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This article was published 6/1/2015 (2202 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Canada’s U18 national women’s hockey team is getting a boost of Manitoba talent on its roster.
Shaftesbury Titans Prep goalie Kristen Campbell and St. Mary’s Flames right wing Christian Higham were both selected to the 2014-2015 U18 National Women’s Team, announced on Dec. 19.
"It’s sort of an indescribable feeling," Higham said over the phone from London, Ont., where the team was participating in a pre-competition camp. "I guess everyone dreams of wearing that jersey growing up, and to actually have it on and experience the feeling is amazing."
Higham will play for Team Canada in the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship taking place in Buffalo, N.Y. from Jan. 5 to 12.
The 17-year-old Wolseleyite first played for Team Canada in the summer against the USA in a three-game series which Canada won. Of the 23 players on Team Canada, 19 — including Higham — played in the summer series against the U.S.
"I think we had a really strong team in August but I think this team is willing to compete, and I think we’re even more ready than we were in August to go out and battle and do our best," Higham said.
Team Canada has been preparing for the world championship at a pre-competition camp in London this past week. Higham said the camp has been very busy with full days of practice and training and little to no downtime, but is making the most out of the experience.
"I’ve been focusing on the feedback I’ve gotten from Hockey Canada and what they want me to work on and bring with me into these world championships," she said.
The two other Manitobans playing for Team Canada are Ryleigh Houston (Balmoral Hall School) and Melissa Hunt from Hartney, Man.
The team was assembled by Melody Davidson, the general manager of national women’s team programs, head coach Cassandra Turner, assistant coaches Jackie Friesen, Delaney Collins, Noemie Marin, and goaltending coach Amanda Mazzotta.
"We are thrilled with the players that have been selected for this year’s team; the 23 players chosen for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will represent our country with passion, pride and purpose," head coach Turner said in a release.
Canada’s first game is Jan. 5 against the U.S. and the team will also meet Russia and the Czech Republic in the preliminary round.
In 2014, the U18 women’s team faced off against U.S. in the final round of the world championship winning gold with a score of 5-1.
Canada has won four gold medals at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championships and is hoping to capture its fourth consecutive world title this year.
Danielle Da Silva
Danielle Da Silva is a general assignment reporter.