As Erin Ambrose continues to emerge as one of the finest young hockey talents in the world, many fans may begin to state that it was the year 2012 that started it all.
While 2011 saw Ambrose immortalized on a trading card by Upper Deck (in the World of Sport collection, card No. 173), help Canada defeat the US in a three-game exhibition in August and lead Team Ontario Red to gold at the Canadian Under-18 National tournament, that was merely a warm-up for what was to come.
Looking to rebound from a silver medal at the 2011 IIHF Under-18 Worlds, Ambrose was named captain of the Canadian squad for the 2012 edition. Ambrose did not disappoint as she helped lead a highly talented squad (which featured Shannon MacAulay, Emerance Maschmeyer, and multi-generation stars Morgan Richardson and Laura Stacey) to a gold medal.
Ambrose et al. would get to celebrate their gold medals at a Hockey Canada gala event in June 2012.
Along with the senior team that claimed gold at the IIHF Women’s Worlds, the victorious squads were given championship rings, while earning the opportunity to meet Cassie Campbell, Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe.
In her final season with the Provincial Women’s Hockey League’s Toronto Jr. Aeros (one of the signature franchises in the growing league), Ambrose set the scoring record. Five points combined in contests on February 18 and 19 provided Ambrose with 86 career PWHL points. She would surpass Laura Fortino (currently with Cornell) as the all-time leading scorer among defenders in PWHL history.
Heading into the autumn, Ambrose and MacAulay were reunited as both joined the Clarkson Golden Knights of the ECAC conference in NCAA Division I hockey. It did not take long for Ambrose to make an impression. In an October 6 contest versus the defending ECAC champion St. Lawrence Skating Saints, Ambrose logged the first goal of her career.
Clarkson would emerge victorious with a 3-2 final score.
With Ambrose playing for Clarkson, winning would become a common theme. Heading into the second half of the season, Ambrose has logged 21 points on two goals and 19 assists. Her contributions have put Clarkson in the No. 2 slot among the national hockey polls.
Before the first half of the season could end, Ambrose was the recipient of more good news from Hockey Canada.
Having attended the Under-22/Development camp in the summer, Ambrose was named to the Team Canada squad that would compete at the 2013 Meco Cup in January.
With Canada having claimed a bronze medal at the 2012 Meco Cup, Ambrose will be a key part of the Canadian contingent looking to avenge that embarrassing finish. Along with Clarkson teammate Jamie Lee Rattray (who played with Ambrose on the 2010 IIHF Under-18 world champions), this dynamic duo helps put the odds in Canada’s favor.
As 2011 led into a banner 2012 for Ambrose, the outcome of such remarkable accomplishments are poised to bring Ambrose a strong start for 2013.
The promise of a gold medal at the Meco Cup would help to solidify her growing legend. Should Ambrose help lead Clarkson to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2010, she would become the hands-on favorite for the ECAC Rookie of the Year Award.
Riding the momentum of an amazing 2012, Ambrose’s 2013 could end with the culmination of a lifelong dream: an autumn 2013 invitation to Canada’s selection camp for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games roster.