Clara Juca has proven to be a formidable up-and-coming goaltender on Canada's women's hockey landscape once more.
The 17-year-old athlete that developed her skills in Burnaby added a bronze medal to her collection after stopping 19 of 20 shots in the third-place game of the 2023 National Women's Under-18 Hockey Championships.
B.C. defeated Alberta by a score of 3-1 in their tournament finale in Dawson Creek last Saturday, Nov. 11. The province has now won four bronze medals since 2005.
It was Juca's third win in three starts at the annual event that pins province against province while showcasing the best female Canadian hockey players aged 18 years and younger.
The New Westminster-born goalie finished second at the championship with a 2.00 goals-against average (GAA) and fifth with a .915 save percentage (SV%).
Altogether, Juca stopped 63 of 69 shots at the national tournament. Her three wins were as follows:
- 3-1 win over Alberta (bronze medal game)
- 19 saves
- 5-3 win over Saskatchewan (quarterfinal)
- 22 saves
- 4-2 win over Manitoba
- 22 saves
This will also be the first national women's U18 event since 2019 after it was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and bumped to fall 2023 as a result of preparations for the Canada Winter Games this year.
Juca now has four national medals on her résumé, including gold with B.C. at the 2022 Canada Winter Games and two Esso Cup silver medals with the Fraser Valley Rush female under-18 AAA squad.
Prior to moving up the ranks, she grew up playing for the Burnaby bulldogs and wildcats teams. She was named top bantam-level goaltender as a member of the Wildcats at the 2019 Pat Quinn Classic.
Juca headed east ahead of the fall to join the Etobicoke Jr. Dolphins of the Ontario Women's Hockey Association.