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Promising Coquitlam hockey player gets second shot to solidify her first Team Canada selection

Jordan Baxter made the U18 women's worlds roster... after the tournament in Sweden was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

Turns out, a Coquitlam teen would've been bound for northern Europe earlier this year with some of Canada's best women's hockey players.

COVID-19 had other plans.

Jordan Baxter was one of 23 athletes selected to the country's under-18 women's world championship roster five days after the 2022 tournament in Sweden was set to end — and she would've been one of the youngest at 16 years old.

Now, she's is getting a second chance to earn that spot for the rescheduled International Ice Hockey Federation-sanctioned event (IIHF) as one of 40 invited to Hockey Canada's selection camp later this month.

Baxter is one of seven from B.C. participating in the five-day tune-up, including her fellow Delta Hockey Academy teammates Tova Henderson (defence) and Hailey MacLeod (goaltender).

"This is an exciting time for this group of dedicated athletes, who have waited over two years for a chance to compete on the international stage," said Gina Kingsbury, director of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.

"Our athletes and entire staff involved in our program have been looking forward to this opportunity. We had a short window last summer where we were able to gather together to train, compete and play some games in a competitive setting. With the world championship right around the corner, we will maximize our time together on the ice and put our off-ice work into practice, with a goal of representing Canada and competing for a gold medal."

The Jan. 8-15 U18 women's worlds was called off on Christmas Eve 2021 (Dec. 24) because of concerns over the then state of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tournament has since been relocated and will now take place in the United States, but the IIHF was heavily criticized for cancelling it for a second straight year while the men's under-20 championship in Alberta was about to get underway.

The world juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer — which included Port Moody's Kent Johnson — was halted after four days because of rising numbers of confirmed infections for the virus.

Baxter has already found success in the 2021-22 season both for her school and province.

The now 17-year-old led B.C. to gold at the 2021 Western Regional Women's U18 Championships, scoring two of the team's three goals in their 3-2 overtime win over Alberta and finishing with a tournament total of four goals and six points. 

The right-handed centre was the third-highest scorer in the Canadian School Sport Hockey League (CSSHL), combing for 27 goals and 41 points in 27 games with Delta Hockey Academy's female under-18 prep squad.

She added 10 points in five playoff matches, but the Wild lost in the CSSHL championship final by a score of 3-2 to RINK Hockey Academy (Kelowna).

Baxter is committed to playing at Ohio State University the fall after high-school graduation.

She'll take the ice at the U18 selection camp starting May 24 in Calgary, and, should she make the top 23 again, will hope to win Canada a gold medal for the first time since 2019.

The 2022 IIHF U18 Women's World Championship is scheduled for June 6 to 13 in Madison and Middleton, Wis.