Labonte, Campbell retire

Canada’s national team gets a little thinner


Goaltender Charline Labonte (as well as forward Jessica Campbell) say goodbye to the Canadian women’s national team. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images

Goaltender Charline Labonte and forward Jessica Campbell have announced their retirement from Canada’s National women’s team. Both were not invited to the centralization camp for the PyeongChang Olympics.

In the case of Labonte, her career ends after an extraordinary series of victories. The 34-year-old was a three-time gold medallist at the Olympics and two-time gold medallist at the Women’s Worlds (along with six silver medals).

Although Labonte was frequently the number-two goalie behind either Kim St-Pierre or Shannon Szabados, she managed to post an unbelievable record of 18-0-3 in her career, recording nine shutouts in 23 games.

She won Women’s World gold in 2007 and 2012 and was named IIHF Directorate Best Goalie in 2009. Her greatest moments, though, came at the Olympics, where she won gold in 2006, 2010, and 2014.

As well, Labonte helped Les Canadiennes de Montreal win the 2017 Clarkson Cup. She was the starting goalie for the McGill Martlets for most of her five years in Montreal, winning three national championships in 2008, 2009, and 2011.

Campbell’s retirement ends a career that was full of hope but ended in disappointment of sorts. In the U18 program, she was nothing short of sensational. In 2010, she led Canada to its first WW18 gold, scoring the overtime winner against arch-rivals United States, being named tournament MVP, and leading all scorers with 15 points. The world was smiling at Campbell at that time.

She then attended Cornell University for four years after which she joined the Calgary Inferno of the CWHL. But her only senior tournament with Team Canada at the top level was the 2015 Women’s Worlds, where she failed to register a point in five games. A year later, she helped the Inferno win its first Clarkson Cup but never got a chance with the senior team thereafter.

Labonte is currently taking classes at the Ecole des Metiers de la Restauration et du Tourisme in Montreal, a prestigious school for aspiring chefs.

Campbell, meanwhile, was hired as the lead power-skating instructor and assistant coach of the Midget Female Prep team at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, British Columbia.




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