2018-08-17

Lunenburg goalie playing for Team Canada

by Stacey Colwell

Madison Beck can make another big check mark on her bucket list.

"I was about eight years old when I created a list of the goals, and playing for Hockey Canada is right up there at the top," said the Lunenburger who was recently picked as a goalie for the national women's under-18 team.

"I've slowly been checking off everything and now I have this ... It's so exciting that this is finally a reality because I've wanted this for so long."

As part of the Team Canada summer showcase, a total of 92 players were invited to attend the week-long selection camp in Calgary, which was comprised of on-and off-ice training, fitness testing and classroom sessions.

"I finally got to pull the [Team Canada] jersey over my head and put on my custom Canada mask. It was pretty cool. Everything about it is so amazing that it's overwhelming, but it's so exciting at the same time."

The camp also included games against Japan's national women's team, a university all-star team and three intra-squad games.

"I really liked Maddie's work ethic," said coach Howie Draper.

"She really impressed me right off the hop with how engaged she was, how quick and intense she was in the net, and that she battled on every puck. She's also engaged when you speak to the group - all the coaches spoke about that - she's just the kind of player you like having."

The former Western Hurricanes major bantam goalie was ultimately one of 45 players selected to play during a pair of three-game series against the United States from August 16 to 19 in Calgary.

It was a decision fit for a television reality show.

A week after arriving at camp, every player had to get up for breakfast at 6 a.m., pack and put on dress clothes. Then, each would go back to their rooms and just sit and wait.

"I was at the end of the hallway so we were the last room called down," said Beck.

"They escorted me and my roommate to a room and took our bags away so we wouldn't see any teammates."

From there, it was either being informed they'd be getting on a bus to go back home or that they'd made the team.

"We walked into a boardroom with three coaches standing there and that's when they told us. They said to me I'd be continuing and I almost didn't believe them because I was so excited."

She was then escorted her to a room where all the other players who'd made the cut were waiting.

"I walked in and everyone was clapping for me because I was the second-last person into the room. It was a pretty cool experience."

After this month's series with the U.S., Hockey Canada will continue to assess Beck with St. Paul's prep school in New Hampshire and the Boston Junior Eagles hockey club in preparation for selecting the final Canadian team that will compete at the 2019 U18 Women's World Championships from January 6 to 13, 2019 in Japan.

That, in turn, is a stepping stone toward future Olympic teams.

"I just need to keep developing," said the prospective 2019 Nova Scotia Canada Games team member in her phone interview from Calgary.

"Every opportunity I have to learn from these high quality coaches, the better I can get to come back better next season and just keep building until I can hopefully make my Olympic dream a reality ... I'm just very grateful for this opportunity."

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