Date of Birth:  May 14, 1978
 Place of Birth: Kingston, ON
 Residence: Brampton, ON
 Years on National Team:
 Height:  5'5"
 Weight: 140 lbs

Jayna Hefford has been a key part of the Canadian National Women's Hockey Team since 1997. And despite all the games she's played, and all the goals she's scored, there was never a bigger game or a bigger goal in her career than the one the crafty forward slipped behind American goalie Sara De Costa's net with one second remaining in the second period of the 2002 gold medal game at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

That goal made the score 3-1 going into the second intermission and, despite a furious third-period rally by the USA squad, the Canadians hung on for a 3-2 win with Hefford's tally standing as the game winner. The win was huge for Canada, who had previously lost eight consecutive games to the Americans going into the event. It was even bigger considering the USA had claimed gold four years earlier in Nagano, downing the Canadians in the final game.

In addition to her silver and gold Olympic medals, the Kingston native also has earned gold medals from the 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004 World Championships.

When not representing Canada in international play, Hefford, or "Heff" as she's known to her teammates, plays for the Brampton Thunder of the National Women's Hockey league (NWHL). During the 2004-05 season, the speedy forward tallied 39 goals and 34 helpers for 73 points in just 33 games. Twelve (12) of Heff's goals were also game-winners.

With 2006 being an Olympic year, the 28-year-old has joined the national squad in Calgary, where they've been practicing and playing together since August 1. Like in their gold-medal year in 2002, Team Canada spends its months together before the Games, melding into a cohesive unit.

With numerous games against their bitter rivals from south of the border already under their belts in 2006, it should get really interesting in Turin when the action really starts to mean something. And it's when the games matter most, that you want to have Jayna Hefford leaping onto the ice looking to make that game-breaking play.

2006 Hockey Coverage