Manitobans Avery Pickering (St. Adolphe) and Sara Manness (La Salle) have been invited to participate in Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp, presented by BFL CANADA, set to take place this August in St. Catharines, ON.
Pickering and Manness both represented Female U18 Team Manitoba at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island and are both currently part of Hockey Manitoba’s 2023 Female Under-18 Program of Excellence.
Pickering, 17, has played the past three seasons for the Balmoral Blazers Varsity Prep Hockey team, registering 14 goals and 26 assists in 34 games during the 2022 – 2023 season. Pickering is committed to play for Colgate University for the 2023 – 2024 season. Manness, 17, has played the past two seasons for the Balmoral Blazers Varsity Prep Hockey team, registering 51 goals and 66 assists in 46 games during the 2022 – 2023 season.
As part of the Under-18 team selection camp, 46 players – six goaltenders, 14 defence and 26 forwards – will compete for an opportunity to represent Canada in a three-game series against the United States, Aug. 14-20 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team invitees will be split into two teams – Red and White – for practices, intrasquad games and off-ice sessions. They will also welcome Finland’s national women’s under-18 team, giving the U18 group an opportunity to experience international competition.
Included in the U18 roster are nine 2023 IIHF Women’s World Championship gold medallists – Mackenzie Alexander, Hannah Clark, Gracie Graham, Morgan Jackson, Caitlin Kraemer, Charlotte Pieckenhagen, Avery Pickering, Abby Stonehouse and Emma Venusio.
Gina Kingsbury (Rouyn-Noranda, QC), vice-president of hockey operations, led the player selection process in consultation with Cherie Piper (Scarborough, ON), senior manager of player development and scouting.
“We are thrilled with this group of 46 talented athletes who will participate in selection camp,” Kingsbury said. “We are confident this group will come ready to compete for a spot to wear the Maple Leaf in international competition as we work towards winning a third-consecutive gold medal at the world championship.”