Chloe Hawes is counting down the days until she heads to Europe to play hockey with some of the world’s top players at her age level.
The 13-year-old Stratford native is one of two Islanders to make the East Coast Selects for the World Selects invitational peewee tournament in Helsinki, Finland, from April 26 to 30. Miminegash’s Abby Hustler is the other Islander.
They made the team after a tryout in Maine in January.
“I knew I was going to have to work my (butt) off,” Hawes said. “It was a lot faster than the league I’m in right now. I had to skate really hard.”
Hawes is an assistant captain and an “aggressive” defenceman with Pownal’s peewee AAA boys team, but traditional plays centre in the girls game.
“There was so many good girls from the States,” Hawes recalled. “The first game I played, I didn't think I was going to make it.”
After the tryout and an eight-hour drive home, Chloe’s father Colin gave her the list. Chloe quickly scanned the 20-or-so players on the waiting list and then spotted her name on the roster – she had made the team.
“Going and seeing all of the other girls from all the other countries; to see the competition,” Chloe said, when asked what she’s most looking forward to.
Hustler, who plays with the Western Warriors peewee boys team, told TC Media she was “really excited” to earn a spot on the team as well.
“It was pretty fun, a good experience,” she said of the tryout.
Chloe started playing ringette, moved to girls hockey for two years and then to boys hockey.
She made the AA team her first year playing with the boys and the AAA team in her first year of peewee. She plays other sports like skiing, badminton, soccer, field hockey, golf and flag football, but hockey is No. 1.
“I love everything about it,” Chloe said.
Chloe, who has been going to Andrews Hockey Growth Programs and the Promac Junior Panthers program for the past few years, said she would like to play division 1 hockey in the United States after she finishes high school.