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Newmarket hockey star helps earn gold for Team Canada

Community celebrates as Abby Lunney and Team Canada win over Sweden at U18 women's worlds championships

Newmarket has a new gold medal hockey star as local Abby Lunney and the rest of Team Canada won the IIHF Women’s Worlds Championships in Sweden Jan. 15.

The Central York Girls Hockey Association player scored in the gold medal game as Canada defeated the host Sweden 10-0. The community cheered her on from home, with the association posting on social media in support and members holding viewing parties.

The association offered its congratulations after the win.

"Abby defines what it means to be a Panther and has inspired countless young Panthers to be the best they can be both on the ice and within our communities," president Mark Dubeau said. "Her work ethic, dedication, and team spirit helped lead Team Canada to victory." 

Team Canada went undefeated in its five games in the tournament, making the gold medal contest after a 3-2 overtime win against Finland in the semifinals. Abby Lunney finished fourth in team scoring, with two goals and two assists.

Dignitaries also congratulated her.

“So proud of Abby Lunney and Team Canada in bringing home the gold,” Newmarket Major John Taylor said on Facebook. “We look forward to celebrating and recognizing Abby when she returns home to Newmarket.”

The local hockey star, a Holland Landing resident who goes to high school in Newmarket, has played in the Central York Girls Hockey Association for most of her life. This year will be her last season with the team, with plans to play for Nipissing Lakers in North Bay next season, according to the team. 

She earned her spot on Team Canada after an 11-day selection camp, also cracking the team in a showcase event last summer.

Lunney has called making Canada’s worlds team a “dream come true” and expected it to be the “experience of a lifetime.”

“Your community and country are proud of you,” Newmarket-Aurora MP Tony Van Bynen said on social media.

The Central York Girls Hockey Association posted multiple videos of its teams wishing Lunney well as she competed overseas.

“It was great to see all of the support from the players and parents from (the Central York Girls Hockey Association),” Newmarket Councillor Trevor Morrison said on Facebook.

Family and friends have also celebrated the victory.

"Congrats to Team Canada and my niece Abby Lunney for their gold medal win," Pearl Alexander said on Facebook. "You've done our country proud." 

Editor's Note, Jan. 20, 2023: This article was altered to clarify that Lunney is a Holland Landing resident, but was born in Newmarket and attends high school in Newmarket.