Jaimee Spring earns try out for Team Canada
Cranbrook’s Jaimee Spring is one of seven British Columbians invited to try out for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, which will be competing in the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, June 6-13 in Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin.
Calgary will play host to 40 of the country’s top women’s under-18 players as Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team holds its selection camp, May 24-29.
The camp will be held at WinSport Arena at the Markin McPhail Centre and will feature a pair of intrasquad games on May 27-28 before the final roster is named.
The roster – 24 forwards, 12 defence (including Spring) and four goaltenders – will be split into two teams for on-ice skills sessions, practices and intrasquad games.
With the cancellation of the last two editions of the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, this will be the first time Canada’s best women’s U18 players will be able to test their skills and compete in this short-term international competition since January 2020.
“This is an exciting time for this group of dedicated athletes, who have waited over two years for a chance to compete on the international stage,” said Gina Kingsbury (Rouyn-Noranda, Que.), director of hockey operations with Hockey Canada. “Our athletes and entire staff involved in our program have been looking forward to this opportunity. We had a short window last summer where we were able to gather together to train, compete and play some games in a competitive setting. With the world championship right around the corner, we will maximize our time together on the ice and put our off-ice work into practice, with a goal of representing Canada and competing for a gold medal.”
Canada is in Group A with Finland, Sweden and the United States. Group B is comprised of the Czechia, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland. Canada will open the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship against Finland on June 6. Canada will also face Sweden on June 7 before its preliminary-round finale against the United States on June 9.
Howie Draper (Edmonton, Alta./University of Alberta, CW), who led Canada to gold and silver at the 2019 and 2020 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships, returns for his fourth year behind the bench. He will be joined by assistants Vicky Sunohara (Scarborough, Ont./University of Toronto, OUA) and Tara Watchorn (Newcastle, Ont./Stonehill College, NEWHA), and goaltending coach Gord Woodhall (Winnipeg, Man./Winnipeg, MFHL) who joined Draper on the medal-winning teams in 2019 and 2020.
Spring isn’t Cranbrook’s sole representative on the team, as Tom Renney remains chief executive officer of Hockey Canada until July 1, when he is retiring.
Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team will look to earn its first gold medal at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship since 2019; it has won five gold medals (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019), seven silver (2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020) and one bronze (2018).