Haley Irwin Eager to Contribute to Canadian Gold at IIHF Worlds

Mark Staffieri@@MarkStaff100Contributor IIApril 2, 2013

Photo by Fred Chartrand of the Canadian Press
Photo by Fred Chartrand of the Canadian Press

After having her 2012 IIHF World Championship appearance cut short due to an injury, Irwin is eager to make a strong contribution with the Canadian squad in 2013. With Irwin wanting to help Canada win gold on home soil, she recently appeared in the Clarkson Cup championship game with the Montreal Stars.

Two of her current teammates on the Stars, Caroline Ouellette (a three time Winter Games gold medalist) and Julie Chu (a Winter Games silver and bronze medalist) have already made an impression on Irwin. When Irwin joined the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the autumn of 2007, Ouellette and Chu were part of the Bulldogs coaching staff.

With their guidance, Irwin won the NCAA Frozen Four in spring 2008 as a freshman. The opportunity to win the 2013 Clarkson Cup as a rookie with Ouellette and Chu on the roster is not lost on her, “Winning with them as coaches was something special. To have both of them as coaches was a big part of my first year at UMD. Having them as teammates in Montreal is even better.”

With the 2012-13 Canadian Women’s Hockey League season being Irwin’s rookie season, it has been an educating yet rewarding experience. “It has been a great season so far. It was a bigger transition from the NCAA to here than I thought.”

Having already won Winter Games gold and IIHF World gold, a Clarkson Cup title will provide Irwin with the opportunity to be part of the Triple Gold Club for Women. “That would be pretty cool. Anytime you can accomplish that, it is always something you dream of. To add that accomplishment to my list of goals would be something great.”

As Irwin hopes her Clarkson Cup run will provide great momentum for the IIHF Worlds, she looks to put her past injury behind her. Highly motivated, she remarked, “I feel I have to prove myself a little bit more. I want to be an impact player and help out. I want to have a chance to play again. It is tough to watch and hopefully I can get back on the ice and compete again.”

With dogged determination, she is looking forward to the opportunity to help Canada continue its streak of having never lost an IIHF Women’s Worlds on home soil. Part of the excitement includes the opportunity to don the black and yellow Livestrong jerseys. “It is a great thing to partner up with such a great cause. I am proud to support it and be part of it. It will be exciting to wear the jerseys and show our support.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”