RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Alex Poznikoff, formerly of the Edmonton Thunder.
Alex learned how to skate at age three and was influenced by her entire family to start playing hockey, due to their passion for the game. From watching the Edmonton Oilers to playing, hockey was always something that her family shared. Growing up she played a variety of sports outside of hockey, including baseball, golf, inline (as a goalie), basketball, volleyball, rowing, and paintball. Alex strongly believes that her diverse sports background contributed to her developing the necessary skills to be a successful hockey player.
After playing boys hockey until U15, Alex switched over to the female stream to play for the U18 AAA Edmonton Thunder. Once she finished with minor hockey, she moved on to play five seasons with the University of Alberta Pandas, graduating in 2020. Alex is now beginning her professional career with Calgary in the PWHPA.
“Minor hockey was a huge part in preparing me for university. During high school playing for the Edmonton Thunder we traveled every second weekend and had practice and workouts everyday,” said Alex. “It was an adjustment at first, but it helped not only with my strength and development but with my independence and time management. Making time for training on top of school is a steep learning curve, but extremely important when you are moving to college sports.”
Alex’s favourite things about playing hockey are the team aspect and being able to travel and meet people while playing the sport she loves. The competitive aspect of the game also appeals to her, as she looks forward to playing in high pressure games and developing new skills to become the best player possible.
One of Alex’s fondest memories of the game stem from her time spent in the Team Alberta program, where she was a part of the team that got to experience the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC. Her favourite memory from her university career was winning the U Sports National Championship with the Pandas in 2017. At the national level, Alex has represented Canada at the U18 and U22 levels, and participated in the 2017 Universiade Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Hockey has had a huge impact on Alex and provided her with opportunities to travel the world and meet new people. As she begins her professional hockey career, her advice to younger players is simple: remember why you play.
“It is so important to have fun when you are playing because that’s what makes it so special. Sometimes that is easy to forget when games get more intense or you are having a hard time learning a new skill. Always make sure you remember to have fun. That is something I still do to this day.”