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Tri-City hockey star deserves second chance to wear maple leaf

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Jordan Baxter made the Women’s World U18 roster… after the tournament in Sweden was canceled due to concerns over COVID-19.

As it turns out, a teenager from Coquitlam allegedly left for Northern Europe earlier this year with some of Canada’s top women’s hockey players.

COVID-19 had other plans.

Jordan Baxter was one of 23 athletes selected for the country’s under-18 world women’s championship roster five days after the 2022 tournament was set to end in Sweden — and she is said to have been one of the youngest at 16 -year age.

Now she gets a second chance to earn that spot for the rescheduled International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) sanctioned event as one of 40 invited to Hockey Canada selection camp later this month.

Baxter is one of seven from BC participating in the five-day tune-up, including her fellow Delta Hockey Academy teammates Tova Henderson (defense) and Hailey MacLeod (goalkeeper).

“This is an exciting time for this group of dedicated athletes, who have waited more than two years for an opportunity to compete on the international stage,” said Gina Kingsbury, hockey operations director at Hockey Canada.

“Our athletes and all the staff involved in our program have been looking forward to this opportunity. Last summer we had a short period where we could come together to train, compete and play some matches in a competitive setting. World Championship right around the corner we will maximize our time together on the ice and practice our work off the ice, aiming to represent Canada and compete for a gold medal.”

The Women’s Worlds of January 8-15 U18 were canceled on Christmas Eve 2021 (December 24) due to concerns about the then-state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament has since moved and will now take place in the United States, but the IIHF was heavily criticized for canceling it for the second year in a row while the Alberta Under-20 Men’s Championship was about to get underway.

World juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer – including Port Moody’s Kent Johnson – were shut down after four days due to the rising number of confirmed infections for the virus.

Baxter has already achieved success in the 2021-22 season, both for her school and for the county.

The now 17-year-old led BC to gold at the 2021 Western Regional Women’s U18 Championships, scoring two of the team’s three goals in their 3-2 win over Alberta and finishing with a tournament total of four goals and six points.

The right-handed center was the third-highest scorer in the Canadian School Sport Hockey League (CSSHL), with 27 goals and 41 points in 27 games with Delta Hockey Academy’s female under-18 prep squad.

She added 10 points in five playoff games, but the Wild lost in the CSSHL Championship Final with a score of 3-2 to RINK Hockey Academy (Kelowna).

Baxter is determined to play the fall after high school at Ohio State University.

She will hit the ice at the U18 selection camp from May 24 in Calgary, and if she makes the top 23 again, she hopes to win Canada a gold medal for the first time since 2019.

The 2022 IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship is scheduled for June 6-13 in Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin.

Sources

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2/ https://www.tricitynews.com/local-news/promising-coquitlam-hockey-player-gets-second-shot-to-solidify-her-first-team-canada-selection-5353011

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