CALGARY – Carly Jackson will wear the Maple Leaf as a member of Canada’s Women’s Under-18 hockey team.
The 17-year-old Hastings resident was named to the national team on Monday.
She’s one of three Maritimers to make the club that will play a three-game series against the United States’ Women’s Under-18 National Team from Aug. 21 to 24 in Calgary.
The team includes 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goalies.
“It’s pretty incredible, it’s a dream come true,” Jackson said by phone from Calgary after a team practice. “It’s an honour to be part of this program. It’s every young player’s dream to sometime wear the Maple Leaf.”
The players were selected from an evaluation camp held Aug. 7 to 17. When she was told she’d made the team she couldn’t believe it.
“When they told me the first thing I said was no way and they said yes way,” Jackson laughed. “I’m still having a hard time believing it’s true. I’m so honoured to get this opportunity.”
Jackson said her passion and love of the game have carried to where she is today and it’s her ultimate goal to play for Canada at the Winter Olympics, possibly as early as 2018 in South Korea.
“Going into camp I just wanted to work hard and do my best and hopefully catch the eye of the coaching staff,” said Jackson, who attended Hockey Canada’s strength and conditioning camp in Hamilton, Ont. in May.
Jackson, who played with the Cumberland County Midget AA Ramblers last season, will share the goaltending duties with Marlene Boissonault of Dundee, N.B., who went to Rothesay Netherwood School near Saint John last season.
“As is typical for a national team camp, there were absolutely no easy decisions,” said head coach Cassandra Turner in a news release. “The 42 players who came to Calgary should be extremely proud of their efforts, and as a staff we could not be more excited to move forward with these 22 and prepare for the U.S. later this week. We have no doubt they will represent the country with the same pride and passion they showed during selection camp.”
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team features three players who won a gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Budapest, Hungary and two players who won a gold medal with Ontario Red at the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Calgary.
The puck drops on the three-game series against the United States on Aug. 21 (6 p.m. AT), with other games scheduled for Aug. 22 (9:30 p.m. AT) and Aug. 24 (4:30 p.m. AT).
All three games will be streamed live on the game summary page atwww.hockeycanada.ca.
“After these games we all go back to our club teams for the season and I believe we have another camp before the world championships,” Jackson said. “I need to keep working hard and keep pushing to be the best I can be because there’s always a chance someone can take your spot. I have to keep playing at the highest level possible and working hard.”
Following the series, Hockey Canada scouts, along with the team’s coaching staff, will continue to evaluate players with their provincial and club teams during the 2014-15 season, in preparation for selecting the Canadian team that will compete at the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship next January in Buffalo, N.Y.