There are dozens of world class athletes at Western and many are getting the opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage.
This semester saw men’s rugby star Conor Trainor play for Canada at the Commonwealth Games. Taylor Stewart, a rookie long jumper, won bronze at the 2010 World Junior Track and Field Championships over the summer.
And as of the end of January, we can add yet another name to that list, this time from the women’s hockey team. Star forward Ellie Seedhouse was selected to the Canadian women’s hockey roster for the 2011 Winter Universiade – the 25th world university games – held in Erzurum, Turkey.
Seedhouse is the first Mustang to play for Canada at the tournament as women’s hockey only debuted at the Universiade in 2009.
“It feels unreal. Every girl dreams of playing on a national team growing up and to actually get to experience that, and wear a Team Canada jersey, is something I have worked towards my entire life,” Seedhouse said.
The reward for being named to the team is getting to play with the very best in Canadian university hockey. The team features the 2009-10 player of the year in Laurier’s goaltender Liz Knox, last year’s rookie of the year in Manitoba’s Caitlin MacDonald and four other CIS All-Canadians. Not to mention they return six players from the gold medal winning 2009 Canadian squad.
“It will be an exciting experience for every girl to play amongst the best in the country. I expect that experience will help all of us, including myself when I come back to the Mustangs,” Seedhouse said.
For Seedhouse, this recognition isn’t just about her hard work on the ice, but about the team around her. She feels that the work of the Mustang women’s hockey program has allowed her to succeed the way that she has.
“My teammates and coaches have been a big part of me getting recognized, and I am extremely proud to represent them and the Mustangs at the national level,” she said.
While the Mustangs haven’t had a stellar season as of yet, for them, this announcement was an indication that their hard work and coaching are putting them in the right direction.
“I’m most happy about the recognition for the Western women’s hockey program — we work extremely hard all year round, and that is something that gets overlooked by others who continue to criticize us from year to year,” she said.
“We’ve certainly faced a lot of challenges with almost an entirely new coaching staff and 11 new players on the team. However, the more the season has progressed, the more the team has gelled together. [...] We proved this with our [3-2] shootout victory over Queen’s on Saturday night,” she added.
Seedhouse will join the Canadian team in January when they travel to Turkey. The tournament ends on Feb. 6, after which she will held back to London to lead the Mustangs’ playoff drive during the last quarter of the season.
“We need to build on the energy level from this past weekend. The new year is a great opportunity to come in with a positive outlook and a fresh start to the latter half of the season,” she said.