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Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women's Olympic team

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CALGARY — Hockey Canada’s roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women’s hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end.

Of the 28 invitees announced Wednesday to congregate in Calgary this summer to start preparing for Beijing, 10 forwards, three defenders and one goaltender won a silver medal in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where Canada lost in a shootout to the U.S. in the gold-medal game.

Women’s Olympic hockey rosters are 23 players, including three goaltenders, compared to the men’s 25-player rosters.

Canada’s goaltenders announced Wednesday were Ann-Renée Desbiens of La Malbaie, Que., Kristen Campbell of Brandon, Man., and Emerance Maschmeyer of Bruderheim, Alta.

Desbiens posted an 18-save shutout in a 5-0 win over Russia in her lone start in Pyeongchang.

Veteran defenders Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne, Man., Meaghan Mikkelson of St. Albert, Alta., and Renata Fast of Burlington, Ont., were among the nine blue-liners invited.

Defenders Erin Ambrose of Keswick, Ont., and Micah Zandee-Hart of Saanichton, B.C., were among the final cuts from the 2018 squad and have been given another chance to make the Olympic team.

Forwards Marie-Philip Poulin of Beauceville, Que., Melodie Daoust of Valleyfield, Que., Brianne Jenner of Oakville, Ont., Rebecca Johnston of Sudbury, Ont., Hamilton’s Sarah Nurse, Toronto’s Natalie Spooner, Laura Stacey of Kleinburg, Ont., Blayre Turnbull of Stellarton, N.S., Saskatoon’s Emily Clark and Jill Saulnier of Halifax played for Canada in 2018, and are among 16 forwards on the roster.

Poulin, Mikkelson and Johnston are two-time Olympians having won Olympic gold in 2010.

Defenders Ashton Bell of Deloraine, Man., Jamie Bourbonnais of Mississauga, Ont., Ella Shelton of Ingersoll, Ont., and Claire Thompson of Toronto were also named to the centralization roster.

Forwards Victoria Bach of Milton, Ont.,  Sarah Fillier of Georgetown, Ont., Julia Gosling of London, Ont.,  Emma Maltais of Burlington, Ont., Kristin O’Neill of Oakville, Ont., and Jamie Lee Rattray of Kanata, Ont., are among players hoping to make their Olympic debuts in Beijing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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Natural gas straddle plant designed to reduce oilsands emissions with cleaner fuel

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CALGARY — In the latest project designed to green the oilsands industry, Wolf Midstream says it will build a facility to strip petroleum liquids from natural gas used in operations near Fort McMurray, Alta., leaving a purer fuel that will burn with fewer carbon emissions.

The company says its NGL North project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from oilsands projects in the Christina Lake area by over 200,000 tonnes per year by removing liquids such as ethane, propane, butane and condensate from natural gas, leaving primarily methane.

The liquids would then be shipped on an unused third line in Wolf’s three-pipe Access Pipeline to the Edmonton area to be separated and sold to petrochemical industry buyers, with the capacity to produce up to 70,000 barrels per day.

According to the Canada Energy Regulator, about 30 per cent of the natural gas produced in Canada in 2018 was consumed in oilsands production to generate steam needed for thermal bitumen production from wells and in separating sand from oil and upgrading bitumen at oilsands mines.

Bob Lock, president of Wolf’s pipelines unit, says the project has become more financially attractive over the past 10 years as the amount of natural gas consumed in the oilsands rose by about a quarter to about 2.5 billion cubic feet per day.

The company declined to provide a cost for the project which is expected to be in service in 2023.

“The NGL North system will recover higher carbon product otherwise used for combustion with higher associated emissions and separate the recovered NGL into essential building blocks for products that enable modern living,” Wolf CEO Gordon Salahor said.

“Once operational, NGL North will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions for the oilsands industry, which is consistent with Wolf’s investment strategy to develop assets that are positioned for energy transition.”

Wolf Midstream is a private Calgary company created in 2016 and backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. It operates the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, which captures CO2 from industrial sites in central Alberta and uses them to enhance oil recovery.  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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