Magwood and Team Canada take silver in Kazakhstan


Hockey star Jaycee Magwood has returned to home turf bearing silver, after making a trip across the world – and enjoying the experience of a lifetime.

Magwood, a Killarney native, was part of Team Canada’s Women’s Hockey team, who travelled to Kazakhstan in late January to play in the Almaty 2017 28th Winter Universiade, the World University Games.

And on February 6, during the semi-finals, the Canadians beat the Americans 8-1. In the Gold Medal Game that followed, they faced Russia, and lost to the hockey super-nation with a 4-1 final score.

“I would say the biggest highlight was when my linemate, Kelty Apperson, scored during the Gold Medal Game against Russia,” said Magwood, who assisted the goal. “The whole experience was a highlight – including getting to play with girls across Canada that I usually compete against.”

The Killarney clan back at home was totally thrilled with Jaycee’s success.

“We are all just super-proud of her,” said her grandma, Ann Magwood. “She worked her butt off to get where she is. She set herself goals, and worked hard to achieve them. She did her work, and she has earned everything she has.”

Jaycee’s parents, Marv and Christi Magwood, were also ecstatic over their daughter’s international success. And they enjoyed it live, on a big screen – even if it did mean losing some sleep.

“We watched the games online; some of them were on at 4:30 a.m.,” said Christi Magwood. “The Gold final was at 8 a.m., so that was better. We were able to plug it into our 60-inch T.V. screen. It was pretty neat to see our daughter wearing the Maple Leaf. It was a lot of fun. We were proud of her. And there were a few tears.”

Jaycee, 19, is currently completing her second year at the University of Regina, where she is studying kinesiology and health sciences, said her mom.

And she wasn’t the only U of R Cougar that made the grade for the world university games, which was good news for all the families involved.

Forward Kylie Gavelin, from Mankota, Saskatchewan, and defenceman Alexis Larson, from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, were also selected for the Canadian women’s team.

“Jaycee got a full athletic scholarship, for five years, to the University of Regina,” said Christi Magwood. “When she was travelling to Kazakhstan, I was a little nervous. It was a long flight; it took two days to get there. The three Cougars travelled together, so that made it a lot easier. Both of their parents went too.”

Hockey fan Ann Magwood kept a tally of the games, over the two weeks of play that ran from January 26 to February 10.

“They played China first, and the score ended up 9-1. Jaycee scored one goal, and had one assist,” she said. “The Great Britain score was 14-0 for Canada, and Jaycee had one goal and one assist. The Kazakhstan score was 11-0, and Jaycee had two goals. Then in the semi-finals Canada met the U.S.A, and defeated them 8-1. In the Gold Medal Game against Russia we lost 4-1. Jaycee assisted on the lone goal.”

Jaycee was selected for the elite women’s team after a busy summer of training, said her Gran.

“She went to the hockey development camp in August, 2016, in Calgary,” said Ann Magwood. “There were four teams, and around 60 players, and she did really well. They phoned her (about making the Canadian team) but we didn’t find out until October. We had to keep quiet until two weeks later when it was publicly announced. This was the first time that a Regina Cougar was selected – and there were three of them!”

Travelling to Kazakhstan, which is bordered by Russia to the north, China to the east, and Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the south, was pretty astounding, said Jaycee.

“It was a new culture, and people were really welcoming,” she said. “It was fun exploring the city. There was different food – we had horse, which is really big there. It was a bit like beef, but a little chewier. I think I’ll stick with the beef.”

Security was provided for all the participants in the event, in the form of a circle of armed and uniformed defenders, she added.

“There were army guys, soldiers, all around the athlete village where the teams were staying,” said Jaycee. “It was exciting. It was a lot different than here in Canada.”

Christi Magwood said that it has long been her daughter’s dream to play hockey for her country.

“We are very thankful to friends, coaches, and family, who have supported her over the years,” she said. “It has helped her make her dream come true, and play for Team Canada.”

So what’s next for the hockey star?

“This Friday we are going to the playoffs,” said the Regina Cougars left-winger. “We’re hoping to have a good run.”

Jaycee Magwood played for the Westman Wildcats of the Manitoba Female Midget Hockey League from 2010 to 2015, and was named the league’s most valuable player in 2014-2015 after leading the league with 57 points in 29 games. Her total was 114 goals and 198 points in 159 games. She was named Canada West Rookie of the Year in 2015-2016, plus Canada West Second Team All-Star, and Canada West All-Rookie Team.  Way to go, Jaycee!

SILVER STARS SHINE IN KAZAKHSTAN – Three University of Regina Cougars, and members of Team Canada’s Women’s Hockey Team, are pictured sporting the red maple leaf and their hard-won silver medals in Almaty, Kazakhstan, during the recent World University Games. From left are: Kylie Gavelin (forward) of Mankota, Sask., Alexis Larson (defence) of Weyburn, Sask., and Killarney’s very own Jaycee Magwood (forward). The Team Canada women scored the silver, while Russia captured gold, and the U.S. took home bronze. The girls are each holding the Games’ mascot, a young falcon named “Sunkar,” who represents both the spirit of the event – and of the country itself.

TEAM CANADA IN KAZAKHSTAN – Pictured is the entire Team Canada group at the Winter Universiade 2017 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The Universiade is an international multi-sport event, which is organized for university athletes under the auspices of the International University Sports Federation. More than 2000 athletes from more than 55 countries attended, participating in sports that included ice hockey, biathlon, Alpine skiing, curling, speed skating, Nordic combined cross-country, ski jumping, snowboarding, figure skating, freestyle skiing, and short track.

GO CANADA! ­– It took two long days for these three members of Team Canada’s Women’s Hockey Team to travel all the way to Almaty, Kazakhstan, in late January, to compete in the World University Games. Pictured are (from left) Alexis Larson, Kylie Gavelin, and Killarney’s Jaycee Magwood. They also play hockey for the University of Regina’s Cougars team, which begins their playoffs this weekend.

LOCAL SUPPORT – Jaycee has received loads of local support from fans like nine-year-old Callie Hilhorst, a defenceman with the Killarney Atom Stars, who has big hockey aspirations of her own.