Three down, two to go.
Canada's under-18 women's hockey team more than halfway through its quest to repeat as world champions, and Jordan Baxter has brought consistency and reliability to the top line.
The Coquitlam forward only registered one point in preliminary play, but has provided experience and a hockey IQ that's rippled across the bench to help teammates get on the board.
As a result, the 17-year-old's leadership has bolstered the Canadians to an undefeated 3-0 group stage record and are in a good position to potentially win the 2023 tournament in Östersund, Sweden.
Baxter, a Tri-Cities Predators alumna, has shot seven pucks towards her opponents' nets in three games, including two in Canada's 3-1 victory today (Jan. 11) against the United States.
Her offensive talents have also proven to be effective on face-offs, posting a 45.83 win percentage in the circles across 44:57 of ice time.
The Delta Hockey Academy under-18 female captain's lone point of the tourney to date was an assist on Canada's final goal in an 8-0 shutout over Finland on Sunday (Jan. 8).
Canada's second win was a close 4-2 contest against Sweden on Monday (Jan. 9).
Baxter did score a goal in her team's lone exhibition match, also against the Fins.
It brought the red and white to within one with two minutes left in regulation, but no one could equalize before the final buzzer, ending in a 4-3 pre-tournament loss.
Now, Baxter is hoping to keep up the momentum by skating the long game towards a second potential gold medal in seven months.
By finishing first of the eight competing teams, Canada receives an automatic bye to the semi-finals and will face the lower-seeded country that comes out of the quarter-final round.
The two semis are scheduled for 7 and 11 a.m. Pacific time on Saturday (Jan. 14) with the gold-medal game set for 11 a.m. on Sunday (Jan. 15).
Prior to flying overseas, Baxter tallied 18 goals and 30 points in 16 games with Delta Hockey Academy — second among her age group in the Canadian Sport School league (CSSHL).
She's committed to playing for Ohio State University in NCAA Div. I women's hockey starting in the 2023-24 campaign.
Baxter is also one of three B.C. athletes on Canada's under-18 women's worlds roster, alongside Morgan Jackson (Courtenay) and Gracie Graham (Kelowna).
She's also slated to be one of three former Tri-Cities Predators that'll represent Team B.C. at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in P.E.I.