RED DEER – The opening of the 2023 National Women’s U18 Championship, which dropped the puck on Sunday, November 5 in Dawson Creek, B.C., stirred up memories for Team Alberta alumni Bree Kennedy.
Kennedy was a member of Team Alberta that competed in the 2019 tournament in Morden and Winkler, Manitoba.
“As always, when putting on the Team Alberta logo, I was filled with a sense of pride and deep commitment to represent my province in the best way possible,” Kennedy recalled. “Knowing my role and embracing it was a necessity, as was applying what I had learned before the tournament with unwavering effort and precision. Although we didn’t achieve the results we had strived for, I firmly believe we had the potential to go even further.”
“What’s also amazing is that I had the privilege of sharing this unforgettable experience with so many of my current teammates (at the University of Alberta). I’ve had the pleasure of watching each one of them grow tremendously from our Team Alberta days to now.”
Kennedy is now suiting up in USports with the Pandas and while the result of the tournament didn’t fall in Team Alberta’s favour with a sixth-place finish, she gained the confidence to know she could play at the next level.
“When competing against the top opponents from each province, I was motivated to play as meticulously and gritty as I could. Understanding my role on the team was important, too,” Kennedy said.
“In competing at this elite level where everyone excels, knowing and appreciating why you were chosen to represent your province is important. In this championship, where all players are elite, if you thought you were good before, you may find yourself questioning your abilities. It’s important to play to your strengths to the best of your abilities and control what you can control.”
The 21-year-old forward also highlighted her time with Hockey Alberta as a special experience for her, one that helped her grow both on and off the ice as she went through Hockey Alberta’s Elite Female Pathway.
“The impact these experiences (with Team Alberta) have had on my athletic development and personal growth. Taking part in many of the development camps and being part of various teams enhanced my understanding of the game and bolstered my confidence,” Kennedy said.
“I also gained an appreciation for the concept that winning demands 100% effort from every individual involved in the team. Above all, my experiences with Team Alberta taught me the importance of controlling what you can control, which ultimately means not worrying about what everyone else is doing and focusing on what I can do. Playing for Team Alberta also paved the way for me to play at the university level and fueled my passion for taking the game as far as possible.”