Snow ready for the big stage
Clarke’s Beach’s Shailynn Snow always loved the crowds at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.
She loved seeing the packed arena on a Saturday night, hearing them roar when the Tri Pen AAA bantam Ice scored and listening for the cowbell being swung by her mother Connie Mugford.
A student athlete at Ridley College in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, the crowds were the first thing she noticed when she took the ice for the first time as a Tiger.
“I think one of the major things that I miss is hearing my mom scream and the cowbell and the fans back here,” Snow told The Compass during her most recent trip home. “If we have a spirit night, most of the school comes and it’s always a big crowd, but they’re not as loud as they are back home.”
The relationship between Snow and Ridley blossomed over the summer as it became increasingly apparent her future in the game was tied to proving herself on a bigger stage than the one she’d find herself in on the island.
Snow’s stated in the past her goal is to represent her country in the Olympics.
Moving from this province to the mainland presented a different set of challenges for Snow when it came to adjusting to the game.
Female hockey gets more physical as the level of competition increases. Snow said there was a small window of adjust- ment for her, but it didn’t take her long to settle in.
“There wasn’t that big of an adjustment hockey-wise,” she said. “You just have to get used to the way it’s played and everything.”
Her experiences playing male hockey at the AAA level had a positive influence on her game and ability to adjust when the game got physical with her move to Ontario.
“(At Ridley) the level of female hockey and the physicality of the game is like it was when I played last year with the boys,” said Snow. “It helped me prepare for sure.”
Putting up points
Scoring has never been a problem for Snow and it’s showing at Ridley.
Through 16 games with the Tigers, she’s registered 13 points (10 goals, three assists) and leads her team in scoring.
An ability to use her slick skating to put herself into promising positions on the ice gives her an advantage over her opponents. Combining that with impressive puck skills, makes Snow a danger every time she steps on the ice.
Looking at her history, scoring is nothing new for the young athlete. She’s always been able to put the puck in the net herself or find an open teammate for a goal.
Last season in the provincial AAA bantam league, Snow registered 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 27 games with the Tri Pen Ice.
This fall with the under-16 female provincial team at the At- lantic Challenge Cup, she posted six points (four goals, two assists) in five games.
Some decisions in the future
It’s only been a couple of months since Snow started making a name for herself with Ridley. Yet, she’s still catching the eyes of people and programs around the country.
Just last week, Melody Davidson, the general manager with Canada’s national women’s program, mentioned Snow as a player she was keeping an eye on during a short interview with the Junior Women’s Hockey League.
Then, there’s the interest she’s drawn from a number of postsecondary schools both north and south of the border.
“I haven’t decided if I want to make that decision now or later. I’m in between both,” said Snow.
Spending time away from friends and family is a rite of passage for any young athlete with exceptional skill who hopes to make a name for themselves in their chosen game.
Inevitably, there’s getting used to roommates, new living arrangements on campus and feeding oneself, amongst other tasks.
Her schedule is pretty hectic between school and hockey, but it’s not something she’s struggling with.
If Snow feels anxious about leaving her family and friends, she’s not showing it.
“I love living away,” she said. “There is a big adjustment though. It was definitely a big move, but it was the right move.”
Clarke’s Beach’s Shailynn Snow is enjoying her time with the Ridley College Tigers in St. Catherine’s, Ont.