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Courteany-raised hockey player wins world gold

Morgan Jackson relished her role on the penalty kill
Team Canada applauds Morgan Jackson as she skates with the winner’s cup at the 2023 U18 Women’s World Hockey Championship in Sweden. Photo supplied

Morgan Jackson of Courtenay has returned to Canadian soil with a gold medal she won with the national team at the 2023 U18 Women’s World Hockey Championship in Sweden.

Canada was undefeated at the eight-team tournament that ran from Jan. 8-15. In preliminary play, the squad followed an 8-0 win over Finland with a 4-2 win over Sweden and a 3-1 victory over the U.S.

Canada again faced Finland in a semi-final, but this time the team needed seven minutes of overtime to win 3-2.

They then beat the host nation 10-0 in the final. Jackson nearly made it 11-0 when she split the defence and went around the Swedish goalie to score, only to have the goal disallowed due to goaltender interference.

The coaches largely used Jackson on the penalty kill — a role she loved.

“My ice time was great,” she said by email. “Everyone is an amazing hockey player on the team who each had their own role to fulfil. As the tournament went on, I got more ice time. For example, I got to play in overtime against Finland in the semi-finals, which was one of our most important games as a team.”

At just 16 years of age, the Grade 11 student at Shawnigan Lake School is eligible to compete again next year when Switzerland hosts the IIHF U18 tournament.

Jackson’s near-term plans are to finish high school, and to continue playing in the Canadian Sport School Hockey league female U18 prep division.

“My education and the support I get from the teachers is amazing,” she said.

After her Grade 12 year at Shawnigan, Jackson plans on attending Northeastern University in Boston. The Huskies are one of the top NCAA Division 1 women’s collegiate teams in the U.S.

“I look forward to being a part of their hockey team, studying in the health and sciences department,” she said.

Jackson hopes to continue her journey with Team Canada to an Olympic gold medal.

And perhaps a second world U18 gold.

READ: Island hockey star golden with U18 Team Canada

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