Snow ready for the big stage

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Clarke’s Beach’s Shai­lynn Snow is en­joy­ing her time with the Ridley Col­lege Tigers in St. Cather­ine’s, Ont.

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