The 17-year old from Malahide helped Team Canada win the gold
at the U18 women's world hockey championship
January 22, 2023
By Rob J. Ross
MALAHIDE, Ont. - Shelby Laidlaw is a world champion.
The 17-year old from Malahide township, won gold with Team Canada, at the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 women's world championship, January 15.
Canada routed Sweden, 10-0, in the gold medal game, completing an undefeated run at the week long tournament, to repeat as world champions.
"Words can't even describe how amazing it feels. I never thought as a little girl I'd be doing this today," Laidlaw said. "I was be side one of my linemates, Morgan Jackson. We were counting down the final seconds of the game and we were all getting excited. When it finally went, we ran to our goalie and celebrated. So much excitement was going through my body. I can't even remember as I was in the moment. Everything was just crazy."
A full arena of 2700 spectators, the majority cheering on the host team, watched the final.
"When I first stepped on to the ice for the gold medal game, it was a crazy seeing how many fans were there to watch us play. It was packed full. I've never played in front of so many people," Laidla said. "To be able to represent my country and hear the National anthem playing after the game was really cool."
Caitlin Kraemer led the Canadians with four goals. Alexia Aubin, with two goals, Abby Lunney, Piper Grober, Mackenzie Alexander and Charlotte Pieckenhagen also scored for Canada.
Hannah Clark had a 21-save shutout for Canada.
Laidlaw didn't register any points, but picked up a two minute penalty for roughing.
The final was a walk through the park, compared to a tense semifinal, that Canada edged Finland, 3-2, in overtime, after trailing late in the third period.
"I was definitely getting a little scared at that point," admits Laidlaw. "I knew we had it in us and we could do it, but I was scared. It was a back and forth high energy game."
Laidlaw shares the golden experience with four teammates from the London Junior Devilettes, Jocelyn Amos, Emma Pais, Abby Stonehouse and Keira Hurry.
"I've never been on that big of a stage before," Laidlaw said. "It was an amazing experience and it makes you want to work hard at home, so maybe I can do that again sometime in the future."
Laidlaw's near future includes the Canada Winters Games, with Team Ontario, February 18 to March 5, in Prince Edward Island and upcoming playoffs, for both the Devilettes and Laidlaw's high school team, the East Elgin Eagles.
Upon her return from Sweden, of course everyone wanted to see the gold.
"A lot of people have been asking to see it," said Laidlaw. "I brought it my first day back (to school) and showed my class."
That would be the best show and tell item.
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