Skip to content

Local hockey star set to compete on world stage for Team Canada

'I really just think it’s going to be an experience of a lifetime,' says Abby Lunney who will play in women's world U18 tournament in Sweden
20220829-Hockey Canada Newmarket-JQ
Newmarket local Abby Lunney is competing for Team Canada's U18 squad.

Getting named to Canada’s U18 squad for the world championships is a “dream come true” for Newmarket's Abby Lunney.

Team Canada named Lunney to its ranks this month for the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation tournament in Östersund, Sweden. Lunney will skate for the squad Jan. 8 to 15 in one of the biggest women’s junior tournaments in the world.

“I was really just pushing hard and working hard throughout my season so far with the hopes of making that team,” Lunney said. “Now that it’s actually happened, it kind of feels surreal.”

Lunney made her debut for Team Canada earlier this year in a summer showcase series, with five points in four games. That helped earn her a spot on the worlds team, along with an 11-day selection camp and a months-long game observation process.

The Central York Girls Hockey Association, for which Lunney plays, celebrated the news.

“Abby ultimately passed all of these challenges with flying colours and showed Team Canada that she is someone that they would be proud to have wear the maple leaf logo on her chest,” the association said in a news release. “Something like this does not happen overnight. It takes years of work, and Abby is a great example to our Panthers that anything is possible.”

Playing for this team is something Lunney said she has worked toward most of her life. She added she feels confident in her team going into the tournament.

“We’re just going to compete our hardest and hopefully come home with gold,” she said.

The young hockey star will depart for pre-camp Dec. 31 on her first-ever trip to Europe.

“I really just think it’s going to be an experience of a lifetime,” she said. “Wearing the jersey and competing for my country is just a dream come true. You can never take something like this for granted, so I think I’m going to wear the jersey proudly and just have the best experience.”

TSN and RDS will broadcast 13 games from the tournament, including the quarterfinals, semifinals and medal games, according to a Hockey Canada news release. The round-robin games for Team Canada include Finland Jan. 8, Sweden Jan. 9 and the United States Jan. 11, all at 2 p.m. EST.