Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice, shown here with the Fraser Valley Rush, has committed to the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team. (Tiffany Luke photo)

Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice, shown here with the Fraser Valley Rush, has committed to the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team. (Tiffany Luke photo)

Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice signs with MacEwan University Griffins

Local women’s hockey prospect set to join women’s hockey team later this year

Almost eight years ago, Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice skated with the Vancouver Canucks during a pre-game warm-up and stood alongside the team’s starting five for the national anthem.

It seems some of that magic from that moment rubbed off on the then-Grade 5 student, as earlier this month Maurice announced her commitment to join the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team.

RELATED: Photos: Skating with Canucks a thrill for Abbotsford hockey player

The 2021 Robert Bateman Secondary School grad plans to join the Edmonton-based school in the fall after a sparkling minor hockey career starring for teams all across the Fraser Valley.

The sport has been a lifelong passion for Maurice, who said she has been on skates for as long as she can remember. She joined up with the Abbotsford Ice and played minor hockey growing up on several Abbotsford Female Hockey Association teams.

One of the more notable early achievements for one of Maurice’s Abbotsford teams was provincial bronze medal in the bantam division in 2017. She collected an impressive 11 points in six games at provincials.

RELATED: Abbotsford Hawks claim provincial pee wee banner

The following year Maurice played on a Langley Lightning bantam team that took home a provincial title after a dramatic quadruple-overtime goal scored by Maurice herself.

She shovelled home the provincial title winning goal over the North Shore Avalanche to win the game after over 117 minutes of action.

RELATED: Lightning survive quadruple-OT clash with Avalanche

Maurice said that goal is likely her career highlight so far.

“It was such a long game and a big goal,” she said. “It was a really exciting moment.”

She went on to play with the Fraser Valley Rush, a high performance club featuring some of the best 15 to 17 year-old girls from Abbotsford and its surrounding areas.

Maurice has played the past few seasons with the Rush, putting up strong statistics as a forward with the team. Her first year in 2018-19 she had 11 points in 18 games, and then exploded in 2019-20 with 38 points in 32 games. In six games this season she had 11 points in six games, but play had to stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said her time with the Rush was a lot of fun and helped her develop as a player.

“Those girls are like my family and the coaching staff was just so great to me,” she said.

Maurice said it wasn’t easy to get exposure from post-secondary schools due to the pandemic, but said she’s thrilled to have landed with MacEwan.

“My coaches with the Rush helped me connect with MacEwan and they were able to see me play from videos we recorded in the past so that really helped,” she said.

She said she also received interest from a number of schools across Canada and the United States, but she wanted to stay in Canada and MacEwan was a good fit because of the school’s education. Maurice will be going into nursing at the school and said MacEwan’s nursing program is one of the best in the country.

She said she hasn’t been told her role with the Griffins yet, but she’s eager to finally get back to competitive hockey and wants to help out the team in any way.

“I’ve been a captain and assistant captain before, and I’ve always played a pretty big role on the power play,” she said, of her time with the Ice and Rush. “I’m just a really competitive person.”

MacEwan was set to debut for the Canada West in hockey for the 2020-21 season, but the pandemic delayed those plans. The school had previously competed in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.

If approved, the Griffins and the rest of the Canada West will hit the ice later this year.