CALGARY — Defender Jamie Bourbonnais and forwards Jessie Eldridge and Julia Gosling have been released from the Canadian Olympic women's hockey team.

Canada's centralization roster decreased to 26 with three more skaters to be cut to get down to the Olympic roster of 23 for February's Winter Olympics in Beijing.

"This is an incredibly difficult decision to make as Jaime, Jessie and Julia have committed themselves to a high level of excellence in vying for a spot on Canada’s Olympic team,” said Hockey Canada director of hockey operations Gina Kingsbury said Friday in a statement.

“Hockey Canada and our staff thank each of them for the impact they had and will continue to have on our program.”

Twenty-nine players centralized in Calgary in July to begin preparing for the Olympic Games. The Canadian women will play a Professional Women's Hockey Players' Association (PWHPA) all-star team Dec. 9 and Dec. 11 in Calgary, followed by games against the U.S. women in St. Louis, Mo., on Dec. 15 and Dec. 17, and Dec. 20 in St. Paul, Minn.

The Olympic team is expected to be finalized later this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.