RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Taryn Baumgardt, formerly of the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs.
Taryn began her minor hockey experience in her hometown of Innisfail when she was five years old. She credits her dad and watching Cassie Campbell-Pascal and the Canadian Women’s National Team on television for giving her the drive to begin playing hockey.
From Innisfail, Taryn moved on to play two years of U18 AAA with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs in what was previously the Alberta Female Major Midget Hockey League. As a standout on defense, her play earned her the opportunity to play in Division I of the NCAA with the Quinnipiac Bobcats, where she spent four years. She was then drafted fifth overall by with the Calgary Inferno of the CWHL, where she spent one season before returning to Innisfail, where she currently resides.
“Minor hockey was so important because it is where I learned the basic hockey skills and social skills that helped me to learn how to be a part of a team at higher levels,” said Taryn. “My favourite thing about playing hockey is having the opportunity to compete and collectively strive to achieve goals as a team.”
Some of Taryn’s fondest memories of her hockey career stem from suiting up for Team Alberta, which she did on three occasions, and included winning a gold medal at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax. She then went on to win a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Finland.
In her post-playing career, Taryn has stuck around the game of hockey. She is currently employed with Hockey Alberta as the Coordinator of Female Hockey and is an assistant coach with the U18AAA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs. Her advice to young players is simple: make new friends and have fun with it!
From a young age, hockey has been Taryn’s passion, and she continues to give back to the game in different ways.
“Hockey has given me the opportunity to travel the world, live in another country, make new friends, meet some amazing people, and learn how to be a member of a team,” she said of her experience growing up playing hockey in Alberta.
You can catch Taryn on Episode Three of Centre Ice – The Hockey Alberta Podcast, which will be released on Thursday, November 5.