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2014 Olympic profile: Marie-Philip Poulin

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According to the Hockey Canada website on Monday, Canadian women's hockey player Marie-Philip Poulin has played the last two games for Canada against the United States after suffering a high ankle sprain in September.

The presence of Poulin for Canada in women's hockey at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi is critical if Canada hopes to win their fourth consecutive gold medal.

A forward from Beauceville, Quebec, Poulin helped lead Canada to a gold medal at the 2012 Women's World Hockey Championship in Burlington, Vermont and then led all players in scoring at the 2013 Women's World Hockey Championship in Ottawa with 12 points.

Here is my recent interview, with one of the best women's hockey players in the world.

When people say this is your team now, what is your reaction?

There's a lot of leaders on this team (Jayna Hefford, Hayley Wickenheiser). I think I'm still trying to follow their lead. They've been showing me the way all along and they're still models for me. So, it's been a great start for me.

Is there anything specific you have learned from Hefford and Wickenheiser along the way?

I think they're great leaders. Having a chance to play with Jayna Hefford, she is a great player, and even a greater person. Beyond hockey, and off the ice, it's amazing what they have been able to show me and how to act.

How meaningful was it for you to be named the top forward at last year's World Hockey Championship?

It was about the overall teamwork of our team. We have a great team and it went well last year. I think I would like to thank my teammates for that.

What did you learn from your experience at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver that you think will help you at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi?

I think a lot. I think being able to represent your country is always very amazing. Winning a gold medal was even greater. But just being there and having a chance to represent your country is just the most amazing thing.

The United States are obviously your top rival. What impresses you the most from the Americans?

I think they have an all around solid team. I think they are well coached. They have great forwards and we have to be aware of them for sure.

Is the gold medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi the ultimate goal?

Of course. We have been working since May towards that goal. We can't stop working. It's going to be tough.

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