Daley Oddy is still in shock.
When Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced the women’s hockey roster for the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain, Oct. 24, the Cranbrook native was completely taken aback when she discovered she had been named to wear Canada’s colours.
“It was a total shock to me. It was a shock to my family,” Oddy said over the phone from Antigonish, N.S., earlier this week. “We had no clue I was even considered or this could even happen. It never even crossed our mind.
“It’s a huge honour. It’s weird to think I’m one of 20 girls in the entire country that was chosen. It’s quite an honour. I just hope I can make it everything it’s supposed to be and cherish the opportunity as much as possible.”
In her second year with the St. Francis Xavier X-Women, Oddy has established herself as one of the top players in all of Canadian women’s university hockey.
With 12 points to her name through 10 games this season, Oddy is third in team scoring and tied for 10th on the CIS scoring charts. Her seven goals leave her tied for sixth in the nation.
“She’s a power forward with a ton of skill who has a great shot, lots of speed and can put the puck in the net,” said X-Women head coach Ben Berthiaume. “She’s looked upon as one of our leaders.
“She’s one of those nice kids that comes to the rink every day with a smile on her face and works hard in practice and works hard off the ice. I think that’s the reason why she has gotten to where she has and I think she is going to continue to grow because of that.”
Growing up in Cranbrook, hockey was life for Oddy and it’s no coincidence that upbringing has helped her excel at the CIS level, eventually leading to the opportunity to represent Team Canada.
“That’s what we did, we played hockey,” Oddy said. “All your friends did it. You did it. Your siblings did it. It was just what was the norm.
“The community [of Cranbrook] is based around hockey…Everyone watches everyone’s games. If there’s a game on Friday night in minor hockey, everybody goes. The coaches and the support — the coaches are not only [coaches] and friends, they’re like your own parents. They’re also role models and they would do anything for you. The great support you get and the whole community atmosphere you feel from the people helping you to get better, they genuinely care about your development.”
Oddy said she has been contacted with congratulations from past coaches and people around the community, many people she hasn’t been able to keep in touch with since leaving Cranbrook for school on the East Coast. Such support has been a humbling experience for Oddy, reminding her of the tight-knit community she is still a part of back home here in Cranbrook.
“It made me realize it doesn’t matter where you go,” Oddy said. “People want the best for you, no matter what.”
In heading to Spain with Team Canada, Oddy will now be welcomed into a new community, one of which X-Women teammate Alex Normore is already a part of.
Normore, a fifth-year forward and regular line mate of Oddy’s, will also be along for the ride, making her second trip to the Winter Universiade. Her 15 points not only lead the X-Women this season, they also place her fourth in CIS scoring.
The presence of the veteran Normore is something Oddy said has already helped ease the nerves ahead of the February games. Normore represented Team Canada in Trentino, Italy, at the 2014 Winter Universiade.
“To get invited to that is a big deal for the girls,” Berthiaume added. “It’s the best players from across Canada playing CIS right now. It definitely bodes well for [Daley] and how hard she has worked to get to that point.
“It shows a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work.”
Oddy is one of two British Columbia-born players named to Team Canada for the 2015 Winter Universiade. Williams Lake native Julia Flinton, a defenceman for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, represents the only other B.C. player named to the roster.
Team Canada will take 20 women’s hockey players to Spain for the 2015 Winter Universiade, including two goaltenders, six defencemen and 12 forwards.
The 2015 Winter Universiade will take place in Granada, Spain, Feb. 4 to 14, 2015, when Team Canada looks to defend the title it claimed at the 2014 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.