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Vancouver Island hockey player named to Canada’s U18 team

Shawnigan Lake School’s Morgan Jackson skates from the Comox Valley to national stage
Shawnigan Lake student Morgan Jackson has been named to the Canadian hockey team for the 2023 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship this month in Sweden. (Arden Gill photo)

A Shawnigan Lake School hockey player will be wearing Canadian colours this month at the 2023 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Östersund, Sweden.

Morgan Jackson, a Grade 11 student-athlete hailing from Courtenay, has been named to the national U18 team for the international tournament Jan. 8-15.

Jackson tried out for Team Canada last August, playing in a mini tournament between two Canadian teams and Finland. She made Canada’s final roster for a three-game series against the U.S., which Canada swept. Most of the team from that series is back for the World Championship.

“Putting on the Canada jersey, when I wore it during the series, it was like, ‘Wow, this is a dream come true,’” Jackson said, smiling broadly as she recalled the experience.

Canada is the tournament’s defending champion, and has medalled at each of the tournament’s 14 editions, winning gold six times.

This is Jackson’s first year at Shawnigan after playing last season with the Vancouver Island Seals of the BC Elite Hockey League. She leads the entire Canadian Sport School Hockey league female U18 prep division in scoring with 33 points (14 goals and 19 assists) in 14 games.

Jackson cites living on campus and the supportive teachers as some of the biggest benefits, as well as the school’s coaches.

“[Ms. Carly Haggard] cares so much about us,” Jackson says. “It’s not just hockey. It’s about how we’re feeling and when we need a rest. She’s very compassionate.”

Haggard is thrilled Jackson will be wearing the maple leaf jersey, just as she is thrilled to have Jackson on her own team this year.

“It is hard to put into words what it means to have Jackson as part of this program,” she says. “She exemplifies all the traits of a high-performance student athlete and is a true leader in every sense of the word. Her dedication, commitment, passion and work ethic are incredible. She truly is the definition of team player, constantly putting the team’s needs in front of hers.

“Having someone from Shawnigan on the national team shows just how far our program has come in such a short time. These are the types of student athletes that we will continue to attract. Morgan should be so proud of herself and has worked tremendously hard to make this dream come true. We will certainly be cheering her from afar during the World Championship.”

TSN will broadcast 13 games from Östersund Arena, including the quarterfinals, semifinals and medal games.