The Inferno coaching staff announced the roster for the 2015-16 CWHL season live via Periscope Sunday afternoon. With new assistant Gina Kingsbury, head coach Scott Reid ran down the list of 14 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies who made the final cut.
Here's who you'll see on the ice at WinSport this year: (italicized indicate newcomers/rookies)
Five of the Inferno's seven forward draft picks from 2015 made the roster, including (no surprise) both Olympians, Jenner and Wickenheiser. Johnston and Haley Irwin (who sat out much of the last part of the 2015 campaign with an injury) also make their returns to the lineup. Irwin looks to at least be skating (she participated in Hockey Helps the Homeless earlier this month) so with her healthy, this offensive corps is going to be near-unstoppable.
*Lacquette and Mikkelson will be joining the team in the winter (December and January). Lacquette is finishing school, while Mikkelson is taking some extra time after having her son, Calder.
This is almost the blueline we saw last year, with a couple of changes. Erica Kromm, a forward last season, jumps over to the blueline this year to make some room for the new blood. Japanese Olympian Aoki joins Takeuchi on the Inferno as well. A notable absence on this list is Jessica Wong, who apparently didn't make the cut from camp after a solid sophomore campaign.
Desjardins makes a comeback to the Inferno and the CWHL after sitting out the 2014-15 season. Citing repeated injuries, she retired from the game and relocated to Kelowna, B.C. Now, she's reunited with fellow goalie Brian and could either be a solid 1A or even take over the starting role depending on how things go.
Reid praised her competitiveness on the ice and her fitness level, citing her background in health and fitness as a plus.
"With her, what you see is what you get," he said during the Periscope session. "Every night, she's going to bring something."
Reid also announced three upcoming exhibition games in the fall, including two against national teams (Team India on Oct. 15 and Team Japan on Nov. 11). The third is next Sunday in Okotoks against EMS.
Stay tuned for more news leading up to official puck drop Oct. 24 against Boston.