Though having too small a population to send a full female team to the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships at the end of the month, the Yukon won’t be without representation.
Seven Yukon players tried out for Team BC in Merritt last week, with four making the squad and the remainders named as alternates.
“We have sent players previously to the Aboriginal Hockey Championships through Team BC – I think this is the first time we’ve had so many on the roster,” said Louis Bouchard, head coach for the Avalanche female rep team and Team Yukon at the Canada Winter Games in February.
“I’m tooting my own horn here, but I think it’s a result of the program that has been going on for the last four years.”
Team BC, which is the first team sent from the province in three years, will include Avalanche/Team Yukon players Adrianne Dewhurst from Teslin, Tshayla Nothstein from Faro and Whitehorse’s Sierra Oakley and Lynsey Keaton.
“I was surprised. A lot of girls came out and I was surprised I made it,” said Keaton. “I think three years ago, Adrianne Dewhurst tried out and made alternates, and we were only 12.”
The tryouts consisted of two days of drills and a scrimmage, “so they can see how we play,” said Keaton. “It went good.”
“Tshayla Nothstein, the coach said she made really good plays.”
Named as alternates were Team Yukon players Natalja Blanchard from Dawson and Brittney Brown from Whitehorse. Also named was Haines Junction’s Breanna Smith, who was sick during the Canada Games trials and was under the weather again for last week’s BC tryouts.
“She attended an identification camp I conducted in Whitehorse about three weeks ago when we heard about this opportunity for the girls,” said Bouchard. “Then we recommended she go to the Team BC trials.”
The National Aboriginal Hockey Championships are taking place April 25-30 in Saskatoon.
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