CALGARY — Melody Davidson will remain head coach of Canada’s Olympic women’s hockey team, but the review of Canada’s loss in the world championship final is not finished.
“Her job is secure,” Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson said.
“There will be changes. We’re not going to stay status quo. Where the program is today isn’t good enough. We’ve got to get better.”
Davidson, who coached Canada to Olympic gold in 2006, was so devastated following Canada’s 4-1 loss to the U.S. in the gold-medal game last month, she openly wondered about her job security.
The Canadians had a solid performance until the final. They defeated the U.S. 2-1 in a playoff game two days prior to the final April 12 when they imploded in the rematch.
“I was just so upset over how we played,” Davidson said. “For me, when I look back on it, you care so much about the players and you want them to succeed and when you don’t reach that, right at that moment you’re so frustrated.
“It’s human nature to say ’this is what went wrong and we’ll fix it.’ There wasn’t any clear cut ’this is what went wrong.’
“Why we didn’t play well, we’re still trying to sort through that. In the end, it may be as simple as it wasn’t our day. But you have to look at every little piece to make sure you don’t repeat it.”
Canada has won nine of 12 world titles — but not the last two — and two of three Olympic gold medals in women’s hockey. The Canadian women won’t be happy with any medal other than gold at the Olympics next February in Vancouver.
Davidson, from Oyen, coached Canada to gold at both the 2006 Olympics and 2007 world championships. She was general manager of Hockey Canada’s women’s program in 2008 when Canada lost to the U.S. in the world championship final under head coach Peter Smith.
Smith and former NHL player Doug Lidster are currently Davidson’s assistant coaches.
Davidson had her team so well prepared for the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy, that Canada made winning gold look easy. She was the only female head coach of a national women’s team in Turin and also at this year’s world championship in Hameenlinna, Finland.
Davidson chose the 22-player roster for this year’s world championship plus another four who will join them to try out for the Olympic team. Players who don’t already live in Calgary will move to the city in August to prepare full-time for the Olympics.
“Just getting them all together in that environment again is crucial and it’s important in terms of moving forward,” Davidson said. “If there are things we didn’t pick up at worlds, you can’t escape it when you’re together full time and you’ll be able to address anything that might need to be.”
Canada opens defence of its Olympic gold versus Slovakia on Feb. 13.