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Newfoundlander Maggie Connors will continue on path to the Olympics at Calgary camp

Princeton rookie Maggie Connors has scored 26 goals this season, the most by any NCAA Division rookie and second overall among all players in the top level of U.S. college women's hockey. — Princeton Athletics photo
Princeton Tigers rookie and St. John's native Maggie Connors has scored 26 goals this season, the most by any NCAA Division rookie. — Princeton Athletics photo

For a second straight year, Princeton Tigers forward has been invited to attend Canadian national women's team development camp

Maggie Connors’ quest to play in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will continue early next month as the 18-year-old from St. John’s attends the national women’s development team selection camp, part of Hockey Canada Summer Showcase in Calgary.

Maggie Connors is still just 18, but is well-acquainted with Hockey Canada's national women's development program. — Hockey Canada photo
Maggie Connors is still just 18, but is well-acquainted with Hockey Canada's national women's development program. — Hockey Canada photo

The 18-year-old Connors, a forward who is coming off her freshman year at Princeton University, is one of the eight youngest players of the 45 invited to the under-22 camp, being held Aug, 2-11 at the Markin MacPhail Centre, but she isn’t new to the event. Connors is one of 17 returning players who attended the camp last summer and played three exhibition games for the national development team against its U.S. counterpart. In fact, she’s a bit of a veteran in the Canadian female hockey program, having played for the national female under-18 team and being part of Canada’s bronze medal-winning team at the 2018 world women’s U18 championship in Russia.

Many of the players who will be attending the camp are expected to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. But for now, Connors and the others will be competing for the opportunity to suit up for three games against the Americans in Lake Placid, N.Y., from Aug. 14-17. The training-camp roster will be basically cut in half in advance of that series.

The Calgary camp will see the invitees — seven goalies, 24 forwards and 14 on defence — split into two teams to participate in practices, intra-squad games, off-ice training, fitness testing and classroom sessions. The camp will also involve a team of U Sports Canadian university all-stars, as well as the French and Japanese national teams.

Connors had an immensely successful first year at Princeton, helping the Tigers to an Ivy League championship and to the NCAA women’s national playoff tournament, where Princeton lost to the University of Minnesota in the quarter-final round.

Connors finished with 43 points in 32 games and was in the top 15 in scoring in all of NCAA Division One women’s hockey in 2018-19. Her 26 goals were tied for fourth in the nation and most among first-year players. As well, she was tops in power-play markers, with 10.

Not surprisingly, that production helped earn Connors earn berths on the Ivy League first all-star team and ECAC (conference) all-rookie team. She was also an ECAC all-academic team selection.

At the Hockey Canada level, she received the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, given to an active player (at any level) whose values, leadership and personal traits are representative of all female athletes.

In bestowing the award, Hockey Canada noted Connors work in helping younger players, both through on-ice work and motivational speeches, and for her endeavours outside hockey, including volunteering at a nursing home, helping repair and clean a soup kitchen, and building furniture for women’s and children’s groups.

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