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Hockey Canada set to announce new coach of women’s Olympic team

Canada's goalie Shannon Szabados stretches during warm-up prior to women's hockey action against the USA in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, December 12, 2013.

Larry MacDougal/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada's Olympic women's hockey team has scheduled a news conference Tuesday to announce a new head coach.

Dan Church of Toronto abruptly resigned last week because he felt there was a lack of confidence in his ability to coach Canada to an Olympic gold medal in February.

Assistants Danielle Goyette and Lisa Haley handled coaching duties after Church stepped down.

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Hockey Canada female scout Melody Davidson was behind Canada's bench for gold-medal victories in both 2006 and 2010.

But Davidson stated when Church left she did not want to coach the team again at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

Other candidates who have prior experience coaching the Canadian women at world championships or Olympics include McGill Martlets coach Peter Smith and former NHL players Ryan Walter, Doug Lidster and Tim Bothwell.

Walter and Lidster both told The Canadian Press that Hockey Canada had not contacted them about the job.

Bothwell, who coaches the CWHL's Calgary Inferno, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Smith did not return messages left by The Canadian Press. A McGill Athletics spokesman said Smith was on vacation in Cuba.

Canada takes on the U.S. on Friday in Grand Forks, N.D., in the fourth of six pre-Olympic games scheduled for this winter.

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The Canadian team has been training full time in Calgary since August in preparation for February's Winter Games.

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