A trio of star players for the Canadian women’s team announced today they are all retiring, with forwards Jayna Hefford and Gillian Apps, along with defender Catherine Ward, hanging up their skates for the 2015-16 season.
Hefford, a mainstay with the Canadian roster since joining the team in 1997, retires as the second-highest scoring player in team history, only behind Hayley Wickenheiser. Perhaps best known for scoring the game-winning goal of the 2002 Salt Lake Games, capturing Canada’s first ever Olympic Gold, Hefford retires with 24 total Golds, including 4 Olympic (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), 7 World Championship (1997, 1999-01, 2004, 2007, 2012) and 13 Three / Four Nations Cups (1997-2002, 2004-07, 2009-10, 2013), along with another 10 silver medals.
Apps, a third generation player behind Hall Of Fame grandfather Syl Apps and father Syl Apps Jr., joined the senior national team in 2001, immediately capturing Gold at the Four Nations Cup. She was promoted to the World Championship team in 2004, going on to capture 15 Gold medals in her career, including 3 Olympic (2006, 2010, 2014), 3 World Championship (2004, 2007, 2012) and 9 Three / Four Nations (2001-02, 2004-07, 2009-10, 2013), along with another 9 silver medals.
Ward, retiring at only 28 years old, retires with a respectable array of medals after being with the team for only nine years, capturing Gold at 2 Olympics (2010 and 2014), one World Championship (2012) and 2 Four Nations Cups (2009, 2013), along with 4 silver medals. Perhaps more remarkably is the fact that Ward, in just two seasons, became the seventh woman to join the women’s “Triple Gold Club,” pairing her 2010 Olympic and 2012 Worlds Golds with the Clarkson Cup, won in 2012 with the Montréal Stars.
Frankly, in regards to the IHLC, the list is far too long to capture each of these ladies’ victories with the title, but needless to say that as a key part of the Canadian team’s past 20 seasons, they have their fair share of IHLC titles under their belts. We wish Jayna, Gillian, Catherine and their families the very best for their retirements, and the things to come!