual women’s goaltending camp in Calgary, June 5-8. The 15 goaltenders – two in the senior category (candidates for the National Women’s Team), seven in the under-22 age category (prospects for the National Women’s Under-22 Team) and six in the under-18 category (candidates for the National Women’s Under-18 Team) – will attend the camp from June 5 to 8.

The goaltenders were selected by Hockey Canada based on evaluations done by regional scouts during the 2007-08 season. These evaluations included performances with their respective club teams, along with the 2008 National Women’s Under-18 Championship for the under-18 goaltenders. These goaltenders also took part in strength and conditioning/skating camps in May.

In the Under-22 group will be Oakville’s Christina Kessler, who played with Harvard University in the East Coast Athletic Conference, was the league’s Goaltender of the Year, after being named a first-team all-league selection. She set a new National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I single-season record with 11 shutouts in 2007-08. Kessler earned three consecutive shutouts on two different occasions this past season and paced the conference in goals-against average (0.80), save percentage (.964) and winning percentage (1.000) with a 20-0-0 conference mark.

Brantford’s Jenesica Drinkwater, who played for Stoney Creek in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League, will attend in the U18 division along with Oakville’s Nicole Paniccia. She played with Toronto in the PWHL.

“These goaltenders are the future of the National Women’s Program, and we want to make sure they have every opportunity to learn from some of the best instructors in the game,” said Julie Healy, director of female hockey for Hockey Canada. “We had tremendous success with our goaltending camp last year, and look forward to the opportunity to continue to develop Canada’s top young goaltenders.”

The camp will include both on-ice and off-ice sessions. All of the on-ice sessions will be held at the Father David Bauer Olympic Arena in Calgary.

In addition, 21 goaltending coaches from nine different branches will be participating in the National Women’s Program goaltending coaches’ seminar, which runs from Friday until Sunday alongside the goaltending camp. Participants will spend time observing the on-ice sessions at the camp as well as time in the classroom.

For more information on Canada’s National Women’s Program, go to