Laura Stacey is a big player who focuses on the little details.
At 5-foot-10, the forward is one of the tallest players on the Canadian contingent that will compete in the 2016 4 Nations Cup in Vierumäki, Finland.
The annual tournament will mark Stacey’s first time competing with Canada’s National Women’s Team and the Kleinburg, Ont., native says the little details
of the game are something she spends a lot of time on.
“Focusing on those little things and maintaining consistency,” says Stacey. “That has helped me a lot with the jump from the national development team to
the national team and the reason I have my shot at the 4 Nations. I’ve tried to make those little things a much bigger part of my game.
“My role might not be to score that big goal but if I can do the little things like getting the puck out and blocking shots and accepting whatever role I’m
put in to the best of my ability and maintaining consistency … I think that’s something that I need to do to stay at that level.”
And staying at this level is important to Stacey. The 2016 4 Nations Cup is the first major women’s tournament of the 2016-17 season, one that culminates
with Hockey Canada naming its Olympic centralization roster.
Stacey, like all other players, hopes to be there at the end and have a chance at making the team that represents Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games
in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Hockey Canada’s process with the women’s team will remain consistent with previous Olympic cycles and it’s expected that 25-30 players will be centralized
in Calgary from summer 2017 to the weeks prior to the Olympics.
“Like most of us, playing in the Olympics and winning an Olympic gold medal has always been a huge dream of mine,” Stacey says. “As I’ve gotten older and I
have had some opportunities to play with the national team and represent my country, I think that goal and that dream has gotten a lot closer. Now that
I’ve made the senior team and I have this opportunity at 4 Nations, I would like to do whatever I can to stay there in the coming months. Being centralized
would be an absolute honour and I really would like that to happen.”
Stacey has Team Canada and Olympic blood in her veins. Her uncle, Terry Clancy, helped Canada’s men’s hockey team finish fourth at the 1964 Olympics in
Innsbruck, Austria and Stacey’s great-grandfather is Hockey Hall of Famer King Clancy, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators from
1921-36, winning three Stanley Cup championships.
Stacey wears No. 7 with the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder to honour her great-grandfather, whose No. 7 was retired by the Maple Leafs during Toronto’s home
opener just a few weeks ago.
“Hockey is obviously very big in my family; it has been ever since I was a little kid,” she says. “I think everybody just loves to watch the game, loves to
support it. For me, they’ve always been my role models, especially my great-grandfather. I never had the opportunity to meet him but I’ve heard numerous
stories about him and I have kind of followed his career and learned a lot just because he’s always been a role model to me and he’s part of our family and
“I’ve kind of always tried to be like him and make him and my family proud in the sense that I’m trying to be the best hockey player and person that I can
And though Stacey is new to the national senior team, she is no stranger to Hockey Canada.
Twice, she represented her nation at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship, winning silver in 2011 and helping Canada to gold at the 2012 worlds. Stacey
then moved on to Canada’s National Women’s Development Team and won gold medals at the 2013 Meco Cup and 2015 and 2016 Nations Cups (the Meco Cup evolved
into the Nations Cup, with both events taking place in Germany).
Stacey has either played with or against many of Team Canada’s players – either in college or with the various national teams – so she isn’t coming in
She just hopes that with what could be her most important year of hockey in front of her, she gets hot at the right time.