A trip to Europe would be a nice belated Christmas present for a pair of Lake Country hockey players.
But they’re going to have earn it.
Defenceman Brooke Disher and forward Jade Iginla, both 17 and teammates at the RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna, are among 40 of Canada’s top women’s under 18 players that will be in St. Catharines, Ont. Dec. 26-31 for Canada’s National Women’s U18 Team selection camp.
The camp will be held at Ridley College and will feature a trio of intrasquad games Dec. 28, 29 and 30 before the final roster is named for the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship Jan. 8-15 in Linkoping and Mjolby, Sweden.
With the cancellation of the 2021 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, this will be the first time in almost two years Canada’s best women’s U18 players will be able to test their skills and compete in this short-term international competition.
“This is an exciting time for this group of dedicated athletes, who have waited nearly two years for a chance to compete on the international stage,” said Gina Kingsbury, director of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.
Disher is now in her sixth season in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) having previously played for Edge School, Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA), and now RHA Kelowna. She has been named the CSSHL U15 WHL Scholastic Player of the Year (2016-2017), CSSHL Female U17 Prep Top Defenceman (2017-2018) and the CSSHL Female U18 Prep Top Defenceman (2019/20). In 117 CSSHL games she has recorded 77 points including 20 in 14 games this season.
Iginla is in her first season in the CSSHL. She has four goals and seven assists in 10 games this season. Iginla is the daughter of NHL Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla.
Disher and Iginla are among seven RHA players who have secured college scholarships for 2022-23. Disher has committed to Boston University and Iginla has signed with Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Both are NCAA schools.
Canada is in Group A with Finland, Russia and the United States. Group B is comprised of the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Canada is slated to open the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship against Russia on Jan. 8. Canada will also face Finland on Jan. 9 before its preliminary-round finale against the United States on Jan. 11.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will look to earn its first gold medal at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship since 2019; it has won five gold medals (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019), seven silver medals (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020) and one bronze (2018).
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