Sophie Shirley was the lone representative from Saskatchewan for Team Canada at the U-18 Women’s World Tournament last month in St Catharine, Ontario. Shirley had a goal and three assists in the tournament, where Canada lost in overtime to the USA 3-2. But Shirley’s involvement with Team Canada wasn’t to be over so soon. Not long after arriving home from the U-18 tournament, she was given the news that she had been invited to attend Team Canada’s training camp for the Women’s World’s Tournament to be held in Kamloops, British Columbia, in March/April.
As the youngest player at camp by four days (Amy Potomak, a teammate from U-18’s, was also invited to attend), Shirley had this to say about sharing the ice with Team Canada Alumni “Obviously it’s an amazing feeling, a lot of those girls I looked up to when I was younger. Just getting out there it was faster, stronger, they’re all bigger girls out there so it’s tough to adjust to but it’s amazing, obviously.”
Moving to the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) and playing for the Notre Dame Hounds this past year helped prepare Shirley for tournaments like these. “It’s my first year in the league, I really like it a lot, it’s a lot better competition there. The hockey seems to be faster. My head coach really works me hard to be able to come to these camps, and to be able to compete with all the other girls so I’m really liking it.”
In the meantime, Shirley plans to continue to get stronger, to keep developing her game and skill, while taking the advice given to her by the players at Camp – Shoot the puck whenever you can! as she waits to see if she makes the roster for World’s when it’s announced on Monday.
Sophie Shirley: A Profile
Team: Notre Dame Hounds
Favorite Women’s hockey team? Emily Clark’s team at the Four Nations Cup
Favorite NHL team? Montreal Canadiens
Favorite Hockey Movie? Miracle on Ice
The story behind your number: Number Eight. I actually have a picture of when I was little playing in my first hockey game and I was wearing number 8 so ever since then it’s kind of stuck.
Favorite Hockey Move: Coming down on the defenseman, pulling it back – toe drag something like that (Fancy!) Don’t know if I’ll be able to pull it out here but… you never know
Something you wish you could learn to do (outside of hockey): Surf, I want to learn how to surf. I haven’t gotten the chance yet. I’ve been on a couple of vacations, but I haven’t gotten the chance to do that. So maybe in the future I’ll learn how to do that.
What Game day rituals do you have? Probably just taping my stick before every game, and on the ice I take a couple of shots when I get on, and then try not to shoot at all. I don’t know it’s kind of a weird one.
Favorite hockey players – men and women’s? Emily Clarke, she’s from my home town so she’s really one I’ve looked up to, obviously. And on the men’s side I like Brendan Gallagher – he’s a real hard worker, I like him a lot, and Sidney Crosby.
Favorite player to watch on the ice? Sidney Crosby, because he really controls the puck well and protects it well and is a scorer as well as a play maker too, and makes his linemates better so one that I really like to watch.
What would the ideal dream hockey dream be? Probably an Olympic medal. Ever since I was little, me and my sister actually dreamed about that so for sure one of the goals I want in my future for sure.
The roster for Team Canada at the Women’s World Championships will be announced on Monday, February 29.