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NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” When Cassandra Sherman played for the Rice Memorial High prep hockey team of South Burlington, Vt. from 2010-12, she picked up a passport for her teamâ€™s various road trips through three provinces in Canada, but because her team went over the border almost every other weekend, her passport didnâ€™t need to be stamped.
Shermanâ€™s passport recently expired, with blank pages and nothing to show for her ventures to Canada. But sheâ€™s in the process of renewing it, and when she gets it sometime this summer, she plans to break it in -- with a colorful European stamp.
The 19-year-old North Smithfield native, who just completed a fabulous freshman season with the University of Southern Maine womenâ€™s hockey team, was recently invited to play in the Czech Hockey Challenge Cup from Aug. 7-14 in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic.
Sherman, who participated in an international hockey camp last summer in Marlborough, Mass. with five other U.S. players and several international standouts, recently got the invite from one of the coaches at the camp. She quickly accepted it, and sheâ€™s been on Cloud Nine ever since.
â€śItâ€™s amazing,â€ť said Sherman. â€śItâ€™s a huge honor. I never went to Europe and itâ€™s amazing to be going there because Iâ€™ve always wanted to go over there to play hockey.â€ť
Sherman, who played at North Smithfield High during her freshman and sophomore years and then transferred to Rice, where she became the programâ€™s all-time leading scorer, made her mark last year with USM. She scored six goals (including a couple of game-winners) and added seven assists, and twice earned Little East Conference Rookie of the Week honors.
While Sherman, who has played hockey for over 11 years, recently said she would love to continue her hockey career overseas once her days as a Huskie are over, she added that this tournament would be a great opportunity to help her set up those plans.
â€śThis tournament would give me a brief glimpse into what that would be like,â€ť she added. â€ś(The tournament) would be amazing on so many levels. It would give me not only the opportunity to be seen by other coaches, it would also give me the chance to visit a part of the world I have never been to before.â€ť
Right now, Sherman is hard at work trying to raise the $2,500 she would need to play in the tournament, a price that would include her airfare, hotel, food, five games, three practices, a jersey and warmup clothing, and a tour of the city.
She plans to work as a counselor for a New England Developmental hockey team at the University of Vermont this summer, as well as obtain sponsorships to help defray at least half of the cost. While plans are under way to have a benefit comedy show with New England comedian Bucky Lewis headlining the event, she is also looking for donations from the public.
â€śA donation of any size would be greatly appreciated,â€ť added Sherman. â€śAny help at all would mean a lot.â€ť
Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by going online at http://www.gofundme.com/2sq1to or mailing it to Cassandra Sherman, 2005 Providence Pike, North Smithfield, RI 02896.