Rachel Dean to guard the crease for the Newfoundland and Labrador under-16 female team
Dean told The Packet she hopes to do her very best and represent the province well at the tournament in New Brunswick.
“It feels unbelievable to be selected to represent my province,” said Dean in an email. “I feel very excited and happy to play in net for Newfoundland and Labrador. I hope to make everyone proud.”
The 13 year-old says she is looking forward to some tough competition, and to size up the level of play from the other provinces of Atlantic Canada.
She’s also looking forward to meeting new friends from other provinces and having some fun with her teammates.
As far as what’s led her to this point, Dean says she’s put in some hard work to make it this far, she would like for it to result in a gold medal.
“I tried my best with whatever came in my direction such as fitness testing, on ice skills, and team building activities (and) I’ve worked very hard at all the hockey programs this summer to help prepare for the Team NL tryouts.”
Kathleen Fillier will be between the pipes for the Newfoundland and Labrador under-18 squad
Fillier says making Team NL is big for her because this is her first opportunity to play on a provincial level, having previously been limited to local hockey.
“I’ve stepped it up this year to go to Moncton,” Fillier, 16, told The Packet. “It’s cool to represent the province.”
She’s very much looking forward to the challenge of playing at a higher level.
While she admits she’s a little nervous about the experience — she says she’s improved her game through a lot of training and hard work, so she’s ready to compete.
Fillier’s path to Team NL started out of necessity.
“I was a player until around eight-years-old, I think. But then, our team goalie quit in under-12 and we had no goalie!
“So they strapped on the pads and threw me in the net for a practice and I never got out,” Fillier chuckles.
She went on to embrace the role, which can be challenging at times, as it takes a certain mindset, she adds.
“I think it might be a bit more pressure on a goalie where there’s only one of you. You’re kind of the last straw between the posts.
“It’s a bit difficult but you’ve just got to be strong minded, more or less, and you’ll be fine in net.”
The teams head to New Brunswick on Oct. 5 to compete.
Are you or do you know a local athlete who has been chosen for a provincial team or has accomplished an athletic achievement? Let us know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (709) 466-2243.