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May 20, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s ice hockey sophomore defenseman Tessa Bonhomme was one of 27 Canadian women’s hockey players selected to centralize in Calgary, Alberta, on a full-time basis beginning Aug. 1, in preparation for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, Hockey Canada announced Monday.

The Sudbury, Ontario, native is postponing one year of NCAA eligibility in hopes of being one of the 20 players selected to represent Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, Feb. 10-16, 2006. Canada will announce the roster of 20 players (18 skaters, 2 goalies) in January 2006.

Bonhomme was the first Buckeye to compete for the Canadian National Team when she was one of 20 players selected to represent Canada in the 2004 Four Nations Cup Nov. 10-14, 2004 in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt.

“I was told to focus on the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver so being centralized this year was definitely a nice surprise,” Bonhomme said. “I have nothing to lose going to Calgary and trying out for this team, and everything to gain, whether it be experience, skill or even making the team. I look forward to improving as a player and am excited to get started.”

Team Canada’s 2005-06 schedule will be announced this summer. They will play games from August through January in Canada, the United States and Europe, including six games vs. USA Hockey and 11 international games in Europe. The team also will play Midget boys AAA teams within Alberta during the season as part of the squad’s training and preparation schedule.

The 27 players that comprise the centralization roster include three goaltenders, eight defensemen and 16 forwards.

Team Canada’s 2006 centralization roster includes 15 members of the gold medal team from the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and all 24 members of Canada’s silver medal winning team at the 2005 Women’s World Hockey Championship last month in Linkoping, Sweden. The team will gather at Hockey Canada’s main office at the Father of David Bauer Arena in Calgary, Alberta, May 15-22 before traveling to Prince Edward Island May 22 where the team will participate in a three week on and off ice camp. Canada’s coaching staff will utilize the camp for orientation and off-ice training, before reconvening in Calgary in early August.

Bonhomme participated in a seven-day Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival Oct. 4-10 in Kitchener, Ontario, which represented the first step in an ongoing evaluation process for Canada’s National Women’s Team leading to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

This season, Bonhomme led the Buckeye defense and finished third on the team with 27 points (7-20-27) in 30 games. Bonhomme received USCHO.com National Defensive Player of the Week honors Oct. 27 for leading the Buckeye defense in a split with then-No. 4 Wisconsin (Oct. 22-23).

Bonhomme was the first Buckeye to be named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team as she led OSU’s freshman class and tied for third on the team with 20 points (5-15) in 2003-04. She finished her freshman campaign tied for 16th in the nation among defensemen and tied for 24th among freshmen, averaging .59 points per game.