RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Melissa Kueber, formerly of the St. Albert Slash.
Melissa first strapped on her skates at the age of three, while following every move of her older brother. She began playing minor hockey in her home of St. Albert and continued all the way through to play three seasons with the U18 AAA St. Albert Slash.
From St. Albert, Melissa’s standout play earned her the opportunity to play in Division I of the NCAA with the Colgate Raiders, where she spent four years, including one as captain. She looks back fondly on her collegiate experience because of the high level of competition and travel throughout the Ivy League schools.
“My minor hockey experience prepared me for playing at higher levels by teaching me the basic fundamental skills,” said Taryn. “It also taught me important life skills such as communication, leadership, work ethic, resiliency, time management, accountability, and responsibility.”
Some of Melissa’s fondest memories of her hockey career stem from suiting up in the Team Alberta program. She won gold medals at the 2006 Alberta Winter Games and the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.
In her post-playing career, Melissa has found her dream job of being a teacher in St. Albert, which she has been doing for five years now. She has also stuck around the game as a coach for St. Albert at the U16 and U18 female levels, along with becoming a power skating instructor. Melissa believes in the importance of giving back to the game and community that has given her so much.
“Some of the advice that I received from coaches that I like to pass on is that it is okay to make mistakes and it’s ok to fail, because without mistakes we wouldn’t learn,” she said of her advice to younger players. “Keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and play hard and have fun!”