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New West hockey goaltender going between the pipes at national women's U18 event

New Westminster's Clara Juca will square up against the best players from across the country in Dawson Creek next month.
New Westminster's Clara Juca (front left, holding plaque) has consecutive national silver medals and a Canada Winter Games gold. She's now looking to add another piece of hardware at the 2023 national under-18 women's championship next month.

Clara Juca will be in the national spotlight once more with the hope of bringing home another prestigious piece of hockey hardware.

The 17-year-old New Westminster athlete has been selected to Team BC for the 2023 national women's under-18 championships in Dawson Creek next month.

She'll be one of two netminders looking to win B.C.'s first-ever gold at the tournament since its inception in 2001.

This will also be the first national women's U18 event since 2019 after it was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and bumped to fall 2023 as a result of preparations for the Canada Winter Games this year.

Juca also hopes to use her experience as a national gold and silver medalist to accomplish something that;'s never been done before: beat Ontario.

The province has won every single Canadian women's U18 event. B.C. holds three bronze medals to its name since 2005.

And her résumé will speak for itself when she claims her cage, including back-to-back B.C. championships and Pacific regional titles with the Fraser Valley Rush female under-18 AAA squad.

Juca helped the Rush reach the Esso Cup final in 2022 and 2023, settling for silver on both occasions.

She's also very familiar with wearing B.C.'s blue and white, winning the province's first-ever Canada Winter Games gold on Prince Edward Island in March.

Juca played 26 games over two years with the Rush, tallying a combined record of 25-1 that included eight shutouts.

She started in six games over the last two Esso Cup national championships with a 3.31 goals-against average and a .889 save percentage.

In the 2021-22 campaign, she was named to BC Hockey's female under-18 AAA all-star team.

Juca is currently playing for the Etobicoke Jr. Dolphins of the Ontario Women's Hockey Association.

Juca was one of 20 players named to B.C.'s roster for the national women's under-18 championships last Monday, Sept. 25.

The event, which pins Canadian provinces and regions against each other, is slated for Nov. 5 to 11 at the Ovintiv Events Centre in Dawson Creek.