Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia goalie looking forward to pro hockey debut

Carly Jackson has just finished her final year of college hockey playing for the University of Maine. She was the third player selected in the recent NWHL draft, when her name was called by the Buffalo Beauts.

Carly Jackson, a star at the University of Maine, was drafted by Buffalo of the National Women’s Hockey League

Carly Jackson is just months away from making her pro hockey debut with the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women's Hockey League. (Mark Tutuny)

Even though the start date for the 2020-2021 National Women's Hockey League season is up in the air amid COVID-19 concerns, Carly Jackson is already excited to begin her pro career.

The 22-year-old goalie from the community of Hastings near Amherst, N.S., just finished her final year of college hockey playing for the University of Maine. She was the third player selected in the recent NWHL draft, when her name was called by the Buffalo Beauts.

"It felt pretty spectacular. I got to spend the moment with my family who have supported me all the way," said Jackson. "I officially signed with Buffalo last week so I'm pretty psyched about it."

Jackson grew up playing boys hockey in Nova Scotia. While she had played with some girls provincial teams, her first full season on an all-girls team was her rookie year with the University of Maine Black Bears.

In her four seasons playing with the Black Bears she broke every school goaltending record. Jackson made more than 3,000 saves and one of her last games was a 57-save, double-overtime playoff win over archrival Boston University on Feb. 28.

Jackson played in 122 games with the University of Maine Black Bears, making more than 3,000 saves. (University of Maine Athletics)

"That was quite a special game because we've always had a great rivalry with them," said Jackson. "The game started at seven o'clock and it was around 11 o'clock by the time we scored the winner in overtime. It was quite a night."

Jackson recently graduated with a bachelor of science degree. She's planning to continue her education at a university near Buffalo. McMaster University in Hamilton and the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., are among the schools she is considering to pursue a master's degree in physiotherapy.

Jackson is looking to continue with her education while playing professional hockey in Buffalo. (Mark Tutuny)

Just days after the Black Bears were eliminated from the Hockey East playoffs, the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the continent. Jackson was able to make it back to Nova Scotia from Maine before borders were closed.

"I just finished up school online and now I'm trying to keep up with my training here at home," said Jackson, who played one season of Junior B hockey with the Cumberland Blues when she was 17.

"I'm kind of moving into a new phase now, I guess, so I just want to take care of my mind and my body and be ready for training camp whenever that opens up."

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