MaryClaire Shorkey has had a heck of a two year run on the ice.
For the second straight season, Shorkey and the Troy Lady Sting 16U hockey team are heading to nationals to compete with the best of the best.
Now, to some who don’t know Shorkey, that might be a surprise to hear she is among the state’s elite hockey players. Walking the halls as a sophomore at St. Clair High School, Shorkey only stands 5-feet tall.
It’s not until she’s whizzing by people on the ice when everyone realizes how lethal of a player she is.
“She’s small in stature, but her heart is 10 times the size,” Sting head coach Tom Porter said. “Once she gets onto that puck, she’s like a pit bull – you’re not getting it away from her.”
Shorkey helped the Sting reach the Girls Tier 2 16U National Tournament in Vermont by giving them one goal and three assists during their state title run that ended on March 13. The 4-2 championship win over the Kensington Valley Ravens didn’t just qualify them for nationals – it also meant they defeated the reigning three-time state champs.
“I’m pretty excited we are going for the second year in a row,” Shorkey said. “(We have to) just take it one game at a time, and don’t look ahead.”
Last season’s national tournament started hot enough to melt the ice, going unbeaten in pool play. However, the Sting were halted in the quarterfinal round to end their hopeful national title run.
“We have a lot more communication with each other,” Shorkey said. “And we are playing really well together.”
Playing really well might be putting it lightly considering the Sting have gone 10-1-1 in their last 12 games.
With Shorkey’s puck control combined with her speed on defense, the Sting could very well keep that hot streak going.
“She has really been instrumental whenever we are on a penalty kill,” Porter said. “She’s a great skater and handles the puck well … she’s a heck of a hockey player.”