Har­bour Grace goal­tender named to Team At­lantic

Har­bour Grace goal­tender named to Team At­lantic

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Har­bour Grace’s Kelsey Shute is headed to Regina, Sask. this week as a mem­ber of Team At­lantic. She re­ceived the hon­our af­ter an out­stand­ing At­lantic Chal­lenge Cup ear­lier this fall. The goal­tender has con­sis­tently pro­duced re­sults on the ice and hopes she can at­tract the at­ten­tion of uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges with her solid play in net.

Ev­ery­one gets started in hockey for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

For 17-year-old Kelsey Shute, watch­ing her older brother Bran­don play the game com­pelled her to fol­low in his foot­steps. Chas­ing him around to var­i­ous rinks in the re­gion piqued the Har­bour Grace res­i­dent’s in­ter­est in the game. All she had to do was de­cide whether she wanted to be a goal­tender like her brother or a skater.

Early on, there was a sim­ple so­lu­tion.

“I’d bring a set of play­ers equip­ment and goal­tender’s equip­ment,” Shute told The Com­pass last week. “I had the best of both worlds.”

There were times she’d “switch it up” dur­ing tour­na­ment days and play a dif­fer­ent po­si­tion each game.

That kept go­ing till she was around the age of six. That’s when the goal­tend­ing bug bit her and she made the switch full time.

From then, it was all about stop­ping pucks rather than try­ing to score goals.

The move be­tween the pipes has paid off for Shute. She long been con­sid­ered one of the finest fe­male goal­tenders New­found­land and Labrador has pro­duced and has rep­re­sented her prov­ince na­tion­ally at the 2015 Canada Win­ter Games.

Shute has added an­other hon­our to the man­tle af­ter her se­lec­tion to Team At­lantic , which heads to Regina, Sask. for the 2016 Na­tional Women’s Un­der-18 Cham­pi­onship Nov. 9-13.

Shute was study­ing for a math test when her phone rang. It was Team At­lantic goal­tend­ing coach Jack Car­ti­gan on the other end and he had good news.

She’d been se­lected as one of the two goal­tenders for the un­der18 club.

“I was in shock,” Shute said of hear­ing the news. “It was over­whelm­ing. Need­less to say I wasn’t wor­ried about study­ing the rest of the night.”

She’s joined on Team At­lantic by Mount Pearl’s Heather New­man on de­fence, and for­wards Mag­gie Con­nors of St. John’s, Jessica Davis of C.B.S. and Laura Hor­wood of Grand Falls-Windsor.

As well, Jen­nifer Pol­lett of St. John’s will be an as­sis­tant coach and Ash­ley His­cock of St. John’s will be the ath­letic ther­a­pist.

Set­ting a goal

Mak­ing Team At­lantic was a goal she set for her­self as she headed into the At­lantic Chal­lenge Cup last month in Monc­ton, N.B. with Team NL. Fea­tur­ing teams from the four At­lantic Prov­inces, play­ers are se­lected for the na­tional tour­na­ment based on their play there.

Know­ing it was her last year in the pro­vin­cial pro­gram, Shute was aware the team was be­ing se­lected and hoped to see her name on the ros­ter.

In two starts with Team NL, she posted a flaw­less record and de­liv­ered two wins for her club. Shute al­lowed just one goal in 120 min­utes of ac­tion and posted a 0.50 goals against av­er­age.

“I was pretty de­ter­mined and I thought I had a good show­ing,” she said. “I was fo­cused on play­ing my game and mak­ing it to Team At­lantic.”

Style points

Shute is a tra­di­tional but­ter­fly goal­tender. Watch a cou­ple of clips of to­day’s keep­ers and you’ll see plenty of ex­am­ples of ath­letes drop­ping their pads to the ice and cov­er­ing the lower por­tion of the ice.

It’s be­come a com­mon style for any young goal­tender.

“It’s some­thing I’ve been taught since go­ing to goal­tend­ing schools grow­ing up,” said Shute. “I think my ath­letic abil­ity lat­er­ally helps in that sense. If you’re more ath­let­i­cally fit, that just helps more on ice.”

Grow­ing up, she al­ways wanted to stay home and play hockey in Har­bour Grace. She’s had plenty of ap­pear­ances with the pro­vin­cial team and now, Shute hopes to catch some­one’s eye and at­tract some post-sec­ondary in­ter­est from a univer­sity or col­lege.

The na­tional tour­na­ment is the per­fect way to see where she stands against some of the best com­pe­ti­tion in the coun­try.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to the hockey,” said Shute.

I was fo­cused on play­ing my game and mak­ing it to Team At­lantic. Kelsey Shute

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Kelsey Shute is shown here with Team NL at the 2015 Canada Win­ter Games in this file photo.

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

Har­bour Grace’s Kelsey Shute (left) was named to Team At­lantic for the up­com­ing 2016 Na­tional Women’s Un­der-18 Cham­pi­onship in Regina, Sask. Nov. 9-13. Ear­lier this year, she re­ceived Har­bour Grace’s se­nior fe­male ath­lete of the year award, which was pre­sented by lo­cal MHA Pam Par­sons.

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