Imagine an NHL offensive weapons skill set, in a 5'7 170 lb frame. You might get some idea of what Haley Irwin brings.
Irwin, the 21 yr old offensive dynamo from Thunder Bay, Ontario is entering her first Olympics. In fact, her total experience for Canada at the major national level is limited to just the past couple years, but shes already making an impact. With 5 pts in 5 GP at her very first World Championship, Haley showed she belonged. Which is something Team Canada wasnt so certain about that long ago. Gifted offensively, they werent sure of her other skills.
At the NCAA level, Irwin has been a member of the University of Minnesota-Duluth, coached by Shannon Miller. It was a good fit. Miller knows a little something about getting to the Olympics, as the coach of Team Canada in the 1998 Olympics. Miller worked with Irwin & turned her into a more responsible, well rounded player, and Team Canada eventually came calling.
The teammight still be lead by Wickenheiser, Hefford and Botterill up front, but the next crop is already here. Haley Irwin will be front & centre of that next crop and would love nothing more than to start her Olympic career with a Gold medal in Vancouver.
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