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Canadian Press
8/30/2006 10:30:04 AM

CALGARY (CP) - Captain Cassie Campbell announced her retirement from the Canadian women's hockey team Wednesday.

The 32-year-old from Brampton, Ont., is the only Canadian hockey player, male or female, to captain a national team to two Olympic gold medals, which she did this year in Turin, Italy, and in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

She has represented Canada in seven world championships and three Olympic Games, winning six world titles and two Olympic gold medals. She has 32 goals and 68 assists in 157 career games for the national team.

Campbell told The Canadian Press in July that she was leaning towards retirement, but wanted to be sure before hanging up her hockey skates.

The five-foot-seven, 150-pound forward made it official in a statement from Hockey Canada.

"While it is difficult for me to retire from the game that has given me such pleasure," said Campbell, "I can now look back with great fondness on my time with the national team and my years playing hockey."

Campbell was named captain of the women's team in 2001.

While not a natural goalscorer, Campbell was one of the quickest skaters on the national team and used that speed to chase down pucks in open ice and along the boards to set up her linemates. She was particularly effective on defence harrying opposing puck carriers.

Campbell actually began her career in with the national team in 1994 as a defenceman and was named an all-star defender at the 1997 world championship, before moving to forward the following year.

She and her Olympic teammates have worked to build their own women's league in Canada. Campbell played club hockey for both the Toronto Aeros of the National Women's Hockey League and the Calgary Oval Xtreme of the Western Women's Hockey League.

Campbell has been an articulate and diplomatic advocate of women's hockey and is well-suited to a future career in broadcast. She is joining TSN as a women's hockey analyst and is also working on two books about hockey.

"Cassie Campbell's contributions to women's hockey go far beyond her tremendous success with the national women's team," Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson said. "Cassie has been and will continue to be an ambassador for the women's game, as well as a role model and hero to thousands of young girls playing hockey in Canada."

She is married to Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada's senior director of men's national teams, and lives in Calgary.

Hockey Canada invited 57 players to an evaluation camp starting Saturday in Kenora, Ont. The roster includes the Olympic team minus Campbell and defenceman Becky Kellar, who is pregnant with her second child and plans to take the season off.

Following the camp, head coach Melody Davidson will select a team for the Four Nations Cup in Kitchener, Ont., in November. That tournament includes Canada, Olympic silver medallist Sweden, bronze medallist U.S. and Finland.

The 2007 world championship will be held in Winnipeg in April.
 
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