When Maegan Beres hits the ice with Team Canada at the U18 IIHF Women’s World Championship, it won’t be with just the 22 other players wearing the Maple Leaf.
In her Team Canada debut, the 17-year-old from North Vancouver, playing with the North America Hockey Academy in the JWHL, will also have her sister with her.
“I have this necklace that I always wear to symbolize what she told me, chase my dreams,” said Beres.
Nothing extravagant, just an arrow pointing her the right way. Just as her sister Ali Beres, who is a member of the Western Mustangs that won the U Sports championships two years ago and was in the finals last year, has always done.
“She is a huge supporter in my life. We use to listen to this song together driving back and forth to the rink, “Follow Your Arrow,” and Ali has a bracelet with an arrow on it. I always have the necklace with me because all the things she ever shared with me have stuck with me,” said Maegan. “The arrow just is something to remind me of her everyday.”
The two grew up the best of friends, and Maegan said she always walked in her older sister’s footsteps.
“She helped shape the person I have become. She is always the first person to tell me how proud she is to see me succeed and is so excited that I am playing with Team Canada,” said Maegan, who is Boston College bound next year with fellow Team Canada player Daryl Watts (Toronto, Ont./Mississauga PWHL)
The forward will be looking to bring home gold with Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World Championship, Jan 7 to 15, in the Czech Republic. Canada took silver in 2016, losing gold to the U.S. for the second time in a row. Now Canada is hungry to win again and bring home their fifth gold in the tournament’s history.
While it is a big event for Maegan, it is also a boon for British Columbia hockey.
After making history as just the second team from B.C. to win a medal at nationals, held in November, four players from Team B.C. will be headed to the world championship. Team Canada’s B.C. representation is completed by Amy Potomak, Olivia Knowles and Courtney Vorster.
“I think that team showed what B.C. hockey is all about. We inspired a bunch of people and little girls who are playing hockey or thinking about playing hockey. We motivated them and showed them that they can play at a high level. Now it is just huge for us getting to represent our province, wearing the Maple Leaf on our chest. It is a huge honour and we are all so excited for the world championship,” said Maegan.
A strong work ethic and level head has got Maegan where she is today. The two-way forward will make an impact on both ends of the ice, and is a known leader.
“I know what I can control and how hard I can skate, backcheck and battle. It is the little things that I like to do well and help others battle through adversity,” said Maegan.
Joining Maegan on the Team Canada squad are seven players who were with the team last year when they won silver, and eight players who won a gold medal with Ontario Red at the national championship. The roster also includes national tournament award winners Knowles, Top Defenceman; Emma Maltais (Burlington, Ont./Oakville, PWHL), Top Forward; Potomak, Most Valuable Player; Danika Ranger (Uxbridge, Ont./Durham PWHL), Top Goaltender; and Brette Pettet (Kentville, N.S./Shattuck’s St. Mary’s), Most Sportsmanlike. Standouts Potomak and Sophie Shirley (Saskatoon, Sask./Okanagan Hockey Academy) will also play at the world championship, after their stint with the senior national team in a two-game exhibition series against the U.S. (Dec. 17 and Dec. 19).
While their toughest match should be against the U.S. in the preliminaries, Maegan is excited to soak in every second of the tournament.
“I just can’t wait for it all to get going. I want to be with the girls, the team, feel that first moment on the ice. I’m excited and ready for this. I feel so prepared. This is a dream come true for me and I want to get going,” said Maegan.
Canada opens up the 2017 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship against Sweden Jan. 7, then will face Russia on Jan. 8 before battling against the U.S. on Jan. 10. The medal games are scheduled for Jan. 14.Back to Top
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