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Local hockey player may be headed to Nationals

It seems the border city continues to churn out talented young hockey players, as one of Lloydminster’s own PWM Steelers has her sights set on nationals.

A rising star, 15-year-old centremen, Jayden Thorpe, has been playing hockey for the past 10 years and her hard work seems to be paying off. The teen was recently shortlisted for Team Alberta, to play in Hockey Canada’s Women Under-18 Championships.

Twenty-seven female hockey players born in 1999-2001 are included on the preliminary roster: three goaltenders, 9 defense, and 15 forwards.

Players were selected to the shortlist based on their overall play at the Team Alberta U18 spring camp in May, and at the Provincial Camp in Camrose, July 12-17. Forty-six players were invited to Camrose from the spring camp, and worked through high intensity on-ice sessions, as well as off-ice training and classroom sessions.

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Thorpe is competing against 4 other center-forwards looking to be a part of the team representing our province at Nationals in Regina this November.

“You go to Calgary and play Bantam AAA boys, and then you play the CIS team, and then they make 7 more cuts. Then that team, the finalized team will go to Nationals,” explains Thorpe.

The shortlisted players will attend a fall camp in Calgary September 23-25, prior to final decisions on the 20 players selected to the Team Alberta roster.

Thorpe is the only girl from the area on the preliminary roster. When asked whether or not she feels she has a good shot at making the team, she hesitated in saying, “it’s hard to say… depending on what they’re looking for in a player, but I think so.” Thorpe believes her skating ability is her biggest asset to potentially bring to the team.

The teen also has future aspirations for her hockey career, whether or not she makes it on with Team Alberta’s U18 team.

“I plan to go further with it. I hope I can play in college or university…hopefully make it past that too… They normally look at you for scholarships and recruits in my grade 11 year, which would be this season coming up. So I guess I’ll see how that goes.”

Nationals are to take place in Regina this year from November 9-13. The championship event brings together the top U18 female players from across Canada in an eight-team tournament that will feature teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario (Red and White), Quebec and Atlantic.

Shocked, overwhelmed, and excited are the adjectives young Thorpe used to describe how she felt when she received word on Monday that she’d been placed on the shortlist, likely the same way she’ll feel if she makes the final roster.

“It’d be huge. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime, so it’d be pretty unreal.”

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