Canton’s Mary Thompson competes at USA NationalsBy Jay Turner
After a stellar debut season with the Canton High girls ice hockey team, freshman phenom Mary Thompson is headed to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to compete in the USA Hockey Girls Tier 1 National Championship.
The tournament will run from March 26-30 and features 12 of the top teams in the country, including two from Massachusetts. Thompson’s team, the U14 Spitfires, is led by head coach Ed Ronan of Franklin, who played in the NHL for seven seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993.
The Spitfires’ season runs from September to March, and they have sharpened their skills against elite competition. They had an up-and-down regular season before turning it on in the state tournament, winning all five games and outscoring their opponents 20-7.
“It’s been a good season for us, and winning was never as important as development,” said Ronan. “There are no stars on our team; any stars we have were built through the program.”
Win or lose, Ronan said the USA Nationals will be an exciting life experience for the players and their families. “It’s a terrific life lesson for the girls — not to take the easy road and to do the hard work,” he said. “Our girls are not the biggest in stature, but they are not intimidated by the girls on the other teams.”
The Spitfires have been placed in Group A (American – USA) and were due to kick off the tournament Thursday morning against the Colonials of New Jersey. They also have games scheduled against the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Young Americans.
Thompson, who is a defenseman for the Spitfires, is coming off a dominant freshman campaign with the CHS Bulldogs. An SEMGHL All-Star selection, she was the team leader in both plus-minus (+34) and assists (12) and finished second with 11 goals. She was also one of the team’s top defensemen and helped lead the Bulldogs to a 12-7-2 record and a berth in the MIAA Division 2 state tournament.
For the latest scores and results from the USA Hockey National Championship, visit nationals.usahockey.com/2015tournament.
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