Ava Svejkovsky will begin 2022 in American colours at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship in Linköping and Mjölby, Sweden.
The 17-year-old blueliner from Point Roberts was among 23 players named to Team USA last Thursday for the tournament that runs Jan. 8 to 15. The Delta Hockey Academy product is the lone player from Washington State selected following an extensive tryout process.
The roster includes seven players from Minnesota, followed by Michigan and Pennsylvania with three respectively. Eleven different states are represented.
Team USA has won six of the last seven gold medals in the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, including in 2020 when it beat Canada, 2-1, in overtime in the gold-medal game. The 2021 championship was cancelled due to the global pandemic.
“We’re excited for the upcoming world championship,” said USA head coach Katie Lachapelle. “Our roster is filled with incredibly talented players from across the country and together we’ll strive to bring the gold medal back to the U.S.”
Svejkovsky’s path to becoming an elite player included playing for boys reps teams with the South Delta Minor Hockey Association, before making her way to DHA where she has played for the past four seasons on the U18 Prep team.
Her older brother Lukas, 19, made it to the final stage of the Team USA camp last fall for the 2021 U20 World Hockey Championships. The Medicine Hat Tigers forward was selected in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The siblings have benefited from their father Yogi Svejkovsky, the former NHLer and longtime hockey skills instructor/coach in the Metro Vancouver area who recently joined the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks' coaching staff.