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Stonehouse chasing gold at U18 world hockey championship

Abby Stonehouse of Blenheim is enjoying for Crew Canada on the U18 ladies’s world hockey championship that begins Sunday in Sweden.

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Abby Stonehouse’s first style of worldwide hockey was a little bit of an eye-opener.

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The 16-year-old ahead from Blenheim debuted with Crew Canada final summer time in exhibitions towards Finland and america.

The heated video games had been sooner than any she’d performed in.

Stonehouse liked the depth. She’s prepared for extra when she pulls on her Maple Leaf jersey once more for the Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation under-18 ladies’s world championship beginning Sunday in Ostersund, Sweden.

“I play an aggressive type of sport, so I like most of these video games after they’re bodily and extra chippy-type stuff,” she stated. “I believe it’s going to be good.”

No medals had been at stake in these video games final summer time in Calgary, so Stonehouse appears to be like ahead to seeing the fervour on show on the U18 worlds.

“The groups we performed in the summertime, they had been each bodily,” she stated. “I can solely think about what that is going to be.”

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Canada will face Finland on Sunday, Sweden on Monday and america on Wednesday within the prime pool of the two-tiered match. All three video games are scheduled for two p.m. EST.

The opposite pool has Switzerland, Czechia, Slovakia and Japan. The quarter-finals shall be on Thursday, Jan. 12, the semifinals on Saturday, Jan. 14, and the medal video games on Sunday, Jan. 15.

“Clearly in the summertime it was actually enjoyable, however this being in Sweden and truly being at worlds I believe goes to prime what the summer time was,” Stonehouse stated. “That was superior. I believe that is going to be higher.”

She’s excited to don the Maple Leaf once more.

“Each time I put it on, it’s an honour to symbolize the nation,” she stated. “That is clearly my greatest accomplishment up to now.”

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Stonehouse is among the youngest gamers on Crew Canada. She’ll be eligible for the U18 worlds once more subsequent 12 months.

Canada’s roster is crammed with gamers from the workforce that swept the U.S. of their three-game summer time collection.

Seven gamers are additionally again from the Canadian workforce that received gold on the 2022 U18 world championship.

“The workforce that went to worlds final 12 months was actually good,” Stonehouse stated, “after which seeing our success in the summertime, I believe if we maintain that up, I believe we’ll do nice.”

Their camaraderie is an enormous cause she’s optimistic.

“Everybody simply will get alongside so nicely,” she stated. “Nobody’s unfavourable. It’s at all times constructive stuff. I believe that enhances everybody’s confidence degree. It’s a decent group, so I believe that’s a major cause for the success.”

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The Canadians performed their lone pre-tournament sport Thursday. They misplaced 4-3 regardless of outshooting Finland 40-11.

Stonehouse is joined on Crew Canada by 4 of her London Jr. Devilettes teammates: forwards Emmalee Pais, Shelby Laidlaw and Jocelyn Amos and defender Keira Hurry.

The Devilettes play within the Ontario Girls’s Hockey Affiliation under-22 elite league. Stonehouse has 10 targets and 13 assists in 20 regular-season video games.

“I believe I’m off to a reasonably good begin,” she stated.

The Grade 11 scholar dedicated earlier this season to Penn State College for the 2024-25 NCAA season.

She’s additionally been named to Crew Ontario for the Canada Winter Video games in Prince Edward Island. Girls’s hockey shall be performed Feb. 27 to March 5 on the multi-sport occasion held each 4 years.

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Stonehouse has been watched for months by Hockey Canada officers. They’ve stored tabs on gamers by scouting video games on-line and attending some in individual.

“Clearly slightly hectic however nothing too loopy,” she stated. “(I) simply stored specializing in my sport and the way I usually play. Tried to not fear about it an excessive amount of.”

Gamers had been informed they’d made the workforce a couple of days earlier than the roster was formally introduced. Stonehouse was in school at Ursuline Faculty Chatham when the information got here out.

Her telephone blew up with messages from mates and family members.

“It was superior seeing the group and everybody so supportive,” she stated. “It was cool. It was loads. I actually loved it.”

Her mother and father, Jeff and Lisa, plan to be within the stands cheering on Crew Canada. Again house, youthful brother Brett is in his Ontario Hockey League draft 12 months with the Chatham-Kent U16 AAA Cyclones, whereas older brother Brady has helped the Ottawa 67’s to the OHL’s greatest document.

Brady skated final summer time on the Colorado Avalanche’s improvement camp. So, if he’s been to camp with the Stanley Cup champions and Abby’s on Crew Canada, who has bragging rights within the household?

“It bounces forwards and backwards,” she stated. “I believe proper now I do.”

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