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Driven by youth

Although she may be the youngest on the team, Julia Gosling is ready to battle and secure her spot as an Olympian

Bernadette Larose
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October 2, 2021
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Julia Gosling was just nine years old when now-teammates Marie-Philip Poulin, Meaghan Mikkelson and Rebecca Johnston inspired the nation by winning gold at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Now, 11 years later, Gosling will fight for a chance to do the same.

At 20 years old, the London, Ont., native is the youngest of the 28 players chosen to centralize with Canada’s National Women’s Team in Calgary, Alta., for the 2021-22 season. The five-foot-10 forward was not named to Canada’s roster for the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship, but will now have the opportunity to compete alongside and learn from a highly experienced leadership group as it prepares for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.

“They're a really fun group and very welcoming,” Gosling says of the centralization experience so far. “It's just been cool being around these role models that you've watched on TV all the time.”

One of four NCAA players in the centralized group, Gosling delayed her third year at St. Lawrence University to train full time with the national team and fight for one of 23 spots on the Olympic roster.

“Us younger players are really wanting these spots, so it's going to make the older players work even harder,” says Gosling. “We may have different styles of play than the older players and just coming out fresh from college we have no expectations, we’re just playing our game. I think it'll just make our team even better.”

The drive young players bring is vital to elevating the level of competition within a team, something Sarah Fillier demonstrated at the women’s worlds, energizing the group with an impressive performance throughout the tournament on Canada’s second line alongside veterans Mélodie Daoust and Natalie Spooner.

“The younger players are really going to lean on those older players who've been through it, who can share their experiences, and know how to treat the younger players coming in,” says Kori Cheverie, assistant coach with Canada’s National Women’s Team. “I've had the opportunity to work with Julia at the U18 level, and a player like that coming in brings a lot of energy to our group.”

Although this is her first time competing with the senior team, Gosling has previous national team experience to guide her. She helped Canada to bronze and gold medal finishes at the IIHF U18 Women's World Championship in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

“I think that it's so important that we develop our players through the system and she's one of those players that continues to grow.” says Cheverie. “She brought a tremendous amount of skill on the ice at the U18 level and helped us win gold in Japan. I think the more players that we can get through U18, through development, and onto the national team is just going to better our program.”

Playing alongside her cousin Nicole, Gosling scored five goals and three assists in her 11 games played with Canada’s U18 squad.

“I think that experience prepped me a lot,” says Gosling. “Being from London, I didn't even know about the U18 program. There hasn't been many of us that went through it, so just being a part of it and being on the world stage was like nothing I could have ever imagined.

“Now that I have that experience in playing at the top level and winning gold, knowing how that feels, it's kind of just driven me even more in trying to make the Olympic team now.”

Gosling’s journey to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be a hard-fought one, competing against a stacked centralized roster that includes 14 silver medallists from the 2018 Games.

“We all want the best for each other. And even though we all want a spot, we're going to do whatever it takes…hopefully I get one of those spots too.”

The centralization season kicks off with games against the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters on October 4 and the Cranbrook Bucks on October 5. The full season schedule will become available in the following weeks.

For more information:

Dominick Saillant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
514-895-9706
dsaillant@hockeycanada.ca

 

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
emadziya@hockeycanada.ca

 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada
Office: 403-777-4567
Mobile: 905-906-5327
ssharkey@hockeycanada.ca

 

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