Teen at­tend­ing Hockey Canada camp

Shai­lynn Snow one of 50 un­der-18 play­ers on na­tional team’s radar

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON THE COM­PASS edi­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Shai­lynn Snow’s play this past sea­son in a ju­nior hockey league for women at­tracted the at­ten­tion of of­fi­cials with the na­tional women’s pro­gram. Next month, the 15-year-old will at­tend a train­ing camp in Hamil­ton, Ont. that’s con­sid­ered the first step to as­sess tal­ent for Canada’s un­der-18 squad.

Shai­lynn Snow hasn’t been shy about her dream of one day tug­ging on a jersey bear­ing the maple leaf to rep­re­sent Canada at the Olympics.

It’s some­thing the 15-year-old from Clarke’s Beach told The Com­pass about last fall while she was in the midst of play­ing her first sea­son of hockey away from home at Ri­d­ley Col­lege in St. Catherines, Ont.

Fol­low­ing an ex­tremely suc­cess­ful sea­son of hockey, Team Canada is show­ing some le­git­i­mate in­ter­est in the high-scor­ing for­ward. She’ll be one of 50 un­der-18 play­ers at­tend­ing a Hockey Canada women’s strength and con­di­tion­ing camp in Hamil­ton next month.

A Hockey Canada news re­lease calls this camp the ini­tial step in pre­par­ing the 2017-18 un­der-18 squad.

“I didn’t know if it was real or not at first.” Shai­lynn Snow

Snow’s mother, Con­nie Mug­ford, re­ceived an email from Melody Davidson, gen­eral man­ager of the na­tional women’s team pro­grams, in­form­ing her about Shai­lynn’s in­vi­ta­tion to the camp.

“I didn’t know if it was real or not at first,” Snow said when asked about her re­ac­tion to the news.

“This has been a dream of Shai­lynn’s,” her mother Con­nie told The Com­pass. “Shai­lynn’s got nat­u­ral abil­ity, but she also works hard to get where she’s got­ten ... I’m happy for her, I’m ex­cited for her, and I just hope she does well.”

To be among the in­vites as a 15-year-old is quite the ac­com­plish­ment, but con­sid­er­ing her re­sults this sea­son, Snow’s in­clu­sion at the camp shouldn’t come as a sur­prise. Play­ing in the eight-team Ju­nior Women’s Hockey League for un­der-19 play­ers, Snow was a dom­i­nant force.

In 24 reg­u­lar-sea­son games she col­lected a league-lead­ing 28 goals and 48 points, lead­ing her team and fin­ish­ing sec­ond over­all in the lat­ter cat­e­gory. Snow was a first-team all-star in the league. For the en­tire sea­son, tak­ing into ac­count week­end tour­na­ments, Snow sur­passed the 100-point mark.

Head­ing into the sea­son, her goal was to sim­ply fit in with the team and gain more ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing at a higher level com­pet­i­tively.

“I loved it up there,” she said. “We be­came closer within the first two weeks.”

Snow is the only Ri­d­ley Tiger who will be at the camp, though she knows at least a cou­ple of other girls who will be at­tend­ing, in­clud­ing St. John’s na­tive Mag­gie Con­nors.

With a lot of hockey played over the last num­ber of years, Snow is quick to credit many peo­ple back home who have helped her get this far, in­clud­ing her mother, grand­fa­ther Ernie Mug­ford, and coaches Randy Pearcey, An­drew McKim, Bo Ben­nett and Craig Mercer.

Her sea­son con­cluded last month, and since then Snow has largely fo­cused on dry-land train­ing, though she still skates once or twice a week.

There will be no on-ice ses­sions for the camp in Hamil­ton. In­stead, Hockey Canada per­son­nel will work with the play­ers on dry-land train­ing, fit­ness-testing, and phys­i­cal and men­tal prepa­ra­tion. Be­yond Hamil­ton, Snow hopes to earn an in­vite to the sec­ond camp in Cal­gary.

An ad­di­tional 30 de­vel­op­ment-aged play­ers born from 1996 to 1999 will also take part in the camp.

The first year away from home has taken some get­ting used to, with Snow also need­ing to make plenty of time for her school­work.

“There’s def­i­nitely been times where you strug­gle, like where they pile on more work when you’re away (play­ing), but over­all it’s been good,” Snow said, adding she man­ages to look af­ter some of her stud­ies while trav­el­ling to games.

With ex­ams fin­ish­ing in mid-June, Snow will con­tinue train­ing through the sum­mer be­fore re­turn­ing to Ri­d­ley Col­lege in the fall.

RI­D­LEY COL­LEGE

Ri­d­ley Tigers for­ward Shai­lynn Snow dis­plays a puck hon­our­ing her 100th point of the year play­ing for the prep school in St. Catherines, Ont.

RI­D­LEY COL­LEGE

Shai­lynn Snow wears the num­ber 54 on her Ri­d­ley Tigers sweater.

RI­D­LEY COL­LEGE

Play­ing in her first year at Ri­d­ley Col­lege, Shai­lynn Snow was named a first-team all-star in the Ju­nior Women’s Hockey League.

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