Morgan Forrest, Geneviève Robichaud and Maya Howard have played ringette together for most of their young lives. The three girls, who were all born in 2006, began learning how to skate and play ringette when they were three or four – no one knows exactly which year they all started – as part of the Gloucester Ringette Association (GRA).
|(L to r) Geneviéve Robichaud, Maya Howard and Morgan Forrest will be playing in the World Ringette Championships together as part of the U18 Eastern Canada team. PHOTO SUPPLIED
They came up through the GRA’s com-petitive program and have played on a number of provincial championship teams together. More recently, they’ve played up an age group, including last season when they were part of the GRA’s U19AA team that won a bronze medal at provincials and competed in the Canadian championships in Regina.
It was during those championships that the girls were selected to take part in a selection camp for the Eastern Canada team that will be competing in the U18 Development Festival at the World Championships in Calgary from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.
The international tournament features competition at three different levels – U21 Junior, Senior and U18.
The U21 championship will pit the junior national teams from Canada and Finland against each other in a series of four games.
In the senior competition, the national teams from Sweden, the United States and Czechia will play a round robin series in the President’s Pool for the President’s Pool World Championship and trophy.
The national senior teams from Canada and Finland will not be competing at this year’s World Championships. Their rivalry will likely continue in 2025.
That leaves the U18 Development Festival which Howard, Forrest and Robichaud will be taking part in. The competition will involve the two teams from Canada as well as a U18 team from Finland. The three teams will not only play against each other, but they will play in several intra-squad games as well in which the rosters will be mixed up.
Of the 24 players selected to play on the Eastern Canada team, only five are from Ontario and Howard, Forrest and Robichaud, who all hail from Orléans, are three of them.
For all three girls, playing at the World Championships is a goal they’ve been aiming towards for years. The tournament provides a step towards their ultimate goal of one day playing on the national junior team.
“I’m super excited. It’s been a goal of mine to play at the highest level and the world championships is it,” says Forrest who is a Grade 12 student at St. Matthew High School.
Howard and Robichaud both go to École secondaire catholique Garneau and are also in Grade 12. Like Forrest, they are extremely excited at the prospect of getting to play against other teams from other countries. And they get to experience it together.
“I’m really pumped,” says Robichaud. “This has been my dream my whole life and to do it side by side with Morgan and Maya makes it even more special.”
The girls were to leave for Calgary on Oct. 26 where they will take part in a two day mini-camp. The tournament itself gets underway on Saturday, Oct. 28 with the two Canadian teams playing each other.